Wednesday, December 23, 2015

Cardamom Walnut Snowballs

It's Christmas week and I'm on break! I've been taking advantage of my free time by doing one of my favorite things - baking Christmas cookies! Since I have so much to share and only a few more days to do that yet, I'm going to post a couple additional recipes this week. Today I'm sharing these festive cardamom walnut snowballs. They are really quick and easy to make, and they are absolutely delicious, plus, they're just so darn cute! And since there's not even a hint of snow on the ground (it's going to be 60 today!! What??) these cookies are the only way we're going to have a white Christmas this year! 

These little butter cookies are melt-in-your-mouth tender, buttery and nutty, and not overly sweet. It's a perfect combination. I love the mild walnut flavor combined with the somewhat citrusy, herbal character of the cardamom. If you don't have any cardamom you can skip it, but I highly recommend getting some and giving it a try if you haven't tried it before. All-in-all, a wonderful addition to your Christmas cookie platter!

Other than grinding up some walnuts, this is a super basic recipe. Cream some butter and sugar, add in the dry ingredients, mix it up and you're good to go. There's not even any eggs. Once the cookies are cool you just roll them in some powdered sugar and you're done. You can roll them a second time in the sugar to get an extra heavy dusting, or just leave them after the first time. They're cute and delicious either way!

Cardamom Walnut Snowballs
Adapted from American Heritage Cooking
  • 1 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 cups finely chopped walnuts, divided
  • 1 teaspoons ground cardamom
  • 3/8 teaspoon salt
  • 1 stick butter
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 3/4 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 3/4 cups powdered sugar, for coating
Preheat oven to 325°. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper. 

In a food processor pulse half of the walnuts until they are finely chopped; remove and set aside. Add the remaining nuts to the food processor and pulse until medium grind (no big chunks remain).

In a medium bowl combine the flour, walnuts, cardamom and salt; whisk to combine. Set aside. 

In a stand mixer, 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 comes together.

Use a tablespoon cookie scoop to scoop the dough and then roll into balls.

Bake until the bottoms are golden and the tops are beginning to brown, 15-18 minutes. Be careful not to over-bake them or they will be dry and crumbly.

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.

Yields: 24 cookies

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