Recipe: Italian Hazelnut Butterballs

These sugary, buttery, melt-in-your-mouth cookies are easy to make and will easily please.

By: Francesca Montillo, Lazy Italian Culinary Adventures

I have been making my walnut and pecan butterballs for many, many years. They are a favorite among my family members and guests.

Last year, I decided to play around with my recipe, as I always tend to do, and created hazelnut butterballs. And OMG! I’m pretty humble when it comes to my baking. Even if something comes out delicious, I will find reason to critique it.

But for these, I must say, I patted myself on the back — they were that good! Now, you got to know, if a cookie has the name “butterballs” in them, they are, well, buttery! These almost tasted like a truffle. They melt in your mouth! They are coated with sugar, crumbly, buttery, super easy to prepare and perhaps my favorite cookie, ever! And look at the ingredient list…So short!


  • 1-1/2 cups whole hazelnuts
  • 2 sticks butter (left at room temperature for several hours)
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup powdered sugar
  • 1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
  • 2 cups flour
  • 2 cups powdered sugar for rolling & dusting


1) Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Using a food processor, pulse hazelnuts until they are very finely ground, almost resembling breadcrumbs, but do not over pulse into a paste. Set aside.
2) Using a stand or handheld mixer, blend softened butter, salt, powdered sugar and vanilla until very well combined.
3) With the mixer on low, add the chopped hazelnuts and mix just until combined.
4) Slowly add the 2 cups of flour to the mixture until well blended.
5) Using a 1-inch cookie scoop or a tablespoon, scoop cookies and roll between your hands.
6) Place rolled cookies on cookie sheets that have been lined with parchment paper and bake for 20 to 22 minutes. Rotating the sheets halfway through baking.
7) Gently remove cookies from the cookie sheets and let cool just slightly. While still warm, gently roll cookies in the additional cups of powdered sugar. If they break or crumble, allow cookies to cool for one more minute. (This step is done while the cookies are still warm so the sugar adheres better.)  Plate and serve.
Yield: 36-40 cookies

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