Holiday cookie recipe: The ultimate wedding cookie

Holiday cookie recipe: The ultimate wedding cookie
Whether you call them butterballs, tea cakes or wedding cookies, these nutty treats rolled in sugar are a holiday favorite. (Glenn Koenig / Los Angeles Times)

Perhaps you know them better as butterballs or tea cakes — even crescents if the cookies are simply shaped another way. Whatever you call them, wedding cookies are a longtime holiday favorite. Rich, crumbly and packed with chopped nuts, the cookies are rolled in powdered or granulated sugar before serving. This recipe comes courtesy of reader Bonnie Zanardi of Whittier. She was a finalist one year in our L.A. Times Holiday Cookie Bake-Off. She writes:

"Years ago, I saw the recipe printed on a bag of C&H sugar. It was so simple I almost ignored it. Sure glad I didn't. It is the most requested cookie I bake. The only alteration I've made is the type of nuts used. ...  Macadamia nuts take this recipe over the top."



Total time: 1 hour | Makes about 5 dozen cookies
Note: Submitted by Bonnie Zanardi of Whittier.

1 cup (2 sticks) butter, softened
2 cups powdered sugar, divided
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 cups flour
1/8 teaspoon salt
2 cups finely chopped macadamia nuts

1. Heat the oven to 350 degrees.

2. In the bowl of a stand mixer, or in a large bowl using an electric mixer, beat the butter with one-half cup powdered sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in the vanilla.

3. In a separate bowl, whisk together the flour, salt and nuts. Beat the flour mixture slowly into the butter over low speed if using a stand mixer, or gently stir the flour into the butter mixture by hand until evenly combined to form a dough.

4. Roll the dough into 1 inch balls (about 1 rounded teaspoon of dough per cookie); if the dough is too soft to roll, chill it in the refrigerator until it is easy to handle. Place the cookies at least 2 inches apart on ungreased cookie sheets. Bake until lightly browned, about 15 minutes.

5. While the cookies are still hot, gently roll them once in the remaining powdered sugar, then place the cookies on a rack to cool. After the cookies have cooled, roll them again in the remaining powdered sugar.

6. Store the cookies in tightly sealed plastic bags; they also freeze well.

Each of 5 dozen cookies: 90 calories; 1 gram protein; 8 grams carbohydrates; 1 gram fiber; 7 grams fat; 2 grams saturated fat; 8 mg cholesterol; 4 grams sugar; 6 mg sodium.

Love baking as much as I do? Follow me @noellecarter