A cookie by any other name…
Gluten-free snowball cookies are also known as Mexican Wedding Cakes, Russian Tea Cakes, Swedish Tea Cakes, Pecan Butterballs, Pecan Sandies, Polvorónes, Cinnamon Balls and Austrian Crescents. These cookies are all variations of the same thing. The only difference between the versions is which nut is used, what shape they are and whether or not they have cinnamon in them.
Gluten Free, Egg Free & Dairy Free
These cookies work well with most 1:1 gluten-free flour blends (Better Batter Original -use coupon code CHEFALINA for 35% off every order, Cup4Cup, King Arthur Measure for Measure, Bob’s Red Mill 1:1) as well as both of my Homemade mix recipes. They are naturally egg free and easy to make dairy free by substituting plant butter for the butter in the recipe.*
Gluten-Free Snowball Cookies
- 224 grams unsalted butter, softened to room temperature (can sub plant butter)
- 100 grams confectioners’ sugar
- 2 teaspoons vanilla
- 290 grams 1:1 gluten-free flour blend
- pinch salt (leave out if using salted plant butter)
- ½ teaspoon cinnamon (optional)
- 100 grams finely chopped and toasted pecans (or walnuts, almonds, or hazelnuts)
- Confectioners' sugar for coating
Using a stand mixer or hand mixer, beat the butter on medium speed until completely smooth and creamy. Add the confectioners’ sugar and vanilla, and beat on medium-high speed until combined and creamy. Scrape down the bowl as needed.
Lower the mixer speed, and slowly add the flour, salt and cinnamon (if using). Once all the flour is added, turn the mixer up to medium-high speed, so the dough will come together. Add in the chopped nuts.
Cover the dough tightly, and chill in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes or up to four days.
If chilling for more than a few hours, let the dough sit at room temperature for at least 30 minutes before rolling into balls. The cookie dough will be stiff after being in the fridge that long.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Line two baking sheets with parchment paper or silicone baking mats; set aside.
Put the confectioners’ sugar for coating into a bowl or a bag. (I like to use a bag, and shake to coat.)
Using a tablespoon or a small cookie scoop, roll dough into a ball, and place on the baking sheets at least 1½ inches apart.
Bake about 15 minutes, until golden brown on the bottom edges and just barely browned on top (can be slightly longer if using vegan butter).
Allow the cookies to cool for five minutes on the baking sheet, then very gently roll them or shake in the confectioners’ sugar to coat. Place the cookies on wire racks to cool completely. The confectioners’ sugar will melt a bit and get sticky; that is what you want.
When cookies are completely cooled, roll in confectioners’ sugar again.
These cookies will stay fresh in an airtight container at room temperature for up to one week.
*My preference for dairy-free butter is Miyoko's; however, they will also work with Earth Balance, Country Crock and Melt. If you are using plant-based butter, they may need to chill longer. You may also need to increase the baking time by three to five minutes.