I love these little snowball cookies! They’re so satisfying in a very innocent, childish way– no complicated flavors, just the sweet cloud of powdered sugar surrounding a melting shortbread cookie. This type of cookie goes under many names and almost everyone at one time or another has had one, but I keep mine very simple– using a little cinnamon as the only flavoring.
December is the time for cookies– the oven warms up the house and the tender fragrances coming from the kitchen fill the air with sweetness and spice. In fact, I’ve had such a constant parade of cookies passing through my kitchen that yesterday I made a decree that no more cookies would I make this week. That did not last long and here we are.
This recipe for snowball cookies is about as simple as you can get for them– no nuts, no vanilla, no baking soda/powder. This cookie seems destined for the kind of day when you’re stuck home doing a million odds and ends– the dough comes glamorously and smoothly together in a few minutes before a quick turn in the oven. After that, they cool for a few minutes before a toss in sugar. They stay out a little longer ’til they’re completely cool before a final roll in sugar. Everything except the time for baking is malleable– they simply just need to sit and cool on a rack for a little while you putter away at your chores.
It’s as easy to double the batch as it is to make one batch, if you need to supply a lot of them— plus you have the satisfaction of using an impressive pound of butter! To make your life easy, make sure the butter is truly room temperature. Either remember to leave it out (I never do) or let the sticks of butter sit on top of the oven while it is preheating for a few minutes– the ambient heat will quickly soften it.
- 2 sticks of unsalted butter, softened (1 cup)
- 1/2 cup powdered sugar
- 2 cups of flour
- 1/4 tsp. salt
- 1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
- To finish: 1/2 cup powdered sugar
Preheat the oven to 325. blend the 1/2 cup powdered sugar and softened butter together the bowl of a food processor, stand mixer, or in a regular bowl with an electric hand-mixer. Add in the flour, salt, and cinnamon and carefully combine (so flour doesn’t get everywhere!).Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and roll out this luxuriously smooth dough into about 36 balls about the size of a small walnut. You should be able to fit all these on one baking sheet (another huge benefit of this simple recipe!)– they don’t spread out as much as normal cookies do, so you only need about an inch around them.
Bake in the oven for 11-14 minutes, check after 11 minutes (more information at WannaPasta.Com). They should be light honey-colored on the bottom, but no darker. Remove them to a cooling rack and let them rest for about 5 minutes. While they are still slightly warm, put them into a large bowl and sprinkle over 1/4 cup powdered sugar. Use a rubber spatula to gently turn them over. The sugar will absorb and form a sort of light crust on the exterior– this is what we want. Shake away the excess sugar and remove them to a cooling rack where you’ll let them rest until they are completely cool. You could wait anywhere from 20 minutes to an hour or more.
Take a bath, take a shower, read a book, make some sauce– anything you’d like!When they are cool put them all back into the bowl (they’ll be a little harder now) and sprinkle over the remaining 1/4 cup powdered sugar. Use the spatula or shake them around until they are fully rolled and rather resemble snowballs. Place them in a tight container until ready to devour!