Whether you call them snowballs, Russian tea cakes, or Mexican wedding cookies, these melt-in-your-mouth cookies are a must for so many people during the holidays. It seems no cookie platter is complete without them. I like to make them with ground pecans, but feel free to substitute ground walnuts or almonds.
This cookie dough is extremely easy to make as long as you start with room temperature butter. Just place all the ingredients in the bowl of a stand mixer and combine until no traces of dry flour remain. If you use BeaterBlade attachment, you won’t have to stop and scrape down the sides of your bowl.
Tip: Whatever you do, don’t be tempted to microwave cold butter to soften it - melted butter and softened butter act very different in recipes so just be patient and wait until the butter reaches room temperature naturally.
Use a #60 cookie scoop to portion out the dough.
Place them evenly on a silicone lined half sheet pan and bake as directed below. If you like, roll the dough into balls (I don’t because they roll all over the place).
Allow the cookies to cool for about 5 minutes before rolling in confectioner’s sugar.
Tip: I like to store used vanilla bean pods in my confectioner’s sugar. It really improves the flavor.
Just remove the vanilla bean pods from the confectioner’s sugar while you roll the cookies so they don’t get in your way. Replace them when you’re done.
Mmmm… your kitchen is going to smell like vanilla!
Allow the cookies to cool completely and, if you like, give them a 2nd toss in the confectioner’s sugar. Enjoy!
Snowball Cookies (aka Russian Tea Cakes or Mexican Wedding Cookies)
makes 48 cookies
1 cup (226g) unsalted butter, room temperature (70F)
1/2 cup (63g) confectioner’s sugar, sifted
1 teaspoon (4g) pure vanilla extract
2 1/4 cups (270g) all purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup (90g) finely chopped toasted pecans (or walnuts or almonds)
extra confectioner’s sugar for coating the cookies
Preheat oven to 375F and place rack in center position.
Place the first 6 ingredients in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a BeaterBlade or paddle attachment; mix on medium speed until no traces of dry flour remain (if you us a paddle attachment, scrape down sides of bowl as needed).
Use a #60 cookie scoop to portion 12 cookies per tray; bake one tray at a time for 8-10 minutes.
Remove cookies from oven and allow to rest on tray for 5 minutes before rolling in confectioner’s sugar; return cookies to tray and allow to cool completely before rolling in confectioner’s sugar a second time.
Note: to toast pecans, place in a 350F oven for 5 minutes; cool completely before using.