Christmas cookie season is in full bloom at my house and I'm so excited to share this recipe with you all! These cookies have a special place in my heart, and in my tummy! I had never tried these cookies until I spent a Christmas with my husband's family. His mom had made a gigantic batch of these and I think I was responsible for eating 90% of that batch. I am usually pretty good about sweets, limiting myself, even around the holidays, but I just couldn't say no to these delicious, powdered sugary delights. As if a wonderful husband AND an amazing family-in-law weren't enough, I knew I really hit the jackpot when I tasted these cookies!
This year, I asked my MIL for the recipe and I was really surprised at how easily these cookies come together! Flour, sugar, salt, vanilla, walnuts, and of course, the star of the show...butter!
Come on people, it's the holidays! ;)
You mix everything together and you're left with a super sticky, buttery dough. A couple important things to remember...#1 the recipe calls for chopped walnuts, but I used half chopped and the other half I put in the blender until they were almost pureed. This way you not only got chunks of walnuts, but also walnut flavor running throughout the cookie. #2 You really have to let the butter come to room temperature before you use it. Dont try microwaving it, it just won't work. The good news is that butter can be left out for quite a while, so take it out at night before you go to bed, or before you leave for work in the morning and it will be just fine and ready to melt into the buttery dough.
After you bake the cookies, which come out golden brown and perfect, it's time for the fun (and messy!) part. While they are still warm, roll each cookie in powdered sugar. You'll want to use a wire rack and line several paper towels or clean dish towels underneath - unless you want your counter covered in powdered sugar, that is!
But these cookies don't just get one layer of powdered sugar - no, no, no. After you roll them the first time and let them cool a bit, you give them a second coating of powdered sugar. There isn't a ton of sugar in the dough, so this double coating is really necessary, plus it makes the cookies look really pretty!
I love these cookies so much we even put them in the welcome bags for our wedding! My MIL made millions of them and wrapped them up for all of our guests. Everyone loved having the little treat in the bag at their hotel. I know any holiday guests you have will love them just as much!
Recipe: Butter Balls
- 1 cup butter
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 2 1/4 cups flour
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla
- 1 cup chopped walnuts
- powdered sugar
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees
- Cream butter and sugar in an electric mixer until very fluffy, about 3 minutes.
- Slowly add flour, salt, vanilla, and walnuts. Mix until blended (dough will be very sticky!)
- Roll into very small balls and place on a parchment or silpat lined baking sheet.
- Bake for 18-22 minutes, until lightly browned.
- While still warm, roll in powdered sugar, allow to cool slightly and roll again.
- Note: these cookies freeze really well!