One of our favorites comes from my MIL. She’s been making them for years, and I finally began making them a few years ago. They are actually very easy. We call them Mammy’s “Nut Balls”…which is such a super classy name. Don’t you want to go around offering your guests some nut balls? You may want to call them by one of their other names, such as Mexican Wedding Cookies, Italian Wedding Cookies, Russian Tea Cakes, Snowballs, etc. Or…you can just call them nut balls. Your choice.
I tend to make at least 2 batches around the holidays…
2 sticks of butter or margarine (softened) **I use Smart Balance 50/50
2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup powdered sugar (plus more for rolling)
1 cup finely ground roasted pecans (some recipes call for almonds) *roasting optional
2 teaspoons vanilla
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Mix flour and sugar with butter, add pecans. Chill dough, then form 1 teaspoon balls. (Mine are always bigger). Bake 10-15 minutes (depending on size of your balls. haha) Let cool then roll in powdered sugar. (I do this by placing a few at a time in a ziploc bag with powdered sugar in it)
This is a shortbread like cookie. Nothing fancy, but delicious. Unfortunately, I eat waayyy to many of them. I’m already testing the limits of elasticity on my ‘stretch’ jeans. There will be no more treats posted for a while after Christmas. Only healthy stuff. Like salad. With bacon and cheese and …oops. I digress.
And since my Mr. Two can not have these cookies b/c they contain NUTS, I have found a nut-free, egg-free cookie just for him. The original recipe is dairy free as well. I made these for his pre-school Christmas party and let the kids decorate them with marshmallows and mini-M&M;’s. Too cute.
EGG AND NUT FREE GINGERBREAD KIDS originally from Food Allergy Mama
Yield: 2 dozen cookies
1/2 cup Smart Balance 50/50 butter blend
1/2 cup light brown sugar
1/2 cup molasses
1/4 cup unsweetened applesauce
2 1/4 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon ginger
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon cloves
1/8 teaspoon salt
In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, combine the margarine with the brown sugar, molasses, and applesauce. Or use your really crappy hand-held mixer like I did. In a separate medium bowl, combine the flour, baking soda, ginger, cinnamon, cloves, and salt with a wire whisk. Add to the margarine mixture, and mix on medium low for about 1 minute. Chill dough in refrigerator for at least 1 hour.
Preheat oven to 350ºF, and line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper. Roll dough to a 1/4-inch thickness on a lightly floured board. Cut shapes out with cookie cutters dipped in flour, and place shapes on prepared baking sheets. Bake 8 to 10 minutes, or until lightly browned. Cool completely on baking sheets.