Can you believe we only have 40 days until Christmas? I just got back from Texas, where I was too busy horseback riding in t-shirts and swimming in rivers to get in the mood of festive sweaters and snowmen. However! As you all might remember from last year’s baking marathon, Christmas means cookies for Un’Americana in Cucina, and I’m always in the mood for cookies!
This year I want to take advantage of the cookie season to experiment with some alternative flours which I’m not so familiar with. There are so many different flours on the market with so many different properties, it is a shame to limit ourselves to a boring 00 for all our baking needs. For this recipe I used KAMUT® khorasan wheat flour which, besides being rich in high-quality proteins, vitamins and minerals, also has a rich flavor and tender texture.
These cookies have a delightfully delicate texture and a nutty, buttery flavor that is dangerously delicious. They are also full of Christmas spirit, whether you’re ready for it or not. As I was sprinkling mounds of powdered sugar over the fragrant cookies still warm from the oven, I even caught myself humming Christmas carols and visualizing tree decorations.
Snowball cookies with walnut
- 1 1/2 cups (180 g) shelled walnut halves
- 2 sticks (230 g) unsalted butter, at room temperature
- 1/2 vanilla bean, split and seeds scraped
- 2 cups (240 g) confectioners’ sugar
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 2 cups (260 g) KAMUT® khorasan wheat flour
Makes about 30 cookies
Preheat the oven to 350°F/ 180°C. Spread the walnuts on a rimmed baking sheet and bake for about 8 minutes, until golden brown. Let cool, then coarsely chop. Reduce the oven temperature to 325°F / 160°C.
Using a hand beater or standing mixer, beat the butter with the vanilla bean seeds at high speed until pale, about 2 minutes. Add 1 cup of the confectioners’ sugar and beat at medium-high speed until light and fluffy, about 5 minutes, scraping down the side of the bowl with a rubber spatula occasionally. At low speed, mix in the salt, then gradually add the flour and walnuts and beat just until the cookie dough comes together, scraping down the side of the bowl halfway through.
Line 2 large cookie sheets with parchment paper. Roll level tablespoons of the dough into balls and arrange them on the prepared cookie sheets. Bake the cookies in for about 17 minutes, until they are lightly browned on the bottom; rotating the sheets from top to bottom and front to back halfway through baking. Let the cookies rest on the sheets about 5 minutes before transferring them to a rack to cool slightly.
Dust the warm cookies in with powdered sugar (using a sifter) to coat and return to the rack to cool completely. Dust again with the sugar. The cookies can be stored in an airtight container for up to 5 days.