Snowball cookies, also known as Russian tea cakes or Mexican wedding cookies, are quintessential winter treats. These delicate, melt-in-your-mouth cookies dusted with powdered sugar evoke the magic of freshly fallen snow. In this comprehensive guide, we’ll walk you through the steps to create these delightful morsels that will warm hearts on chilly days.
Ingredients You’ll Need:
- 1 cup unsalted butter, softened
- 1/2 cup powdered sugar, plus extra for dusting
- 2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 3/4 cup finely chopped nuts (walnuts or pecans)
Step 1: Preheat and Prepare
- Preheat your oven to 375°F (190°C). Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. This ensures the cookies won’t stick and makes for easy cleanup.
Step 2: Cream Butter and Sugar
- In a large mixing bowl, cream together the softened butter and powdered sugar until light and fluffy. This should take about 2-3 minutes.
Step 3: Add Vanilla Extract
- Mix in the vanilla extract until well combined. This adds a fragrant aroma and enhances the cookie’s flavor.
Step 4: Incorporate Dry Ingredients
- Gradually add the flour and salt to the butter mixture. Mix on low speed until just combined. Be careful not to overmix, as this can lead to tough cookies.
Step 5: Add Chopped Nuts
- Gently fold in the finely chopped nuts of your choice. Traditionally, walnuts or pecans are used, but feel free to use your favorite.
Step 6: Shape the Cookies
- Take a small portion of the cookie dough and roll it into a 1-inch ball. Place it on the prepared baking sheet. Repeat this process, spacing the balls about 1 inch apart.
Step 7: Bake
- Bake the cookies in the preheated oven for 10-12 minutes, or until they are set but not browned. The bottoms should be very lightly golden.
Step 8: Cool and Dust with Powdered Sugar
- Allow the cookies to cool for a few minutes on the baking sheet. While they’re still warm, gently roll each cookie in powdered sugar until it’s evenly coated. This creates the signature “snowball” look.
- Place the sugar-coated cookies on a wire rack to cool completely.
Step 9: Re-roll in Powdered Sugar (Optional)
- If desired, after the cookies have cooled completely, give them a second roll in powdered sugar for an extra snowy appearance.
Step 10: Store and Enjoy
- Store the snowball cookies in an airtight container at room temperature. They will stay fresh for up to a week, though they’re likely to disappear much faster!
Congratulations, you’ve mastered the art of creating these delightful snowball cookies! Their buttery, nutty flavor and delicate, snowy appearance make them a perfect winter treat. Whether you’re sharing them at holiday gatherings or enjoying them with a cup of tea by the fire, these cookies are sure to spread warmth and cheer. Happy baking!