or Russian Tea Cakes or Italian Butter Nut cookies, or Southern Pecan Butterballs, or Viennese Sugar Balls and/or Holiday Snowballs – whatever YOU call them, they are delicious!!
No matter what they’re called, they are dense and heavy, so one or two is more than enough for one person. I’ve made these as a Mexican Wedding Cookie Favor, as a Holiday Cookie (snowballs), and as a dessert with Mexican Hot Chocolate (made with Mexican cinnamon and Ancho-Chile powder) after a Mexican Meal. Here’s the Mexican Wedding Favor pictured below…
You may have all the ingredients in your pantry already for these cookies!
2 1/4 cups sifted all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup unsalted butter, softened
1 1/4 cups sifted confectioners’ sugar
1 1/4 teaspoons vanilla extract
3/4 cup finely chopped nuts (almonds, pecans, walnuts, whatever)
In a medium bowl, stir the flour and salt. In a larger bowl, mix together the butter and 1/2 cup of the confectioners’ sugar until smooth (use a rubber spatula or wooden spoon – not metal. You may also use a mixer – I do.) Stir in the vanilla extract (never imitation extract) and then the flour mixture until it is blended. Place the nuts through a food processor with a tablespoon of flour to prevent it from becoming paste – for a finer, smoother cookie. If you do not have a food processor, then finely chop the nuts and add them to your mix.
Cover and refrigerate the dough for about 2 hours or until it is firm enough to work with.
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Shape the dough into balls, or crescents, or dome-shape, or whatever-shape you like, but make sure that they are about 1 inch in diameter for balls and about 1/2 inch for flatter shapes. Place the balls on parchment-lined baking sheets, leaving about 2 inches between the cookies. One sheet at a time, bake the cookies for 8 to 10 minutes or until set, but do not let them go dark or “brown.” The edges should get lightly, lightly browned.
Place the remaining 1 cup of confectioners’ sugar in a shallow bowl or pie plate.
Transfer the baking sheet to a wire rack and cool for 2 to 4 minutes. Carefully remove the cookies and roll each one in the sugar to coat while the cookies are warm.
*For a lighter, less-sweet touch, transfer the cookies from the oven to a wire rack and sift the powdered-sugar OVER the cookie so that only the tops get white.
Cool the cookies completely on a wire rack. Sprinkle them with any remaining sugar. When cool, store the cookies in an airtight container. These cookies freeze very well. Makes over 3 dozen cookies. Enjoy!!