The classic snowball without any of the gluten - these gluten free snowball cookies are buttery, nutty, and all things delicious. This holiday favorite tastes perfect alongside a cup of coffee or hot tea.
Even though these cookies taste good year round Christmas just isn't the same without snowball cookies.
What are snowball cookies?
Snowball cookies are round butter cookies similar to a shortbread but they have finely chopped nuts in them and are rolled into balls before baking. Once baked they are rolled in powdered sugar to add sweetness and of course make them look like a snowball hence the name.
They are also referred to as Russian tea cakes, Italian wedding cookies, or Mexican wedding cookies. This is an incredibly delicious (and slightly addictive) gluten free version!
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Why you will love them
- They're super fun and easy to make.
- They look so darn pretty
- Buttery, rich, and nutty
- Perfect with a cup of coffee (or milk!)
But honestly does anyone really need a good reason to eat a delicious cookie? I think not.
You only need seven ingredients for these gluten free snowball cookies:
- Unsalted butter - I always bake with unsalted butter because it means you control the amount of salt going into your baked goods. If you only have salted butter just go ahead and omit the salt from the recipe.
- Sugar - I prefer the flavor of regular sugar in these cookies although sometimes you will see powdered sugar in them.
- Vanilla extract - Although this recipe will work just fine without it - vanilla extract really adds that extra bit of flavor.
- Walnuts - These will be processed to give the cookie a nutty flavor without too big of pieces in the cookies.
- Gluten free flour - I almost always use Bob's Red Mill 1:1 All Purpose Flour for gluten free cookies and muffins. There's no strange aftertaste and the texture is spot on.
- Kosher salt - I always use kosher salt and not table salt.
How to make them
These cookies are simple (and fun!) to make, here's how:
- Chop or process walnuts. Turn on the oven.
- Cream together butter, sugar, and vanilla.
- Add flour and salt then beat until a cookie dough forms.
- Add the walnuts until thoroughly combined into the cookie dough.
- Use a heaping tablespoon to form into round balls.
- Bake and when only slightly warm roll in powdered sugar.
- Once completely cool roll again in powdered sugar.
- Admire how pretty they are and try not to eat them all! See, easy!
Recipe Tips & Substitutions
- Don't grind the nuts too fine. You want some of the nuts to be chunky so you get the flavor of the nuts but also so the balls aren't too crumbly.
- Don't overbake. These butter cookies are similar to shortbread which means if you overbake them they will be too dry.
- Don't roll in powdered sugar while they're hot. They should be warm not hot. If you try to roll them right away they are liable to fall apart.
- Do the double dredge. The cookies by themselves are only slightly sweet which is why they taste so good rolled in powdered sugar. Roll them once while warm and once while cool to really get a nice lovely white coating.
- Don't pack your flour. Make sure to loosen up the flour before scooping it.
Snowball cookies will last for up to three days on the counter in a zip top bag or airtight container. You can also refrigerate them for up to a week in an airtight container.
Yes! You can freeze them before of after they're baked. To freeze them as cookie dough - roll the dough into balls and freeze on a sheet pan (this way they won't get smooshed). Once frozen place them into a large zip top bag and freeze for up to three months. There's no need to defrost before baking just add 1 to 2 minutes to baking time. To freeze them after they're baked carefully place them into a large zip top bag or freezer container and freeze for up to 3 months. Let cookies come to room temperature before enjoying.
Yes but omit the salt from the recipe.
Other Gluten Free Cookie Recipes You Might Like
- Gluten Free Funfetti Sugar Cookies
- Soft Gluten Free Gingerbread Cookies
- Gluten Free M&M Cookies
- Gluten Free Oatmeal Cookies
Gluten Free Snowball Cookies
- Stand Mixer with Paddle Attachment
- Small bowl
- Dry Measuring Cups
- 1 cup butter, room temperature (8 oz.)
- ½ cup sugar
- 1 t. vanilla extract
- 2 cups + 2 tbsp Bob's Red Mill 1:1 All Purpose Gluten Free Flour spooned and leveled*
- 1 cup finely chopped walnuts or pecans
- ¼ t. kosher salt
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Line a sheet pan with a silicone baking mat or parchment paper.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer cream together butter, sugar, and vanilla extract until light and fluffy.
- Add the flour and kosher salt then beat on medium low until a cookie dough forms. Scrape the sides of the bowl with a spatula then add the chopped walnuts. Beat again until the walnuts are thoroughly combined into the cookie dough.
- Use a rounded tablespoon to scoop the cookie dough and then form into balls. Bake 12 per sheet pan for 12 minutes.
- Let the cookies cool on the sheet pan for at least 5 minutes before you transfer them to a wire rack. Let the cookies cool on the wire rack for at least 5 minutes, then roll them into a bowl of powdered sugar while they're still slightly warm.
- Once the cookies are completely cool, roll them one more time in powdered sugar.
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