Orange Pecan Snowball Cookies

9:57 AM

Happy Holidays! I've been busy getting into the holiday spirit -- with blankets, cozy fires, candles, hot chocolate, and three local tree lightings! Suffice it to say, I love the holidays. And to be perfectly honest, the anticipation is like 75% of the fun! Another part of the holidays I love is baking holiday cookies. To kick it off, I made these simple orange pecan snowball cookies. I added the orange because, well, who doesn't want a little hint of orange in their cookies? You can substitute walnuts for the pecans if you'd like. These cookies are pretty flexible. They're so great for the holidays because they look festive and they taste festive -- the crunch of pecans and the sweetness of orange. Plus, the moment you sprinkle the powdered sugar on top, this dessert turns into a winter wonderland! Pile them up like a stack of snowballs! If you're taking them to a party or holiday cookie exchange, I think they'd also look really cute in mini cupcake liners, then arranged in a good ol' holiday cookie tin. And yes, I just used the word 'holiday' eight times in that paragraph. (I'm excited.) 

Orange Pecan Snowball Cookies

  • 1/2 cup butter (1 stick), softened
  • 1/4 cup powdered sugar
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla
  • 1 1/8 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/8 tsp salt
  • 1/8 cup white granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup unsalted, toasted pecans, chopped
  • 2 tbsp orange zest
  • 1 tbsp orange juice, freshly squeezed
Preheat the oven to 350°F. Move an oven rack to the upper third of the oven. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

Cream the butter and powdered sugar, at first using a very low mixer speed. Add the vanilla.

Mix in the flour using a medium speed. Add the salt and white sugar. Use your hands to incorporate the pecans.

Roll the dough into balls (each about a tablespoon). Place on prepared baking sheet. Bake for 15 minutes. Check them periodically towards the end of the baking time. For these cookies, it's better to error on the side of under-baked than over-baked.

After they're done baking, roll them in powdered sugar while they're still hot. After they've cooled, sprinkle them again. I put some powdered sugar in a small strainer, then tapped the strainer to dust them evenly.

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