Down here in Georgia we need to create our own snow. I prefer mine in the form of powdered sugar.
Copious amounts of powdered sugar.
Preferably caked around a buttery Pecan Snowball Cookie.
I don’t know where I developed my fondness for Snowball Cookies (also called Mexican Wedding Cookies and Russian Tea Cookies). I usually am a card-carrying member of the No Nuts In Baked Goods Club. Snowballs are my exception.
The buttery, nutty flavor gets me every time.
Plus how can you not giggle when you eat a cookie that dusts everything within a 10-foot radius with powdered sugar? I certainly can’t. I also can’t eat them in public for this very same reason.
These were the very first Pecan Snowballs I’ve ever made; they just weren’t in my family’s Christmas Cookie repertoire. So I turned to one of my favorite, and most reliable fellow bloggers, The Brown Eyed Baker, for her favorite recipe. And it’s a winner. The best that I have ever tried. Yup, the best.
They were actually even better the second (and third) day! The pecan flavor was more developed and I thought they were even moister.
These Pecan Snowballs have a perfect, soft, crumbly texture with just the right amount of pecans. And they are ridiculously easy. If you have pre-chopped pecans and you use a food processor, which I didn’t (bad call, FYI), these take less than 10 minutes to get in the oven. Craziness!
These nutty, buttery Pecan Snowball Cookies have a perfect soft, crumbly texture with just the right amount of pecans. And they are incredibly easy to make!
2 cups all-purpose flour
2 cups finely chopped pecans, divided
¾ teaspoon salt
1 cup unsalted butter, slightly softened
1/3 cup granulated sugar
1 ½ teaspoons vanilla extract
1 ½ cups powdered sugar, for coating
Preheat oven to 325°. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.
Mix flour, 1 cup chopped pecans, and the salt in a medium bowl. Set aside.
Place the remaining cup chopped pecans in a food processor and pulse until ground fine (the texture of coarse cornmeal). I continued chopping my nuts by hand because I was sick of doing dishes, which was a mistake. If you have a food processor, I highly recommend using it here! But know that if you choose to do it by hand, they will still be sensational!
Add the processed nuts to the flour mixture and mix.
Cream the butter and sugar together until light and fluffy, scraping the sides of the bowl as needed. Beat in the vanilla until well combined. Add all the flour mixture and mix on low speed until the dough just begins to come together but, as The Brown Eyed Baker says, “still looks scrappy”. Scrape down the sides of the bowl and continue mixing on low until the dough is cohesive, about 10 more seconds.
The BEB says to roll a heaping tablespoon of dough into balls, but when I did this I only got 24 Snowballs. They were amazing, but if you want 48, you should really stick to a scant tablespoon.
Bake until the bottoms are golden and the tops are beginning to brown, 17 to 19 minutes.
Cool the cookies 2 minutes on the baking sheet before transferring to wire racks to cool completely.
Place powdered sugar in a large plastic bag. Working with two cookies at a time. Toss gently to coat and place back on the wire rack.
Allow the cookies to sit at least an hour, up to overnight, and then repeat the tossing in powdered sugar.
Cookies can be stored in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 5 days. I wrapped mine in layers of wax paper and then covered them with foil and they did not get as soft and soggy as they can in other containers.