A couple weeks after posting a recipe for pistachio walnut snowballs, and three years after developing a chocolate chestnut snowball, I came up with yet another variation on my favorite holiday cookie. Also known as Russian tea cakes and Mexican wedding cookies, snowballs are typically made from shortbread dough infused with pecans, almonds, or walnuts. After baking, the subtly sweet cookies are rolled in powdered sugar for a snowy appearance. I tossed in some mini chocolate chips, adding an extra layer of flavor and texture to these rich, nutty, crumbly treats.
Chocolate Chip Snowball Cookies
Recipe adapted from Tish Boyle’s The Good Cookie
2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup pecans, toasted
1/2 cup walnuts, toasted
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened at room temperature
1/3 cup powdered sugar, plus an additional 2/3 cup for rolling
1 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
1/3 cup mini dark chocolate chips
Note: Feel free to try substituting regular-sized chocolate chips if mini ones are not available.
- Preheat oven to 325 º F and line a large baking sheet (or two baking sheets) with parchment paper.
- Place pecans and walnuts in bowl of food processor. Measure flour, and place in a large mixing bowl. Remove one tablespoon of flour and add to the food processor bowl (this will prevent the nuts from turning into a paste when processed.) Pulse until finely ground. Pour nuts into the bowl with the flour. Add salt, and stir until thoroughly combined.
- In a large bowl, cream together butter and sugar by hand or with a mixer until light and airy, about two minutes. Add vanilla extract. Stir in flour mixture until just combined, then add chocolate chips.
- Scoop heaping tablespoons of dough and roll into balls using the palms of your hands. Place cookies about an inch apart on prepared baking sheet(s.)
- Bake for 18-20 minutes, until firmly set (check the bottoms of the cookies; they should just begin to turn golden brown.) Let cool for five minutes.
- Place 2/3 cup confectioner’s sugar in a bowl, and roll cookies in sugar until thoroughly coated. Sprinkle additional powdered sugar on top before serving.
- Store at room temperature in an airtight container.