Italian Snow Balls (Palle di Neve)

Nothing says Merry Christmas, then a plateful of these wonderful treats.   They look like snow balls.  Once baked, they should be soft and melt away in your mouth.  Texture is everything.  These Buttery treats are ready in no time.  Just takes a few ingredients.  Many of you make these buttery cookies with Pecans due to their abundance and availability in the United States.  Truth be told, you can even make them with strictly, good quality flavoring.  These are made Regionally in Italy and are made with almonds.  I had some Walnuts on hand and that worked out fine. 
Whichever way, they will always be finished in a hurry because you just can't eat one.  
From Our house to yours, wishing each and every one of you a very, Merry Christmas ! Buon Natale!  

 Ingredients:  Makes about 20-24 cookies
One stick of good quality, unsalted butter
A pinch of salt
2/3 cup confectioners sugar plus about a cup for decorating 
3 teaspoons vanilla  (use the appropriate flavoring if using almonds)
one cup plus 1/4 unbleached flour
one cup plus 1/4 cup chopped nuts. I used Walnuts
3 tablespoon good brandy or Bourbon.  I used good, Kentucky Bourbon as it gives these cookies a sweet smell, all their own.
Line, one large baking sheet with parchment paper
Preheat your oven to 325 bake
(It's is very important that you do not over bake these balls, or they will flatten like cookies.  Cooking time and oven temperature is everything).

In a standing mixer, cream your butter and sugar, then salt.  Add your extract, flour and nuts.   Add your liquor, last and mix until your dough comes together.  It should all just take about a few minutes.
Roll out some dough into your hands and form into a one inch or so ball.  Place on the parchment lined baking sheet.
Bake for 12 minutes in the center rack of your oven.
While cooling, sprinkle some confectioners sugar over the cookie.   When cool enough to handle, place some additional sugar into a Ziploc and gently place your cookies inside.   Roll them around until they are completely covered in sugar.  Using a Ziploc, cuts down on the mess.  You can save the sugar for another batch.

 I wonder if anyone will notice, a few are missing. 
Buon Natale Everyone!


Newlywed Cook said…
I love your special labels! Those are some lucky friends who get those cookies!

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