Monday, November 22, 2010


Today, we woke up to snow!  The prediction has been that this will be one of our worse winters--ugh, and if today is any indication, it's also going to be a long one.  These photos were taken earlier today and since then, we're now up to 3 inches and it's still falling.

When I was young I looked forward to snow days; staying home and baking with my Mom.  These cookies have always been a favorite around our house.  My Mom called them Russian Tea Cakes and baked them every holiday.  They will keep a long time (if you don't have brothers who get into them!) and she would make them in a crescent-shape loaded with finely chopped walnuts.  When Kelly and Matt got married, Kelly asked me to make these in the traditional round shape called Mexican Wedding Cookies.  Kandyce's daughter, Kathryn and I made over twelve dozen for the wedding, round-shaped with ground pecans.  Kelly chose these instead of a wedding cake and every time I bake them, I think of that day baking in her kitchen and the memories that were made.

However, today I changed the recipe, slightly, to reflect the holiday.  I decided to add finely chopped dried cranberries and ground hazelnuts to the dough.
Both are found here in the Pacific Northwest and I thought they'd be a nice accompaniment to the Pecan Tassies for the dessert table for Thanksgiving.  The other good thing is...they can be baked ahead of time!

Cranberry~Hazelnut Snowballs
1 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
1/2 cup confectioners' sugar
1/4 tsp. salt
1/2 cup finely chopped dried cranberries
1/2 cup ground hazelnuts (or your favorite)
2 1/4 cups All-Purpose Flour
additional confectioners' sugar to roll cookies in

Preheat oven to 350F-degrees.  Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or use a Silpat.
In the KitchenAid, using the paddle attachment, beat the butter and confectioners' sugar until fluffy.  Add the flour and salt, beat until combined. Add the cranberries and hazelnuts and beat well.  Use a 1 teaspoon scoop and form the dough into a ball shape.
Bake in the preheated oven 10 minutes or until lightly brown.  Remove from oven and let cool slightly.  Roll each cookie into the additional confectioners' sugar.  Let set 5-10 minutes and roll again.

I was definitely inspired by the weather today and baking brought back those memories of being in the kitchen with my Mom.  These cookies are easy to do and children, especially, love to help; my girls did. Enjoy!


  1. Yay! I love that you had snow! : )
    What a beautiful memory of Kelly and Matt's wedding day! The cranberries sound like a lovely addition to this cookie! Enjoy the coziness of the snow and baking xoxo

  2. Susan
    I remember that day at Kelly and Matt's place in Fort Collins - you and Kathryn were very busy bees. The cookies were fantastic! I "bumped" into some old emails of Kelly's today on my work email - they were from 2005 and 2006 (yes I am terrible at clearing out my email - but now I am so glad that I didnt erase any of them) several of them were about her wedding. It made me sad - but also thankful to have a little bit more of her.
    Sending lots of love and thanks for your friendship this holiday.

  3. Susan,
    Another thing in common....these have to be one of my all time favorite must bake cookies for the holidays baked with the pecans. I must agree with Kelly, they most definitely would be more pleasing to the palate! Thanks for sharing, Love, Joanne

  4. I love the fact that these cookies remind you of special days with your Mom and of Kelly.These cookies for Kelly had more of a memory to her than a wedding cake. I think that is so very special and too the fact you made them for her.I am home today with the flu and woke up to snow so I am making these today to have for my kids when they come home. What a nice way to celebrate the first snow of the year