Twelve Days of Baking: Hazelnut Snow Drops

November 18, 2011

Day 6: Christmas Hazelnut Snow Drops

These melt in your mouth cookies go by many names including snow drops, snowballs and Russian tea cakes; they are delicate in texture and very rich in taste due to all the butter and nuts. I use hazelnuts in this one but a mix of nuts is nice too. Be sure to grind the nuts to a powder.

Christmas Hazelnut Snow Drops

Makes 2 1/2 dozen

3/4 cup shelled hazelnuts or nuts of your choice
1 cup unsalted butter
1/2 powdered sugar plus extra to roll cookies in
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 1/4 cups cake flour
pinch salt

Grind the nuts to a powder and set aside.

In a bowl with a hand or stand mixer beat the butter and sugar until well blended. Beat in the vanilla, then fold in the nuts.

Combine the flour and salt and slowly beat into the butter mixture until it is well blended.

Scrape the dough, which will be soft into a bowl and cover with plastic wrap. Refrigerate until dough is firm.

Preheat the oven to 350F.

Line two baking sheets with parchment paper and set aside.

Use a spoon or small ice cream scoop to gather up a small amount of the dough and roll under the palm of your hand into a 1-inch round ball.

Place them on the baking sheet, spacing them about 1/2 inch apart.

Bake for about 12-15 minutes or until the tops are firm.

Remove baking sheets from oven. Allow cookies to cool until easy to handle then coat them in powdered sugar and allow to cool complerely.

These freeze beautifully but you may need to re-coat them in sugar once defrosted.

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