12 days of Christmas cookies – Holiday Cookies

First up are these popular cookies my mom and I made only for Christmas, maybe just because the recipe Mom copied from our neighbor Inez was titled “Holiday Cookies” so it never occurred to her to make them in July? The same recipe is all over the internet under various names like Snowballs or Mexican Wedding Cookies. They’re all pretty much alike, some tossing in a little cornstarch (totally unnecessary) or flavoring them with various extracts like peppermint or almond, but they all rely on just a few simple ingredients.

IMG_0911I made these small so we could eat one or two and still have room for tasting all the other varieties that will be baking in the next couple of weeks. I used a #100 scoop, which is 1¼” and makes a ½ gram ball, yielding 3 dozen cookies from this recipe. A #40 scoop is 1⁵/₈” and yields only 20 cookies of almost 1 gram each.

The only extra step here is something you can omit but I always do it. Toasting the walnuts gives them an extra kick of flavor that I think is worth the time. Put walnut halves in a single layer on a cookie sheet and toast for 12-15 minutes at 350°F, watching carefully so they don’t burn. Let them cool before chopping. They’re easy to chop with a sharp butcher knife and you can control the size of the pieces, or invest a few dollars in a nut chopper. It will make smaller pieces but that’s fine for most things, especially cookies.

Come back tomorrow for my favorite cut-out sugar cookie, thin and crispy and perfect for making and frosting with the kids.

– Joan, 3 December 2018



Holiday Cookies

  • Servings: 36 one-inch balls
  • Print

  • 1 cup butter
  • ½ cup powdered sugar
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • ¼ teaspoon table salt (may skip if using salted butter)
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • ½ cup walnuts, toasted and chopped

Preheat oven to 325°F.

IMG_9837Cream butter and sugar. Mix in vanilla extract. Combine salt, flour and chopped nuts and mix into butter/sugar/vanilla. Scoop into balls of desired size. These do not spread as they bake, so they can be positioned close together on a cookie sheet, about 1-2″ apart. Bake at 325°F for 18-25 minutes, depending on size – my little ones were done in 18 minutes. See the photo at left. They will only look a little browned on the bottom.

Cool completely, then toss a few at a time in a bag with powdered sugar to coat. These freeze well…if you can sneak them into the freezer before they’re all gone. Save the powdered sugar coating for after they’re thawed if you opt to freeze.




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