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source: Mandi Ehman

101 Days of Christmas: Walnut Snowballs

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walnut snowballs

I remember my grandmother making these cookies when I was a kid, in her little kitchen in Bowie, MD, with it’s yellow table & chairs and old-time microwave with a spin dial. She’d store them — and what seemed like a million other varieties — in big tupperware containers in the laundry room, pulling them out for me and my Paw-Paw to sneak a taste!

Walnut snowballs — also known as Russian tea cakes or Mexican wedding cakes — have to be one of the simplest Christmas cookies to make. There are relatively few ingredients and just a few simple steps involved, and what you end up with is a delicious, flavorful cookie that’s not overly sweet. Although I hadn’t had or made them in several years before preparing this post, I think these will be part of my regular holiday baking from this year forward.


walnut snowballs


  • 1 cup flour
  • 1/2 cups walnuts, finely chopped
  • 3 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup butter, softened
  • pinch of salt
  • 1 cup powdered sugar, set aside


Preheat oven to 300 degrees F.

Combine flour, walnuts, salt and sugar in a large bowl. Mix in vanilla extract. Cut butter in little pieces and mix together until you have a coarse dough.

Form walnut-size balls from the dough (a melon baller works perfectly!) and place on a cookie sheet 1″ apart.

Bake for 35 minutes.

Let cool slightly and then roll in powdered sugar. Move to a rack to cool completely.

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