I make batches and batches of these scrumptious little powdered sugar covered balls every year. I don't know why we love them so much.
Okay, yes I do. They're not too big, or too small. They're not overly sweet. The recipe doubles easily, and I can fit alot on a cookie sheet. They're good with, or without, the nuts. They're good with coffee, or tea, or hot chocolate. Everyone seems to like them.
And there's a story to go along with the recipe, but you probably knew that was coming. When I was in the second grade I was very sick. It seemed like I was sick for a very long time. Long enough to become overly attached to my mother, and fearful of returning to school. My mother, wise woman that she is, tried to help me assimilate, and reconnect with my classmates. So one day we made Russian Teacakes. I don't remember if they had nuts or not, probably not, since kids really don't like nuts. At any rate, I took the little cookies to school and proudly shared them with my classmates, which helped me come out of my shy little shell and actually interract with the other kids. That was a very hard year for me, but thanks to my Mom, and the Russian Teacake recipe from the red Betty Crocker Cookbook, my adjustment was made just a little easier. Amazing what sticks with a seven year old child, isn't it?
When the kids were little I didn't add nuts to the recipe and they were called Snow Balls. For teachers, neighbors, friends, co-workers, the mail person, whomever, they look darling tied up in cello treat bags printed with snowmen, packaged in mugs, or cute little plates...you get the idea. And, the dough is easy for kids to handle. It's messy, but they love to roll them in the powdered sugar!
1 cup margarine or butter, softened (I use margarine)
1/2 cup powdered sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 1/4 cups all purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup finely chopped nuts
Heat oven to 400 degrees. Mix margarine, 1/2 cup powdered sugar and the vanilla. Mix in flour, salt, and nuts until dough holds together. Shape dough into 1-inch balls. Place about 1 inch apart on ungreased cookie sheet. Bake until set but not brown, 10-12 minutes. Roll in powdered sugar while warm; cool. Roll in powdered sugar again. Makes about 4 dozen.
I know you're wondering if I added lavender to this recipe. Yes, I did. But, not wanting to mess with tradition, I made a few for myself. First I ground the lavender and mixed it with the powdered sugar for rolling, then I added lavender buds to the dough. The verdict? Both variations were good, but there was a stronger lavender taste when the buds were added to the dough. It's a matter of taste whether you like a milder or stronger lavender note.
Wishing you a day filled with Christmas happiness! Cathy
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