Snowball Cookies

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

Snowball Cookies

  • 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

For Dusting:

  • 1 cup Powdered Sugar
  • 1 teaspoon Cornstarch

Dusting Instructions:
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.

Images by Kelly Cline ©2010 All Rights Reserved
All content, text and images are  ©2010 All Rights Reserved and may not be used or reposted without express written consent.

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10 Responses to Snowball Cookies

  1. Pingback: Tweets that mention Snowball Cookies | nommynom --

  2. Tunde says:

    These look so good Kelly . Perfect with some homemade eggnog :D !!

  3. Kelly says:

    Ooooo! Eggnog, what a wonderful idea! Buttery cookies with noggy nog… *swoon*

  4. Todd says:

    Mama dukes used to make these for us… they are incredible. Thanks for the recipe, I’m going to have to try them.

    I used up some old (unliked flavor) instant oatmeal packets to make oatmeal raisin cookies last week, and those came out really good. Have to make more of those too. They were so good, I didn’t even get a chance to photograph them

  5. amaretto…genius! Now these are snowballs I can handle!

  6. Tipi says:

    These look and sound great, and I would love to make them for something different, but I live in Australia and I am unsure what the equivalent ingredients are here for: Powdered Sugar, All Purpose Flour or Cake Flour. Do you, or any of your readers know?

  7. Kelly says:

    Powdered Sugar is also known as Confectioner’s Sugar or Icing Sugar. It does not have any grains and looks like white powder, you should be able to find it in a regular grocery store next to items like Brown Sugar.

    Cake Flour is a “softer” flour with a little less gluten that when used, makes a lighter fluffier texture. You can make a Cake Flour Substitute by mixing ratios of 1 3/4 cups regular Flour with 1/4 cup Cornstarch. -sift together and then use.

    All Purpose Flour is just that – regular old all purpose Flour.

    You do not want to use Bread Flour in these cookies, doing so produces a heavy cookie that has a terrible chew. Also, you do not want to use Self Raising or Self Rising flour either, as that type of flour has leavening agents already mixed in and will adversely affect the recipe.

    Hope this helps :)

  8. Tipi says:

    Thank you :-)

  9. Its been a while since we last got in touch Kelly so just thought of dropping by your space and saying a quick hello and a Happy New Year! Happy New Years to you!

  10. Kelly says:

    Prerna! Indeed. It’s so weird I was just thinking about you the other day. I saw this show on some South American savory pastries and I started thinking about indian spiced potatoes in side and instantly thought of you!

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