It’s been awhile! Things get busy…summer was jam packed…I’ve been in non-stop go mode at work the last few months. To make a long story short, I had the overwhelming desire to use my camera last night (pictures of Christmas lights and the dog it is!) and then I woke up this morning and couldn’t stop thinking about posting. So…here I am!
I’ve been getting into the holiday spirit. (Actually, if I’m honest, I’m a Christmas freak). My tree has been up since the weekend before Thanksgiving, and I’ve been cranking the cinnamon bark and peppermint essential oils in my diffuser ever since.
I was trying to resist baking a ton of cookies this year, but just couldn’t resist making at least this one batch. These are my absolute favorite of all my grandma’s Christmas cookies. (Molasses cookies are a close second!)
I’m a huge fan of cookies that aren’t overly sweet, and that’s what these are. So, if you like sugar, sugar, and more sugar, or loads of chocolate, these might not be the cookie for you. But…if you love shortbread-type cookies, give these a try! They’re so simple—just 5 ingredients—and they’re super quick to prepare. Seriously, with picture taking and cooling time included, I had these done in under 2 hours…with a blog post written.
So, here you go!
Start by finely chopping your pecans. Once you think you’re done…give it another 5 minutes. The smaller the pieces, the better the cookie! You can also substitute walnuts if you don’t have pecans. Pecans are my favorite though.
Then throw the nuts into bowl with the flour, butter, powder sugar (2 tbsp), and vanilla. Beat with an electric mixer until you get a sandy texture. I had a few chunks of butter (from my not-quite-softened stick) that were a little bigger than I wanted, but everything still worked just fine.
Next roll it into balls! I used a tablespoon measure and packed the cookie mixture down into it. Once it was full, I popped it out into my hands and pressed it into a ball. I find that it works better if I wet my hands and pat the excess water off after about 5 balls. It helped the mixture to stick together, rather than to stick to the butter residue on my hands.
I don’t mind if mine are a little weirdly shaped, so this worked just fine for me. If you want to go the perfectionist route, you’ll probably want to wet your hands a little more frequently and gently roll between your palms.
Once they’re balled, drop them on an ungreased cookie sheet and pop them into the oven for 20 to 25 minutes. I left this batch in for 23, and it was probably about a minute too long. It’s hard to tell when they’re done rom the top of the cookie, because they don’t really change color. But you want the bottom to juuuuuust brown. But really, it’s pretty hard to screw up.
I let mine cool on the cookie sheet. They don’t stick, but I like to move each one just a bit when I take them out of the oven just to make sure.
Once they’re cool, roll them in powdered sugar, and you’re all set! I think these would also be fantastic with a touch of drizzled chocolate on the top if that’s more your thing.
The Recipe: Snowball Cookies
- 1 c. flour
- 1 c. pecan halves
- ½ c. butter, softened (I use salted)
- 2 tbsp powdered sugar, plus ¼ c. for rolling
- 1 tsp vanilla
- Preheat oven to 325 degrees.
- Finely chop pecans.
- Combine all ingredients in a large bowl and beat on low speed with an electric mixer until sandy texture is achieved.
- Roll mixture into balls, approximately one tablespoon in size. Wet hands every 5 balls to help balls form.
- Place balls on an ungreased baking sheet. Bake for 20-25 minutes. Let cool completely on the baking sheet.
- Roll cooled balls in ¼ c. powdered sugar. If desired, drizzle with melted chocolate.