July 21, 2024

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Than a Food Fitter

Snowball Cookies – Once Upon a Chef

5 min read
Snowball Cookies – Once Upon a Chef

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Blanketed in powdered sugar, snowball cookies make a festive addition to any cookie tray.

Dusted in powdered sugar like fresh snow, snowballs are simple shortbread-like cookies made with a mixture of flour and ground nuts, giving them a slightly nutty flavor and delicate, melt-in-your-mouth texture. The cookies are popular in many parts of the world, and are known by different names depending on the region. In Mexico, they’re called polvorones or galletas de boda (which means “wedding cakes” in Spanish); in Russia, they’re known as Russian tea cakes; and in Austria, the cookies are shaped into half-moons and referred to as Viennese crescents. Despite the different names and sometimes different shapes, these cookies are all basically the same delicious treat with slight variations in the flavorings and types of nuts used.

Viennese Crescent Cookies

American snowball cookies are typically made with ground pecans, but this recipe calls for almond flour, which is the same thing as finely ground almonds. Unlike other nut flours, almond flour is readily available at most large supermarkets, so using it saves the step of having to grind up the nuts—and almonds add lovely flavor, especially enhanced by a few drops of fragrant almond extract. These cookies are easy to make and a festive addition to any holiday cookie tray. Just be sure to allow at least 1 hour for the dough to chill in the fridge before rolling.

What You’ll Need To Make Snowball Cookies

ingredients for snowball cookies

Step-by-Step Instructions

In a medium bowl, combine the all-purpose flour, almond flour, and salt.
flour, almond flour and salt in bowl

Whisk to combine.

whisked dry ingredients for snowball cookies

In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment or beaters, combine the butter and granulated sugar.

butter and sugar in bowl

Beat on medium speed until pale and creamy, about 2 minutes, then beat in the vanilla and almond extracts.

beaten butter and sugar with vanilla and almond extract

Add flour mixture.

adding dry ingredients to butter mixture

Mix on low speed until the dough comes together into a crumbly mass. Cover and refrigerate for at least 1 hour or up to 4 days.

Preheat oven to 350°F and set two oven racks in the centermost positions. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper. Roll the chilled dough into 1-inch balls and place 2 inches apart on the prepared baking sheets.

snowball cookie dough balls on parchment-lined baking sheet

Bake for 12 to 14 minutes, rotating the pans from top to bottom and front to back halfway through baking, until the cookies are pale on top and lightly golden on the bottom. Let the cookies cool on the baking sheets for 5 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack. snowball cookies fresh out of the oven

When the cookies are set but still a bit warm, use a small fine sieve to dust the cookies all over with confectioners’ sugar. (Alternatively, you can gently roll the cookies in the confectioners’ sugar until coated.)

dusting snowball cookies with flour

Let the cookies cool completely, then store in an airtight container. Dust the cookies again with confectioners’ sugar before serving.

How To Freeze Snowball Cookies

The cookie dough can be frozen for up to 3 months. Roll the dough into balls, let set on a baking sheet in the freezer, then place in a sealable bag and press out as much air as possible. Bake as needed directly from the freezer. (Allow 1 to 2 minutes longer in the oven.) To freeze the cookies after baking, let the cookies cool completely and store in an airtight container separating layers with parchment paper or aluminum foil. Before serving, remove the cookies from the container and let them come to room temperature.

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Snowball Cookies

Blanketed in powdered sugar, snowball cookies make a festive addition to any cookie tray.

Ingredients

  • 1⅔ cups all-purpose flour, spooned into measuring cup and leveled-off
  • ⅔ cup finely sifted/super-fine almond flour
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 2 sticks (1 cup) unsalted butter, softened
  • ⅓ cup granulated sugar
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
  • ⅛ teaspoon almond extract
  • 1 cup confectioners’ sugar

Instructions

  1. In a medium bowl, whisk together the all-purpose flour, almond flour, and salt.
  2. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment or beaters, beat the butter and granulated sugar on medium speed until pale and creamy, about 2 minutes. Beat in the vanilla and almond extracts. Add flour mixture and mix on low speed until the dough comes together into a crumbly mass. Cover and refrigerate for at least 1 hour or up to 4 days.
  3. Preheat oven to 350°F and set two oven racks in the centermost positions. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.
  4. Roll the chilled dough into 1-inch balls and place 2 inches apart on the prepared baking sheets. Bake for 12 to 14 minutes, rotating the pans from top to bottom and front to back halfway through baking, until the cookies are pale on top and lightly golden on the bottom. Let the cookies cool on the baking sheets for 5 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack. When the cookies are set but still a bit warm, use a small fine sieve to dust the cookies all over with confectioners’ sugar. (Alternatively, you can gently roll the cookies in the confectioners’ sugar until coated.) Let the cookies cool completely, then store in an airtight container. Dust the cookies again with confectioners’ sugar before serving.
  5. Freezer-Friendly Instructions: The cookie dough can be frozen for up to 3 months. Roll the dough into balls, let set on a baking sheet in the freezer, then place in a sealable bag and press out as much air as possible. Bake as needed directly from the freezer. (Allow 1 to 2 minutes longer in the oven.) To freeze the cookies after baking, let the cookies cool completely and store in an airtight container separating layers with parchment paper or aluminum foil. Before serving, remove the cookies from the container and let them come to room temperature. Dust with confectioners’ sugar before serving.

Nutrition Information

Powered by Edamam

  • Serving size: 1 cookie
  • Calories: 77
  • Fat: 5 g
  • Saturated fat: 3 g
  • Carbohydrates: 8 g
  • Sugar: 4 g
  • Fiber: 0 g
  • Protein: 1 g
  • Sodium: 26 mg
  • Cholesterol: 11 mg

This website is written and produced for informational purposes only. I am not a certified nutritionist and the nutritional data on this site has not been evaluated or approved by a nutritionist or the Food and Drug Administration. Nutritional information is offered as a courtesy and should not be construed as a guarantee. The data is calculated through an online nutritional calculator, Edamam.com. Although I do my best to provide accurate nutritional information, these figures should be considered estimates only. Varying factors such as product types or brands purchased, natural fluctuations in fresh produce, and the way ingredients are processed change the effective nutritional information in any given recipe. Furthermore, different online calculators provide different results depending on their own nutrition fact sources and algorithms. To obtain the most accurate nutritional information in a given recipe, you should calculate the nutritional information with the actual ingredients used in your recipe, using your preferred nutrition calculator.

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