Photo: Beth Dreiling Hontzas; Styling: Buffy Hargett
Total Time
2 Hours 5 Mins
Makes about 5 dozen

How to Make It

Step 1

Preheat oven to 350°. Bake almonds in a single layer in a shallow pan 6 minutes or until toasted and fragrant, stirring halfway through. Cool completely (about 20 minutes). Reduce oven temperature to 325°.

Step 2

Process almonds in a food processor 30 seconds or until finely ground.

Step 3

Beat butter at medium speed with a heavy-duty electric stand mixer until creamy. Gradually add 1 cup powdered sugar, beating well.

Step 4

Combine flour, next 3 ingredients, and almonds; gradually add to butter mixture, beating until blended.

Step 5

Shape dough into 3/4-inch balls, and place 2 inches apart on parchment paper-lined baking sheets. Press thumb into each ball, forming an indentation.

Step 6

Bake at 325° for 12 to 15 minutes or until edges are lightly browned. Cool on baking sheets 2 minutes. Transfer to wire racks, and cool 30 minutes.

Step 7

Place preserves in a zip-top plastic freezer bag; snip 1 corner of bag to make a small hole. Pipe preserves into indentations.

Step 8

Try This Twist!

Step 9

Almond Snowballs: Omit cloves, cinnamon, and preserves. Increase flour to 2 1/2 cups. Prepare recipe as directed through Step 4, beating in 1 tsp. vanilla extract with butter and sugar. (Dough will be crumbly.) Shape and bake dough as directed, without making indentations. Cool on baking sheets 2 minutes. Transfer to wire racks, and cool 10 minutes. Roll cookies in 1/2 cup powdered sugar. Makes: about 5 dozen. Hands-on Time: 25 min.; Total Time: 1 hr., 37 min.

Ratings & Reviews

Really good!

April 16, 2015
This recipe was very easy and so good! Me and my 7yr old made them together and they came out great. The dough can get a little dry in some spots so I just kept a tablespoon of soft butter while rolling them and used a dab or two as needed. If they come out a little dry, put in a small container and within a few hours, they soften a little. I kept going back for more. Very good!