Minty Snowball Treats for the Holidays

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What's it about

These cookies are super simple to make. Inspired by Russian tea cakes we added crushed candy canes for a minty flavor to represent the holidays.

Frosty Snowball Cookies

These are inspired by Russian tea cakes or cookies as I call them. These are my second favorite cookie of all time. What I love is the irresistible crumbly texture that would seem dry, but it works with the generous coating of powdered sugar. They would taste great with milk tea. It’s funny that I don’t recall where or when I first tried them. It was a long time ago and the cakes or cookies always had a certain familiarity. They go by many names with a history that started in Europe then progressed through Latin America. It is amazing how simple and fast they are to prepare. I used to think there was some great mystery and elaborate technique for making snowball cookies. In actuality, it is easier than basic shortbread.

Marcella Onishi

There’s a small cookie business in Southern California called Kelly’s Cookies. The company was started by a woman named Marcella Onishi. She was a wonderful and kind person full of positivity. I loved talking to her about life and her favorite hobby, hula dancing. We used to buy cookies from her for our dessert recipes. In addition, she would generously send us boxes of cookies for free every year along with her homemade jellies. Eventually she sold the company and retired, but it still operates today. Sadly, Marcella passed away a few years ago. Today, her legacy still lives on. Part of my routine when I venture to Southern California involves two bags of Macadamia Nut Chocolate Chip and Melting Moments cookies. Kelly’s Cookies Melting Moments are Russian Tea Cakes. These favorites are what inspired my frosty snowball cookies.

PREPARING THE FROSTY SNOWBALL COOKIES

STEP 1

Preheat oven to 400F.

STEP 2

Using a stand mixer, cream the butter with the sugar and vanilla. Then, still using the paddle attachment, add the the flour, salt and walnuts.

STEP 3

Form balls about 1″ in diameter. If using a scoop portion 2 ounces each. Place on a greased baking pan or a sheet pan lined with Silpat. Space them about 3 inches apart.

STEP 4

Bake for 11 minutes.

STEP 5

Remove and cool. Toss in powdered sugar to completely coat each cookie. Roll the cookies in the crushed candy cane. Shelf life at room temperature is 3 days. They can also be stored in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks.

These cookies usually go pretty fast. If you are a cookie monster like my husband, bury a couple deep in a bag of powdered sugar for that midnight cookie fix.

front view of snowball peppermint tea cookies with crushed candy canes

I forgot to mention my all time favorite cookie. See our post for Tahitian Vanilla Browned Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies with Walnuts. They are scrumptious!

Enjoy!

Yield: 30 COOKIES

Frosty Snowball Cookies

Frosty Snowball Cookies

These cookies are super simple to make. Inspired by Russian tea cakes we added crushed candy canes for a minty flavor to represent the holidays.

Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 55 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 15 minutes

Ingredients

  • 2-1/4 cups all purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup + 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 2 sticks unsalted butter (1 cup)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla or almond extract
  • 3/4 cup walnuts, finely chopped
  • 1/4 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1/4 cup candy canes, crushed

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 400F.
  2. Using a stand mixer with a paddle attachment, cream the butter with the sugar and vanilla.
  3. Add the flour, salt and walnuts and mix until incorporated.
  4. Form balls about 1" in diameter. If using a scoop portion 2 ounces each. Place on a greased baking pan or a sheet pan lined with Silpat. Space them about 3 inches apart.
  5. Bake for 11 minutes. Bottoms will turn golden brown.
  6. Remove and cool. Toss in powdered sugar to completely coat each cookie. Roll the cookies in the crushed candy cane. Shelf life at room temperature is 3 days. They can also be stored in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks.

Enjoy!

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