Christmas baking is one of the best things about the holiday season! But there are just too many recipes and too little time. That's why these EASY Gingerbread Snowball Cookies are the perfect cookie to make this time of year! They are a little twist on the classic snowball cookie.
Super quick and easy to make, these cookies are unique in that they taste like delicate little cakes. During the holiday season, they also make a great edible gift or addition to any holiday platter!
These little snowball Christmas cookies have a number of names, snowballs being only one of them because they actually do look like little snowballs. However, they are also known as Pecan Sandies or Pecan Balls (when they are made with pecans), Russian tea cakes, and by their most well-known name, Mexican wedding cookies or cake cookies.
You can also make these gingerbread snowman cookies! 🙂
For these gingerbread snowballs, you'll need:
- unsalted butter
- white granulated sugar
- all-purpose flour
- ground almond
- powdered sugar/icing sugar
- red and green sparkling sugar
I usually make my snowball cookies with ground pecans, but I decided to try ground almond instead. Snowball cookies can be made with other nuts (ground or chopped) and since almond is so mild tasting, I added some gingerbread flavor to spice things up, as gingerbread lends such a festive flair for the holiday season. And WOW. I was blown away by how delicious these cookies are! I mean, they are sooo good, to begin with, but gingerbread made them GREAT!
There are some variations, but your typical Mexican wedding cake cookie is a simple light, buttery and cakey cookie, formed into a ball, comprised of finely chopped nuts and rolled in confectioner's sugar, aka powdered sugar or icing sugar, as we like to call it in Canada.
💭History of Mexican Wedding cookies
Food historians believe that origins of the Mexican Wedding cake cookie is far removed from Mexico, going back to medieval Arab cookery; the Middle East has a long tradition of special -occasion pastries. And although it has a rich heritage, it didn't actually make it's debut in American cookbooks until the 1950's when Tex- Mex became popularized in the U.S. . In Mexico itself, Mexican wedding cake cookies are known as polvorones. They're very popular and can be found in most bakeries. But in Mexico, just be sure to ask for them by their proper name or you might encounter blank stares or confused looks. You can read more about the history of these cookies HERE.
It's best to make this recipe with a food processor (affiliate link), but if you don't have one, you can use a mixer. You will also need a baking sheet. You could also use a small cookie scoop.
- These Christmas snowball cookies can be stored, in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 4 days.
- This recipe freezes well for up to 3 months. *However, you are best to decorate/ice the cookies once they are defrosted. If you add the powdered sugar coating before freezing it will just melt off when thawed.
These almond snowball cookies can be made in under 30 minutes, leaving you more time to do all the other things you want to do over the holiday season (perhaps even more baking?), making these Gingerbread snowballs the ultimate Christmas cookie.
MERRY CHRISTMAS BAKING!!!
💭Here are some other ideas for your holiday platters
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📋 Gingerbread Snowball Cookies Recipe
- ¼ cup powdered/icing sugar
- red and green sparkling sugar
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F/176 degrees C.
- In a food processor mix butter, white granulated sugar, salt, vanilla, flour, ground almond, ginger and cinnamon process until mixture clings together. * I found this is the best way to make these.
- Alternatively, if you are using a mixer, beat butter, then add granulated sugar, salt, vanilla, ginger and cinnamon. Then beat in as much flour as possible with the mixer, stirring in remaining flour and ground almond with a large spoon.
- Shape into balls (at least an 1- 1.5 inches in size) . * If you are having difficulty forming them into balls, you can wet your hands a little to make it easier
- Place a ½ inch to 1 inch apart on an ungreased cookie sheet.
- Bake in preheated oven for for about 15-20 minutes or until bottoms are lightly browned.
- Transfer to wired rack and cool for 5 minutes.
- Mix powdered sugar with red and green sparkling sugar. Roll each snowball in mixture.
- Sprinkle on additional green and red sparking sugar as desired.