1. Heat oven to 375°F. Remove wrappers from chocolates.
2. Beat butter, granulated sugar and vanilla in large bowl until fluffy. Add flour, almonds and almond extract, if desired; beat on low speed of mixer until well blended.
3. Using about 1 tablespoon dough for each cookie, shape dough around each chocolate piece; roll in hand to make ball. (Be sure to cover each chocolate piece completely.) Place on ungreased cookie sheet.
4. Bake 10 to 12 minutes or until cookies are set but not browned. Cool slightly; remove from cookie sheet to wire rack. While still slightly warm, roll in powdered sugar. Cool completely. Store in tightly covered container. Roll again in powdered sugar just before serving. Makes about 36 cookies.