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Are you tired of making the same Christmas cookies every year and want to try something new? I haven’t met anyone who has ever tried these before. My mom calls them “Russian Teacakes” but I have renamed them to Texan Snowballs because they are loaded with finely chopped pecans, and I never heard of pecans coming from Russia, have you?
I also love the irony of snowballs in Texas. I did see snow once or twice during the 18 years I lived there, but never at Christmas time. As a child, I was always afraid Santa wouldn’t bring me any presents because he couldn’t land his sleigh without the snow (but somehow he came through every year!)
Pecans vs. Walnuts
I can rarely buy pecans in Germany, so I buy in bulk when I can get my hands on them. I always prefer them over walnuts. When compared to walnuts, pecans are less oily and bitter. When baked, pecans have a wonderfully warm, roasted flavor that a walnut just can’t beat. They have a well-rounded aroma that perfectly complements butter and vanilla.
Texan Snowballs are not too sweet and the butter makes them quite filling, making it impossible to eat too many of them – even if you wanted to. They are simple to make; so if you’re making lots of different cookies on the same day, this recipe is right up your alley. The prep time can be minimized even more if you use a food processor.
- 1 Cup butter, softened
- 1/2 Cup powdered suger
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 2-1/4 Cups flour
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 3/4 Cups finely chopped pecans or walnuts
- Preheat oven to 400°F
- Mix thoroughly: butter, sugar and vanilla
- Work in: flour, salt and nuts until dough holds together
- Shape dough into 1-inch balls
- Place the balls on an ungreased cookies sheet
- Bake for 10-12 minutes or until set but not brown.
- While warm: roll in powdered sugar
- Cool completely
- Roll in powdered sugar again