These miniature snowballs were the foundation of the Christmas cookie baking when I was a child. They were always made every year, sometimes a second batch had to be baked as we ate the whole first one before the big day! You can use pecans but I rarely do. Some people call them Mexican Wedding Cookies but we called them Russian Teacakes. For me it is not Christmas without these cookies so I was extremely pleased to find a great recipe.
They are easy to make with not too many ingredients. Be careful lifting them off the pan as they are delicate until fully cooled. The texture and subtle flavor of this GF version is actually superior to the wheat flour recipe of my childhood. They are delightful with a cup of tea or coffee.
If you like them really sweet sprinkle on extra powdered sugar, less of it makes them perfect for those who are not used to too much sweetness. No one will ever know they are GF and you will get complements on their flavor and texture. This recipe is from Annalise Roberts’ fabulous Glutin-Free Baking Classics with very minor changes by me. Enjoy: they are rather addictive cookies!
1 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
6 tbsp. powdered (confectioners) sugar
2 tsp. vanilla extract
2 cups brown rice mix (recipe below)
1 tsp xanthan gum
1 cup walnuts or pecans chopped fine
Confectioner’s sugar for sprinkling
Beat butter and powdered sugar in large bowl of stand mixer until light and creamy. Add vanilla, beat in. Add flour and gum, mix in until well blended, stir in walnuts until distributed. Chill dough for an hour.
Form into 1 inch balls. Roll in confectioners sugar, place on cookie sheet lightly sprayed with Pam (not the bakers version that has flour). Place about 1 ½ inches apart. Bake 12 to 15 minutes until lightly browned on top and bottom. Cool on pan for 5 min and then sprinkle with more powdered sugar before placing on wire rack to cool. Store well wrapped: in airtight container, in fridge for a week or two or freezer for up to 30 days. You could store unbaked dough in fridge for up to three days.
Brown Rice Flour Mix base mix
2 c brown rice flour
2/3 c potato starch
1/3 c tapioca flour
Note: This was originally posted to my old blog site last December (2013). I just made a batch of them Wednesday night. Still totally wonderful.