Place butter in a mixing bowl and whip with an electric mixer until white and very fluffy, about 25 minutes. Add the ½ cup sugar, egg yolk, vanilla and almond extracts, and brandy; beat well with the mixer. Add the 2 ½ cups flour and beat until the dough is easy enough to handle. Turn onto a floured board and knead until dough forms a soft ball (3 to 4 minutes).
Preheat oven to 350 °. Shape dough into walnut sized balls and place on an undressed baking sheet. Press a whole clove into the center of each ball. Bake until golden 15 to 20 minutes.
While cookies are baking, spread confectioners sugar on a large sheet of waxed paper. With a spatula, transfer cookies to waxed paper and sift more sugar over top; roll lightly to coat cookies completely, then cool. Transfer each ball to a paper cupcake liner and sift more sugar over top.