italian wedding cookies {gluten free}

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Growing up these were always called Italian Wedding Cookies, but they can also be called Butterballs or Snowballs. Either way they are delicious buttery balls covered in powdered sugar and I can’t find anything wrong with that. I swapped out regulare flour for gluten free and added lots of butter so the cookies would not crumble and I could not be happier with the result.

These cookies and all of the homemade cookies I am trying to recreate, bring back so many memories from my childhood. Christmas was the time of year when my Moms friends and my Gram would come over and It would be a cookie factory in her kitchen. Everybody laughing and rolling out different doughs to make dozens of cookies for Christmas Eve.

We have cut back on the amount of cookies we make and our eating habits have changed, but this labor of love continues as our Family’s tradition and It makes my heart smile.

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  • 2 sticks plus 2 Tbs. unsalted butter, at room temperature

  • 1 cup organic confectioners' sugar, or more as needed (about 1 cup for coating cookies)

  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract (gluten-free)

  • 2 cups all purpose gluten free flour (King Arthur)

  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt

  • 3/4 cup finely chopped walnuts



  • Combine the butter, 1 cup of the confectioners’ sugar and the vanilla extract in the bowl of a stand mixer or handheld electric mixer.

  • Beat on medium speed for several minutes, until lightened and creamy.

  • Stop to scrape down the bowl.

  • On low speed, gradually add the gluten free flour and salt to form a dough. Stop to scrape down the bowl.

  • Add the walnuts and gently beat on low until incorporated.

  • Cover and refrigerate for at least 2 hours (or up to a day in advance).

  • Roll the refrigerated dough into 42-48 balls of equal size (about 1 tablespoon each), placing them 2 inches apart on the baking sheets.

  • Bake on middle rack on 350°F for 13-15 minutes

  • The cookies will be just set. Let them cool on the baking sheets for a few minutes, then immediately and carefully place a few at a time in additional confectioners’ sugar,about 1 cup, rolling to coat well. Transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.

    Repeat to bake all the balls of dough. Once all the snowballs are coated and cooled store in an air tight container.

*** If you are making these cookies in advance, they can be frozen and thawed before serving. Make sure they are completely cooled before storing. I find using a disposible tin, that you find at any grocery store works well.