We all know and love the classic Italian wedding cookie—but add some bourbon and hazelnuts, and you’ve got an elevated twist. They’re buttery and nutty with a surprise bite from the bourbon. Best of all, these ingredients aren’t just available during the holidays, but all year. 


Credit: Antonis Achilleos; Food Styling: Margaret Dickey; Prop Styling: Kay Clarke

Recipe Summary

20 mins
1 hr 30 mins
Makes about 30 cookies


Ingredient Checklist


Instructions Checklist
  • Beat butter with an electric mixer fitted with a paddle attachment on high speed until fluffy and pale yellow, 2 to 3 minutes. Reduce speed to low; beat in 1/2 cup of the powdered sugar. Increase speed to medium-high; continue beating until light and fluffy, 1 to 2 minutes. Reduce speed to low; beat in bourbon, vanilla, and salt until blended, about 1 minute.

  • Sift together flour and cinnamon in a bowl; add to butter mixture, beating on low speed (or stirring with a wooden spoon) until blended. Stir in hazelnuts. Cover bowl with plastic wrap; refrigerate until dough is chilled but not hard and is no longer sticky to the touch, about 15 minutes. Meanwhile, preheat oven to 350°F.

  • Remove dough from refrigerator. Shape into 1-inch balls (you will have about 30 balls). Arrange about 1 inch apart on 2 baking sheets lined with parchment paper

  • Bake in preheated oven in 2 batches until cookies just turn golden on bottoms, 10 to 12 minutes. Transfer baking sheets to wire racks; let cool 5 minutes.

  • Sift remaining 3/4 cup powdered sugar into a shallow bowl. Working with 1 at a time, remove cookies from baking sheets, and roll in powdered sugar. Let cookies cool completely on wire racks, about 30 minutes.