5 Ingredient Snowball Cookies – whipped shortbread filled with pieces of toasted pecan, and a generous coating of icing sugar.
Last year I ran out of time to bake these for Christmas. I had so many ideas, but I knew I needed to make sure I baked these cookies this year.
Being from the UK, these Snowball Cookies aren’t something I was too familiar with. I’m sure my US/North American readers will be familiar with these. I now know they’re a popular cookie that features on Christmas cookie platters. They’re also known as Mexican wedding cookies/Russian tea cakes.
I love that these cookies look like little snowballs, they’re super fun and perfectly festive!
I added toasted pecans to my batch, but you can substitute the pecans for other nuts, such as hazelnuts, pistachios, or even walnuts. Also, mini chocolate chips can be used instead.
The cookie dough is a shortbread dough, but this is possibly one of the lightest shortbread textures I’ve eaten before. It’s just like the texture of whipped shortbread, super airy, with a texture that melts once it hits your mouth.
To make the dough, you start by creaming the softened butter until smooth, then right after that add icing sugar and beat the butter and sugar until creamy. Now, a couple of teaspoons of vanilla is added, followed by the flour – which is mixed until a soft dough comes together. Finally, some chopped and toasted pecans are added. After this, the dough is covered and chilled for at least 30 minutes before rolling.
Once chilled, small portions of the dough are rolled out, and then baked. Once baked, the cookies are cooled for 5 minutes, then they’re rolled in more icing sugar. Then the cookies are left to cool completely, before being rolled in a second coating of icing sugar. The finished cookie has a snowy whiteness, resembling a snowball!
These cookies would make a wonderful addition to a Christmas treat box gift for family and friends.
You’ll enjoy these cookies for their delectable melt-in-the-mouth texture, and beautiful buttery flavour. I really mean it when I say, it’s hard to stop at just one!
I lost count of how many I devoured while taking photos! My hands/camera, just about everything was covered in icing sugar…
But, I’m not complaining, as these cookies are simply divine!
- 100 g pecans (substitute with hazelnuts, pistachios or walnuts optional
- 225 g butter (salted or unsalted) softened
- 90 g icing sugar
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 280 g plain flour
- 150 g icing sugar you might not need all of this
- Start by toasting the pecans (or nut of your choice), if using. Heat oven to 150°C / 130°C Fan / 300°F / Gas Mark 2. Spread the pecans out on a baking tray and toast in the oven for 8-10 minutes. Allow the nuts to cool, before chopping finely.
- To make the cookie dough: Cream the butter for a minute until softened. Now add the 90g portion of icing sugar and cream for another 2-3 minutes, until fluffy and lightened in colour.
- Now add the vanilla extract and mix to combine. Add the flour and continue to mix until it's incorporated fully. Finally, fold through the chopped nuts, if using.
- Cover and chill the dough for 30 minutes, or up to 3 days. If you chill the dough longer than a few hours, it will need about 30 minutes at room temperature to warm up before rolling. Preheat oven to 180°C / 160°C / 350°F / Gas Mark 4. Line 3 large baking trays with parchment paper.
- Take 20g portions of the dough and roll into balls. Place the balls of cookie dough at least 2 inches apart - you'll need about 3 large baking trays to bake all the cookies at once.
- Bake the cookies for 15 minutes, until the bottoms are just turning golden, and the tops are lightly browned. Allow the cookies to cool on the baking trays for 5 minutes, then take the remaining icing sugar (150g), and roll each cookie lightly and very carefully in the icing sugar. They will be slightly sticky at this point.
- Now place each cookie on a wire rack and allow to cool completely. Once cool, take the cookies and coat in the icing sugar once again - this is when the sugar really coats the cookies.
- Enjoy the cookies right away, or keep them stored in an airtight container/or covered plate for up to one week.
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