Snowball Cookies

snowball cookiesIn a few days’ time, we will be loading up the car and heading to our older daughter and son in law’s for Christmas. I may have possibly mentioned how much we look forward to this every year in the Anadama Cinnamon Roll post earlier this week.

But, this has not been an easy month for us. Larry’s Dad passed away early in December, and things have been kind of a blur since then. It wasn’t unexpected, as he had been in poor health for some time, and in some ways it was a bit of a relief because he was in a lot of pain. We have been fortunate until now, since Larry’s Dad is the first of our parents that we have lost. Not many people our age still have 4 living parents. It is decidedly odd to have that buffer of a generation ahead of us partially removed.

There are 5 kids in Larry’s family and they are all close by, so making sure his Mom is doing okay is shared among us and no burden at all. She will be going away with us for Christmas which will be a treat for all concerned, and I’m sure the hub-bub up north will be a great diversion. It’s hard to keep much of any coherent thought in one’s head with everything they have going on up there, so diversion is probably an understatement.

Which brings me to cookies – these cookies in fact. Snowball Cookies are nearly iconic when it comes to Christmas cookies, and my recipe is pretty much the standard, handed down from my Mom many years ago, the first Christmas we were together, when I wanted to duplicate our family favorites for Larry. It was on my old blog for many years, and since I’m still working on getting all of my posts moved to this blog [a never-ending task apparently] I admit that I am taking it a little easy on myself by posting it here now.ingredients for snowball cookiesEven though I may be taking it easy on myself, these are still the best Christmas cookies ever – so here we go!

Snowball Cookies
To have the very best flavor, you need to toast the pecans ahead of time, and then when they are cool, chop finely, almost to a meal. You can do this by pulsing the nuts in a food processor.
Serves: 3½ dozen cookies
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
  • 1 cup softened butter
  • 1 & ½ cups confectioners [10X] sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 2 & ½ cups all purpose flour
  • 1 & ¼ teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup of toasted, finely chopped pecans
  • An additional couple cups 10X sugar for rolling
  1. Preheat the oven 350º, and line heavy baking sheets with parchment paper.
  2. It is important that the butter be soft enough to cream well, so take it out ahead of time so that it can get to room temperature.
  3. In bowl of stand mixer, or other large bowl if using a hand mixer. beat butter a minute or so.
  4. Ad sugar and beat together until very fluffy - a couple of minutes.
  5. Beat in egg and vanilla.
  6. In a smaller bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder and salt.
  7. Add dry ingredients, and the ground nuts, and continue beating until thoroughly incorporated.
  8. Roll into balls the size of a large marble - just under and inch diameter, and place on the prepared baking sheet, leaving 1 & ½ inches space on all sides.
  9. Bake for 12 minutes or so, until firm to the touch and lightly browned.
  10. Place the 10X sugar in a small bowl.
  11. As you remove the cookies from the baking sheet, toss them in the powdered sugar to get all sides evenly coated. Cool on a rack for several hours and then roll in the powdered sugar a second time.
  12. Store tightly covered - will keep for a week at room temperature

 plate of snowball cookies

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