Snowball Cookies

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My dad doesn’t remember a lot of recipes from his childhood. The ones he does remember are because the meals were so bad he refused to eat them. He had a rather rough childhood and there are a lot of stories that just crush me to hear. In fact, he started cooking for himself very early on in life. It’s not that they didn’t have food or my grandparents didn’t cook, but he often didn’t like the food they were preparing. In their house, if you didn’t like it you didn’t eat. The recipes he came up with are still some of my favorites. This Christmas we flipped through my grandma’s boxes of recipes, calling out several along the way. These snowball cookies are one of the few that he remembered that he actually got excited about! 

Recipe Origination

Typically, on this quest for trying recipes, I will tell you what book the recipe is from and who submitted it. However, I did include, as part of the goal, that recipes on cards could be included if I had not tried them before. I got 2 full boxes of recipes off of an auction and 2 more boxes from my grandma after she passed. There are a ton of recipes in these boxes that I want to try and they will still achieve the goal of stretching my cooking abilities.

This particular snowball cookie recipe is from the kitchen of my grandma, Marta Langlois. It’s so worn and used that I can tell it was one that she made often. They’re my favorite kind. I just love seeing a recipe that was well loved and well used in my kitchen. I can’t explain it but it fills my heart in a very particular, special way. It’s one way that I can carry on old traditions and bring the past to a modern age. 

Recipe Card for snowball cookies.
Look how old and worn the recipe is! It warms my heart to keep using it.

Snowball Cookie Ingredients

  • 1 cup oleo ( 2 sticks of butter)
  • 1.5 cup powdered sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tsp cream of tartar
  • 2 ½ cup flour
  • 1 cup chopped pecans
  • 1 tsp baking soda
The cookie dough will be on the drier side but easy to roll into small balls.

Directions

  • Preheat oven to 400.
  • Mix all ingredients except powdered sugar.
  • Roll into small balls.
Roll the dough into small balls.
Roll the dough into small balls.
  • Bake 8-10 minutes. 
  • While still warm, roll in powdered sugar.
Roll the cookie in powdered sugar making it look *gasp* like a snowball!
Roll the cookie in powdered sugar making it look *gasp* like a snowball!
  • Cool.
  • Roll in powdered sugar again if desired.
Snowball cookies.
Snowball cookies.

Tips & Tricks

I was terrified I was making the snowball cookies incorrectly! There are no sweeteners in the actual cookie portion. Surely my grandma wrote something down incorrectly. Should a portion of the powdered sugar be included in the dough portion? No, the directions are actually correct. These aren’t the sweetest cookies but they are delicious. The powdered sugar on the outside adds just a hint of sweetness that makes them perfect. My dad really enjoys drier cookies that he can dunk in his coffee. As a kid, he remembers not liking these cookies. Then, as he got older, he loved to dunk them in coffee. As an adult, he filled up a great big bag of these cookies to keep for his coffee after Christmas.

That brings me to my next note, these are crumbly and drier. Make sure you are not just running around with them because they will get crumbs everywhere. They are also messy because of the powdered sugar. Just like those powdered sugar donuts that get everywhere, these cookies will leave a little sugar wherever they go. 

When the directions say “while still warm, roll in powdered sugar” this can be a dangerous step. Basically it’s saying, take this hot cookie and roll it around in powdered sugar. I highly recommend using a spoon. I made the mistake of using my fingers for a couple and simultaneously burning my fingertips. Put the powdered sugar in a bowl, add the cookie, and use a spoon to roll it around. Once it’s done put it on a drying rack or plate. 

Use a spoon to roll your cookies in powdered sugar.
Use a spoon to roll your cookies in powdered sugar.

My powdered sugar was a little clumpy. I would recommend that if you have clumpy powdered sugar that you sift it first. I skipped it and thought it would be fine but it made the cookie rolling a little more difficult than it needed to be. 

Variations

When I first made these I thought for sure that the pecans were replaceable. I could replace them with another nut, peanuts perhaps? I gave it a try and threw in some festive M&Ms as well because I had some leftover from another dish. They were good, but not the same as the pecans. 

There is another recipe that I saw that used 1 cup of peanut butter instead of butter. I haven’t tried these ones quite yet but I think it’ll add an exciting element! Honestly, I think the peanut butter would make the peanut version of these taste incredible. Be on the lookout for this recipe because I really think it will be something. It will probably have to wait until next Christmas, but if it’s as good as I’m anticipating it’ll be worth the wait. I’m a big peanut butter fan though so anything with peanut butter in it entices me. 

What cookie recipes do you remember from your childhood? Are you still making them? We keep a lot of traditions around Christmas. Each year we celebrate Christmas Eve with steaks, potatoes, jello, and, our favorite, my mom’s amazing Christmas desserts. We will be adding these snowball cookies to the mix each year specially for my dad. We love dunking them in our coffee as a special treat. I’m thankful to have the recipe and blessed to be able to make these for him.

snowball cookies.

Snowball Cookies

An old cookie recipe that we love dunked in coffee.
Course Dessert
Cuisine American

Ingredients
  

  • 1 cup oleo 2 sticks of butter
  • 1.5 cups powdered sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp cream of tartar
  • 1.5 cups flour
  • 1 cup chopped pecans
  • 1 tsp baking soda

Instructions
 

  • Preheat ove to 400.
  • Mix all ingredients except the powdered sugar.
  • Roll into small balls.
  • Bake 8-10 minutes.
  • While still warm, roll in powdered sugar.
  • Cool.
  • Roll in powdered sugar again, if desired.

Notes

The powdered sugar is only for the outside of the cookie, not in the dough.
Use a spoon to roll the cookies in powdered sugar so you don’t burn your fingers like I did.
Keyword christmas, Cookie

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