Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
Combine dry ingredients and set aside.
In a separate bowl, beat butter and sugar together until light. Add eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition.
Stir in dry ingredients 1/2 cup at a time. Add almonds, if desired.
Roll into one inch balls and arrange 1 inch apart on ungreased baking sheet. Bake 11 to 14 minutes.
Cool and store in airtight containers for 3 days to mellow flavors.
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