Snowballs (aka Russian Tea Cakes/Mexican Wedding Cookies)

Snowballs are a wonderful addition to a tray of Christmas cookies.  The are nutty, sweet, and melt in your mouth delicious. Best of all, the cookies can be frozen unbaked and then baked to order. They couldn’t be easier!

The Recipe

by volume                                                              by weight

1 cup butter                                                       226 grams butter

1/2 cup sugar                                                    99 grams sugar

1/4 teaspoon salt                                            1 gram salt

2 cups all purpose flour                               240 grams all purpose flour

1 cup ground almonds                                  120 grams ground almonds

 

Directions

Heat the oven to 350F. Mix the butter, sugar, and salt together until smooth.

Stir in the nuts until well mixed.

Add the flour and mix only until combined.

The dough can be wrapped tightly and frozen at this point. If you make this dough and freeze it, be sure you bring it back to room temperature before continuing. Freeze the dough in a flat, square or rectangular package to make it stackable!

Roll the dough into 1″ balls and place 2″ apart on a parchment lined baking sheet. (The snowballs can also be made up to this point and frozen. Freeze the cookies on a sheet pan and then store them in a freezer bag until ready to use. Remove the cookies from the bake and bring them back to room temperature before baking.)

Bake the cookies for 10 to 12 minutes until light golden brown around the edges.

While the cookies are still warm generously dust them with sifted powdered sugar.

This sugar will dissolve somewhat and stick to the cookies. Let them cool and dust the cookies a second time.

 

Alternatives

These cookies can be made with any variety of nuts that you prefer. Pecans and walnuts are good choices and add a nice flavor to the cookies.

A touch of almond or vanilla extract or a pinch of your favorite spice would also be a nice holiday touch.

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