snowball cookies Maria Provenzano

snowball cookies Maria Provenzano

There are some cookies that you make all throughout the year… chocolate chip cookies, biscotti, oatmeal cookies… then there are the ones that you make just for the holidays.  There is something about the fact that you only have them one time a year that makes it really special.  These snowball cookies are a holiday cookie my mom has been making forever.  I changed the recipe a bit over time and it is one of my ultimate favorites.  I remember eating these as a kid and adding them to all of the cookie trays my mom and I would put together for family and friends.

This is a simple and delicate cookie.  The dough is made with powdered sugar instead of regular sugar which creates this really light airy taste.  There aren’t any eggs in the recipe so it reminds me of shortbread in a way that it is crumbly without being cakey… I don’t discriminate when it comes to cookies BUT I am not usually a fan of “cakey” cookies! These snowball cookies melt in your mouth.  I add roasted sunflower seeds that create a nice rich flavor to the cookies that balance out the sweetness of the powdered sugar.  You can also add toasted pine nuts or toasted walnuts. These are so cute! I love how they look on a dessert table or in a cookie box as a gift.  

snowball cookies

snowball cookies

snowball cookies

snowball cookies

Snowball Cookies

*makes about 32 cookies*

1 cup unsalted butter; room temperature

1/2 cup powdered sugar

1 teaspoon vanilla

2 1/4 cups unbleached all-purpose flour

1/4 teaspoon salt

3/4 raw sunflower seeds; roasted and finely chopped

more powdered sugar for rolling; about 1 1/2 cups

How To:

*Preheat oven to 350 degrees

*Spread the sunflower seeds into a baking sheet lined with parchment paper

*Bake until lightly golden and fragrant; about 10 minutes

*Let sunflower seeds cool completely then use a knife to finely chop them

*If you can’t find raw sunflower seeds at the store it’s ok to use pre-roasted but make sure they are unsalted

*Cream the butter and powdered sugar together in a stand mixer (or use a hand mixer)

*Stir in the vanilla

*In a bowl stir together the flour, chopped sunflower seeds, and salt

*With the mixer on low slowly add the flour mixture to the butter mixture

*Stir until just combined

*Pour the dough onto a sheet of plastic wrap and use your hands to form a small disk with the dough

*Wrap in the plastic and refrigerate for about 30 minutes

*Line two baking sheets with parchment paper

*Use a small scoop or hands to scoop out enough dough for about a 1 inch ball

*Use your hands to roll the dough to form a ball and place on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper

*The balls of dough can be placed about 1 1/2 inches apart on the baking sheet

*Bake for 8-12 minutes or until slightly golden

*Allow to cool enough to where you can handle them

*Place about one cup of powdered sugar in a small bowl

*Roll the warm cookies into the powdered sugar one at a time to coat with the powdered sugar

*This is important to do when they are still warm so that the powder sugar will stick well

*Once I am done rolling each cookie I like to roll each one a second time

*Store in an airtight container once cooled

*Before setting them out for guests or placing in cookie boxes I like to add an extra sprinkle of powdered sugar to make them look really pretty

snowball cookies 11

snowball cookies

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snowball cookies

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snowball cookies

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snowball cookies

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snowball cookies