I love to give cookies at Christmas. From your child’s teachers and coaches, to neighbors and friends alike, a tin of cookies is a gift of the heart. And while many of my kids had a well meaning parent collecting donations for a group gift from the class (sometimes that parent was even me!), I always had them make a plate of cookies as well. It was very important to me to teach my sons that Christmas was a time of giving, and having them personally hand off cookies they had helped bake was a great way to illustrate this point. And on years where we were not participating in some type of group gift I would tie a gift card for Peet’s or Starbucks into the bow. If I really needed to start every day with coffee to deal with two kids I can only imagine how much is required to spend seven hours with 25 of them!
I picked this cookie to kick off the Christmas baking season for a few reason. First and foremost, it is my Granny’s recipe. They are not overly sweet, even though they are coated in powdered sugar, which is perhaps why this recipe was kept alive by my aunt during the years when I couldn’t see the point in baking anything that wasn’t chocolate. But the key to any good cookie assortment is variety, both in taste and appearance, and these Christmas Snowballs are the perfect addition.
Second, and perhaps even more importantly, these cookies were made to hang around for a week or two while you finish up the rest of your baking. The recipe says, “best when made a week or two ahead”, and Granny was not kidding when she put that down. Just store them airtight and they will not only still be fine when you get around to arranging your cookie tins, they will be all the better!
As with the great majority of my Granny’s recipes, this one is not heavy on instruction. So, a few key details to note from someone who has made it a few times:
Find the full recipe or Almond Christmas Balls here, I will be back later this week with a few more great “make ahead” cookies. Until then, happy baking!
- 1 cup butter
- 1/4 cup powdered sugar
- 2 cups all purpose flour sifted
- 1 cup ground almonds or walnuts
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- Cream butter and sugar together. Add flour, ground nuts, and vanilla and mix well.
- Form into small balls and place on greased* cookie sheet. Bake at 325° for 35 minutes.
- Roll in powdered sugar to coat while still hot. Cool completely on rack and store in airtight container. Best when made a week or two ahead.