Preheat oven to 350°. Cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add 1 egg at a time, beating well after each addition. Add nuts. In another bowl, sift together flour, cinnamon and cloves; add with vanilla to creamed mixture. Refrigerate, covered, for 1 hour.
Fill 36 generously greased muffin cups or individual 3-in. tins one-third to half full. Press dough around sides, leaving a depression in center. (If dough is too soft, add flour.)
Bake until light brown, about 18 minutes. Cool 2 minutes; tap tins to remove cookies. Dust with confectioners' sugar.