15 December, 2010

Snowball Cookies

Less than two weeks to go until Christmas!! I am still struggling a bit to get into the festive mood. Perhaps it's because we have to combine so many traditions. Germans, for instance, put up their Christmas tree on Christmas Eve in the morning. The German Santa brings presents on Christmas Eve in the evening (so from Christmas Day on we can focus on food). Germans also celebrate the four Advent Sundays before Christmas by lighting a candle of the advent wreath each Sunday. Here in Dubai you only get wreaths with three candles. As everything is ready-made and out of plastic (as conifers don't grow in this region), there is no chance you can do one yourself with four candles. My husband is South African. They pretty much do what the English do (if I may say so) for Christmas. But husband has got Portuguese roots too. Apparently they put up their Christmas tree on 16 December. That's tomorrow.
Over dinner tonight we have agreed on this: Christmas tree up tomorrow according to Portuguese tradition. Santa will come on Christmas Day according to South African tradition, but actually more for practical reasons, as the kids will get outdoor toys or stuff that needs time to set up. Better to be done in the morning than at night. 
No idea yet what we'll have for Christmas lunch. I'll make some simple Christmas cookies as we have organized a little Xmas party for the kids in the neighborhood, that the kids can decorate with icing and sprinkles. 
For the parents I'll make another batch of these highly addictive snowball cookies. It's an amazingly simple recipe with no-fuss ingredients, little sugar and amazing in taste. These delicious cookies deserve to be baked and eaten by as many people as possible. To me they are the ultimate must-try Christmas cookies.

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SNOWBALL COOKIES

(Print Recipe)

1 cup whole wheat flour (or buckwheat flour if you want it gluten free)
1 1/2 cups walnuts, finely chopped
3 tablespoons palm sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
100g/4oz unsalted butter (at room temperature)
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup powdered sugar

Yields 20-25
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Preheat oven to 160C/300F. Line baking sheet with parchment paper. 
Mix flour, walnuts, salt, sugar in a large bowl. Add the vanilla extract. Cut butter into little pieces. Rub the butter into the flour mixture until it resembles a coarse meal. Form the dough into small balls (approx. size of a walnut) and place on the baking sheet. Leave some space between the cookies on the sheet.
Bake for 30-35 minutes. While they are still warm, but cool enough to touch, roll the cookies in some powdered sugar. Set aside on a rack to cool completely. When cool, dust again in powdered sugar.

7 comments:

  1. So much baking on my to do list this weekend - and think I'll add these - they look beautiful. I'd like to make some lebkuchen (spelling?!) too.

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  2. Give those snowballs a go. I highly recommend them.
    Lebkuchen spelling is spot on, Sally. I should make some too. At least our Christmas tree is up, as promised in the post.....

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  3. I love reading about traditions in different countries, cultures and how food is always there to bring every component together. Your photos are gorgeous, I'll make these tonight.

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  4. That is so funny for me to stumble onto this post, inspired by the snowball cookie from Simply Recipes. I made the other recipe in that post, the Icicle Candy - and that posted today. The snowball cookies you made look delicious! I love the powdered sugar - they remind me of those little sugar doughnuts!

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  5. This is an awesome photo! You should share it at http://www.dishfolio.com/

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  6. I love to learn about different traditions from other parts of the world. I'm not a very Christmas-y person myself, but I enjoy this time of the year so much. Those are some beautiful cookies!

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  7. Hi Anja, these were excellent, lots of walnuts, not too sweet and delicious! Thank you.

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