Dee’s Snowball Cookies
1 Cup, Butter, unsalted & softened
1/2 Cup, Confectioner’s Sugar
Additional Confectioner’s Sugar for coating cookies
1 Teaspoon, Pure Vanilla Extract
1/2 Teaspoon, Rum Extract *optional
2 1/4 Cups, All-Purpose Flour
1 Teaspoon, Salt
1 Cup, Pecan, toasted and finely chopped
On the stove, over medium-low heat add your pecans to a saute pan. Keep a close eye on them and flip nuts several times or use a wooden spoon to continuously toss them around to cook evenly and to avoid burning them. Toast for about 5-8 minutes or so, just until they start to become nice and fragrant and they turn a little darker in color. Remove from heat and set aside to cool.
While pecans are cooling, make the cookie dough. In a standing mixer, add the butter and powdered sugar and mix until creamy. Add the salt, vanilla and rum and mix well. Slowly start to add the flour and mix until all combined.
Chop the pecans: using a small or large food processor, add the pecans and give them several pulses to chop them. I like to have most of the pecans very finely chopped but try and leave a small amount of them slightly bigger. You can chop them to any size you like.
Add the chopped pecans to the mixer and combine all your ingredients just until the dough starts to form a ball. Remove, cover with plastic wrap and place in fridge for at least an hour or so. You want to chill the dough before baking the cookies.
Preheat oven to 350 Degrees.
Once chilled, remove dough from fridge. Form dough into about 1″ balls and place onto an un-greased baking sheet. Bake for approx. 10-12 minutes or just until the bottoms of the cookies start to turn light brown in color and the cookie isn’t too soft to touch. Remove from oven and set aside to cool.
Coat the cookies in the remaining confectioner’s sugar; you’ll want to do this while the cookies are still slightly warm. Set the cookies onto a cooling rack. You can roll them in the confectioner’s sugar again a 2nd time if they look like they need more.
I buy/use whole pecans. I toast the nuts while they are still whole. It is also less expensive if you buy whole nuts and chop them yourself.
Toasting the pecans gives them a much more intense flavor and takes this cookie to a whole new level. Because nuts naturally have oils, toasting them first brings out their oils and helps to keep the cookie from drying out.
I usually toast the nuts on the stove but you can also place them on a baking sheet and toast them in the oven at 325 degrees for about 10-12 minutes. No tossing necessary if toasting them in the oven. Let the nuts cool before chopping them.
You don’t have to use the Rum Extract but I love the extra flavor they give to this cookie. I have made them with and without and love them both ways. The Rum just gives them another layer of flavor and everyone seems to like them that way.
These cookies also freeze very well. Around the Holidays I keep batches of them in my freezer and pull out however many I need to make homemade gifts or to serve company. They thaw out very quickly too!
Coating the cookies: I add the confectioner’s sugar to a large plastic freezer bag or a large Tupperware type container, add the cookies and lightly toss to coat them. I will even freeze the cookies in the bag with some of the sugar so they don’t stick.