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Snowball Cookies

Snowball Cookies

A Christmastime Classic: Melt-in-Your-Mouth Snowball Cookies

Snowball cookies are synonymous with the holidays. These delightful treats are a staple in many cookie jars during the festive season, and for good reason. They're incredibly simple to make, requiring minimal ingredients and prep work. But don't let their ease fool you – their buttery richness, nutty undertones, and melt-in-your-mouth texture like a cloud of whipped shortbread are guaranteed to leave you wanting more. In fact, they might just remind you a bit of cotton candy, only in a more sophisticated form!

Ingredients:

  • For the Buttery Base:

    • 1 cup unsalted butter, softened to room temperature – creates the foundation for the rich and tender cookies
    • ½ cup powdered sugar – sweetens the dough and provides the base for the signature powdered sugar coating
  • For the Flavor Boost:

    • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract – adds a touch of warm vanilla bean flavor that complements the other ingredients beautifully
    • ¼ teaspoon salt – enhances the overall flavor profile by balancing the sweetness
  • For the Textural Delight:

    • 2 cups all-purpose flour – the building block for the cookie structure
    • 1 cup pecans, chopped – adds a delightful crunch and nutty flavor
  • For the Finishing Touch:

    • Powdered sugar – for the signature snowball coating

Instructions:

  1. Creaming the Butter and Sugar: In a large bowl using an electric mixer on medium speed, cream together the softened butter and powdered sugar until light and fluffy. This step incorporates air into the mixture, resulting in a lighter and more tender cookie.

  2. Adding the Warmth: Once the butter and sugar are well combined, mix in the vanilla extract. Vanilla adds a touch of warmth and complexity that elevates the flavor profile.

  3. Bringing it All Together: Gradually add the all-purpose flour and salt to the wet ingredients. Mix on low speed until just combined. Avoid overmixing, as this can lead to tough cookies.

  4. Introducing the Nutty Crunch: Gently fold in the chopped pecans using a rubber spatula. The pecans add a delightful textural contrast and a burst of nutty flavor in every bite.

  5. Shaping the Snowballs: Using a spoon or a cookie scoop, portion the dough into 1-inch balls. Roll the dough balls between your palms to ensure they are smooth and round.

  6. Preparing to Bake: Preheat your oven to 325°F (165°C). Line baking sheets with parchment paper for easy cleanup. Place the dough balls on the prepared baking sheets, leaving a couple of inches of space between them for spreading.

  7. Baking to Golden Perfection: Bake the cookies for 20 minutes, or until the edges are lightly golden brown. The centers may still appear soft, but they will firm up as they cool.

  8. The Signature Touch: While the cookies are still hot, carefully transfer them to a wire rack to cool slightly. Once they are cool enough to handle but still warm, roll them generously in powdered sugar. This creates the signature snowball coating.

  9. Double the Fun (Optional): For an extra-thick coating of powdered sugar, let the cookies cool completely, then roll them in powdered sugar a second time.

  10. Storing and Enjoying: Store your Snowball Cookies in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 3 days. They are best enjoyed fresh, but they will still be delicious for a few days.

Tips:

  • Chilling the Dough (Optional): For a slightly firmer dough and taller cookies, you can chill the dough in the refrigerator for 30 minutes before shaping.
  • Nut Variations: Feel free to experiment with different types of chopped nuts, such as walnuts, almonds, or hazelnuts, to create your own flavor combinations.

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