Wednesday, December 29, 2010

this one's for beth: nut balls

Buttery, nutty, shaped like a ball. A little snowball, appropriate for the blizzard apocalypse we are still trying to dig ourselves out of here in NYC. It's one of the most basic, classic holiday cookies and one of my all time favorites. It also comes together really quickly, and with ingredients that most of us always have in our pantry.

Be careful not to overbake these so they don't dry out. They are fragile while hot and may seem overly crumbly, but given some time to chill out, they almost melt back into a comfortable little morsel of butter and nuts and that faint dusting of powdered sugar. Don't inhale when you take a bite. Don't wear black. Recipe after the jump:


1 cup butter
1/3 cup brown sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 cups flour, sifted
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 cups finely chopped walnuts
powdered sugar

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Cream butter, sugar, and vanilla until fluffy. Sift flour and salt together, and mix into creamed mixture. Stir in walnuts. Shape dough into smalls balls, about the size of a walnut (maybe 1 to 1 1/2 inches in diameter. I used a small scoop). If you have the time, you can freeze the balls for 20 minutes or so, this helps them hold their ball shape a little better when baked. Bake on an ungreased cookie sheet at 375 degrees for 11-13 minutes. Let rest on cookie sheet for 5 minutes, then use a spatula to transfer to a wire cooling rack. When still warm but cool enough to handle, roll in powdered sugar.
Makes about 4 dozen.


Mary Kay said...

I have made a version of these for the past 3 Christmases following my husband's grandmother's recipe. Hers is virtually the same as yours only the first step is to brown the butter by heating it in a saucepan over low heat until it takes on a tan color, then it goes in the fridge to become solid again before proceeding with the recipe. The browned butter adds such a delicious depth of flavor. I really recommend it!

dining room tables said...

This looks delicious and pretty easy to make! Lovely balls! Thanks for sharing!

Emily+Kelly said...

These look so yummy! Probably go wonderful with tea!

Mobile Disco said...

They look sooooooo tasty...