One of my favorite parts of the holidays is the time spent in the kitchen baking with family and friends. The mess, the aprons, the laughter, the music, and of course, the sweet treats are what make the season feel so special. Not a year goes by where my mom and I don’t make at least a few different types, often involving a cookie press (and some cursing trying to get it to work!).
My parents both grew up with lots of homemade treats in their house. In fact, most of the recipes I use around the holidays come from my grandparents. As a result, my parents, especially my dad, are pretty harsh critics of homemade baked goods! I figured if I was going to create a cookie recipe, it would have to pass my dad’s taste test. I was a little pressed for time around Thanksgiving, but I had made a test batch of these snowball cookies a few days prior. I had no choice but to bring a slightly less than fresh out of the oven batch to their house for the holiday, but they still passed the test with flying colors. I knew I was on to something!
With these cookies, I wanted to come up with something that could be decorated. I don’t often go further than a few sprinkles on some Swedish Spritz cookies in terms of decorating, so this was a challenge! These snowball cookies can really be decorated however you’d like by utilizing a bit of food coloring and different sprinkles, but I liked the look of the pure white with a little sparkle – looks like a snowball, right? 🙂
Need a present for a friend or coworker? Make them some snowball cookies (or this granola)! They’re also sure to please your out of town visitors – especially if there are kiddos around! You can even get the kids involved and let them each decorate and customize a few. They may seem a little bit messy to make at first, but trust me, the frosting will harden a little bit once they have been set out for an hour or so. I recommend covering them plastic wrap (not too tight) and keeping them in the pantry.
What is your favorite sweet treat to make for the holidays?
- 2 cups all purpose flour
- 1/2 cup cake flour
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 2/3 cup butter, softened
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 1 large egg
- 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
- 1 tsp almond extract
- 3 cups powdered sugar
- 1/3 cup butter, softened
- 1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract (use imitation clear for best results)
- 2 tbsp milk, skim
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
- Combine all purpose flour, cake flour, baking powder, and salt in medium bowl.
- In a separate large bowl, beat butter and granulated sugar until thoroughly combined. Beat in egg, vanilla, and almond extract.
- Slowly mix flour mixture into butter mixture, about 1/2 cup at a time. Mix until fully combined, but avoid over-mixing.
- Lay parchment paper onto a cookie sheet.
- Using clean hands, form approximately 1.5-2 inch balls with dough. Use the palm of your hand to flatten slightly on pan.
- Bake approximately 16 minutes to keep cookies soft. If you like cookies firm, bake 18 minutes. If cookies become golden, they will be a bit hard!
- While cookies are cooling, prepare frosting.
- Combine butter and powdered sugar in bowl. Use an electric mixer to combine.
- Mix in vanilla and milk to help frosting form and become smooth.
- Use a butter knife to frost cooled cookies.
- Decorate as desired! Apply sprinkles before frosting has a chance to harden.
- If you're not into the almond flavor, just replace with vanilla extract!
- Nutrition Information (per cookie)
- Calories: 180, Protein: 1.5 g, Fat: 7 g, Carbohydrates: 29 g, Fiber: less than 1 g, Sugar: 11 g, Sodium: 46 mg, Saturated Fat: 4 g