Homemade snowball meltaways, also known as Mexican wedding cakes and snowballs, are a delicious and delightful Christmas or holiday cookie that are simple to make.
Giving the gift of snowball meltaways or Mexican wedding cakes made in your own kitchen is a holiday gift from the heart. Use a pretty holiday cookie tin or box and carefully place a couple dozen cookies in it to surprise your friends, families and coworkers with a delicious, delightful homemade holiday gift.
Do not double this snowball meltaway recipe and make one big batch. If more than one batch of snowball meltaways is needed, make each batch of snowball meltaways separately.
This recipe for snowball meltaways is similar to the recipe for Mexican wedding cakes, but the slightly browned butter gives the snowball cookies a deeper, richer flavor and they are not quite as dry as Mexican wedding cakes.
Walnuts or almonds may be substituted for the pecans; pure vanilla extract may be substituted for the almond extract in this recipe for snowball cookies.
To avoid the bottoms of the cookies over baking, over browning or burning, use a sheet of parchment paper on the cookie sheet.
Ingredients for snowball meltaways:
- 1 cup unsalted butter, 8 ounces = 2 sticks
- 6 Tablespoons powdered sugar
- 2 teaspoons almond extract
- 2 cups sifted all-purpose flour
- 2 cups pecans, finely chopped
- 2 cups powdered sugar, for rolling
How to make snowball meltaways:
- In small saucepan on stove top, melt butter, browning it ever so slightly. Watch the butter carefully, it should only be browned, do not let the butter burn.
- Allow melted, browned butter to cool completely to room temperature. Refrigerate for 10 minutes before using.
- After the melted, browned butter is completely cooled, cream butter with sugar and almond extract together in a large bowl, using an electric or stand mixer.
- Gradually add flour, ¼ to ½ cup at a time. mixing in thoroughly. Stir in finely chopped nuts into the cookie dough and incorporated thoroughly.
- Chill the snowball meltaway cookie dough for one hour in the refrigerator, and up to 2 hours. The snowball cookie dough will be a little dry and seem difficult to work with, but it will soften up in your hands as you shape it. If you do not refrigerate the snowball meltaway cookie dough before shaping, it will be too soft to work with.
- Preheat oven to 350*F. Place a sheet of parchment paper onto a large cookie sheet. Spray the parchment paper with nonstick cooking spray.
- Form teaspoonful’s of snowball meltaway cookie dough into small balls, approximately the size of a large, fluffy cotton ball.
- Bake the snowball meltaways on the parchment paper lined cookie sheet for 20 minutes at 350*F until the snowballs are a pale golden color.
- Cool the snowballs slightly under they are able to be handled. Remove cookies from baking sheets to wire racks to cool another 15 minutes.
- Roll the baked snowball cookies in powdered sugar while still warm. Set the rolled snowball cookies on a rack and allow the cookies to cool. When the snowballs have cooled, roll them again in powdered sugar.
- Yield: approximately 60 snowball meltaways