These little gems are known by many names - Mexican Wedding Cakes, Russian Tea Cookies, Snowdrops, etc. Whatever you call them, they are delicious, and to me they scream Christmas! I was first introduced to these when I was dating my husband. They are his mother's favorite Christmas cookie and I see why. They have very few ingredients, but are so nutty and crumbly and delicious, and of course they look like little snowballs! The dough is not like your traditional sugar or chocolate chip cookie, so don't be alarmed. These are easy to make and look very festive on a plate of goodies. Give them a try!
Tips: As I mentioned, dough is not normal cookie dough. There are no eggs in this recipe so the dough is very crumbly - that's how it should be. Also, there is no baking powder/soda, so they don't change shape at all. If you want your cookies to come out as perfectly rounded, smooth-topped balls, make sure you shape them that way because they come out looking exactly the way they did when they went in. :) I've heard you can also make these with almonds, walnuts, hazelnuts, macadamia nuts, etc., but this is the traditional way (with pecans).
1/2 c. powdered sugar
1 c. butter (2 sticks), softened
2 1/2 c. sifted flour
1/4 tsp. salt
1 tsp. vanilla
1 c. very finely chopped pecans
additional powdered sugar, for rolling
Cream together butter and sugar. Add the flour, salt, vanilla, and pecans, and mix until fully incorporated. Refrigerate the dough for 1-2 hours.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Form dough into 1.5" balls (you'll have to kind of squeeze the dough together) and place close together on an ungreased cookie sheet. I can fit the entire batch on one cookie sheet. Bake for 10-15 minutes, until the bottoms are lightly browned. Remove from cookie sheet and roll in additional powdered sugar while still warm. Cool on a wire rack.
Makes about 2 dozen.
Source: Debbie Nowland