Is it cold enough out there for you?
With the recent Arctic Blast that brought us snow yesterday and the below freezing temperatures I felt like making snowballs. After going outside to wrap and protect my fruit trees and salvage what crisply frozen Winter greens I could from my garden I decided that it was too cold to stay outside and make snowballs. So I went inside and made them there instead!
Now this cookie recipe is an age old recipe. Who knows where it first originated as it goes by sooo many names such as: Mexican Wedding Cakes, Italian Butternuts, Russian Tea Cakes just to name a few. But I have read that it is a cookie that has a history that dates back as far as the 18th century. I make these little balls of heaven every single year and over the years I have tweaked the standard recipe to create a lovely, nut filled shortbread type cookie that will melt in your mouth. Mine includes ground almonds, instead of chopped pecans or walnuts and I like to use a Vanilla Bean with a couple little drops of Amaretto to really make the almond flavor sing.
It’s a super easy cookie to make and if you have little ones around they will have fun helping you to shape them into little balls, while keeping snug and warm during this Arctic Blast. It also keeps really well.
For this recipe I use unsalted butter. If you are going to use salted butter omit the salt.
Vegan & Lactose Sensitive – If you are vegan or lactose intolerant, substitute the butter for Margarine. Please note that vegetable oil spreads will make these cookies spread out and flatten a bit.
Gluten Free – If you are gluten intolerant, substitute flour with your favorite GF All Purpose flour and add an additional 2 Tablespoons of water
- 2 Sticks (1/2 Cup) unsalted Butter, softened
- 1/2 Powdered Sugar
- 1 Cup All Purpose Flour
- 1 Cup Cake Flour
- 1 Vanilla Bean, seeds scraped out
- 1 teaspoon Amaretto
- 1/2 teaspoon Salt
- 1 Cup Almond Flour, or finely ground Almonds
- 1 cup Powdered Sugar
- 1 teaspoon Cornstarch
Combine in a bowl and set aside
Snowball Cookie Instructions:
Using a mixer or by hand, cream together the butter and sugar. Add the rest of the ingredients and mix together until they are all well combined.
Divide the dough in half and form two large balls. Wrap tightly with plastic wrap and place them in the fridge to cool for at least 1 hour and as long as overnight.
Preheat oven to 350°, prepare baking sheets by lining them with parchment paper.
Now go get one of your chilled dough balls out of the refrigerator. Begin shaping balls by rolling about 2 teaspoons worth of dough at a time into balls using your hands. They should be just a little smaller than a walnut in the shell. Place them about 1/2″ apart on a baking sheet (if you are using Margarine – place them 1″ apart).
Bake for 15-18 minutes, or until golden brown on the bottom, the tops will be a very pale golden brown.
Let them cool on the baking sheet for about 10 minutes, then transfer the cookies to the Powdered Sugar and Cornstarch that you made earlier.
Give them a gentle roll until they are well coated.
Reserve a little of the Dusting recipe to sift over the tops of the cookies right before serving.
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