Julia Child would love this cookie. These delicate shortbread-style cookies are made with chopped, roasted pecans or walnuts, rolled in powdered sugar and are an elegant addition to any fiesta or party. They are also known with names and variations such as Pecan Balls, Russian Tea Cakes, Snowballs, Pecan Sandies, Swedish Tea Cakes. This is my take on it. The chocolate kiss brings it over the top. Add a cup of coffee on a cool crisp morning and it’s pick up!!
- 1 1/2 cup butter, room temperature
- 3/4 cup powdered sugar
- 3 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 3 cups flour
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 cup pecans or walnuts, chopped, roasted (see below) *I prefer walnuts
- An additional 3/4 cup powdered sugar to roll cookies in
- OPTIONAL: An additional 1/4 teaspoon kosher, rock or sea salt (or salt of your choice)
- OPTIONAL: Package of your favorite Hershey chocolate kisses.
Add butter, powdered sugar and vanilla to a large mixing bowl. Mix at medium-high speed until completely mixed (you can do it by hand though). In a seperate bowl, mix flour and salt. Mix the flour into the butter about 1/2 cup at a time until well incorporated. Carefully fold in the nuts.
Take a small amount of dough and roll it into a one inch ball. Continue and place the balls on a lightly greased cookie sheeet, about 2 inches apart. If you are using chocolate kisses, take enough dough to completely cover the chocolate kiss.
Bake in a 350 degree oven for about 15 minutes. Mix additional powdered sugar. Roll the warm cookies in the powdered sugar mixture. Wait a big until cool, and enjoy!
To Roast Pecans or Walnuts-
Place pecans on a cookie sheet and bake in a 350 degree oven for 8-10 minutes.
Variations and Tips:
If you like a little salt and sweet taste, put a little sea, rock or kosher salt in the powdered sugar mixture that you put the warm cookies in after they bake. The crystals will be too big to melt and you get a unique flavor. Don’t overdo it. A lot goes a long way.
Instead of Hershey’s kisses, you can use dried fruit like cranberry’s, apricots, cherries, prunes, dates, or anything else you like.
For the decadent and over the top treat, use Ferrero Rocher chocolates instead of Hershey Kisses and cover them with the cookie dough before baking. The cookies will be large and beyond decadent. Use your imagination and have fun! They won’t last!