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Walnut Snowballs

Every child likes to eat snow. And who can blame them? The only reason, as adults, that we don’t eat snow is we don’t want the neighbors to see. Well that’s about to change. You’ve probably seen these cookies before since they assume several identities – Mexican Wedding Cookies, Princess Tea Cakes, Honey Sandballs – but no matter what you call them, these are perfect for wintertime. Many people will tell you that these cookies can’t be made without butter – they’re wrong. While the flavor or consistency may be slightly different, this heart-healthy version is just as delicious. However, while healthier, these cookies are still high in calories, so if you’re watching your intake, you may want to stick with real snow.


3/4 cup canola oil
2 cup white whole-wheat flour (or whole-wheat pastry flour)
1 1/2 cups powdered (confectioners) sugar, divided
3 Tbsp cornstarch
1/8 tsp salt
1t vanilla extract
3/4 cup very finely chopped walnuts


1. Preheat oven to 400°F. Pour oil into a medium bowl. Whisk white whole-wheat flour, 1/4 cup powdered sugar, cornstarch and salt in another bowl. Whisk half the dry ingredients into the oil. Scrape down the sides of the bowl and add vanilla. Mix in the remaining dry ingredients until thoroughly combined (the mixture should resemble creamed butter and sugar). Stir in nuts, using your hands to knead the dough if necessary.

2. Roll the dough into 1-inch balls and place about 1/2 inch apart on an ungreased baking sheet. Bake until the cookies are just set, being careful not to let the bottoms get too brown, 9 to 11 minutes. Cool on the pan for 2 minutes then transfer to a wire rack to cool.

3. While the cookies are still warm, place the remaining powdered sugar in a small bowl and roll the cookies in it, then place back on the rack to continue cooling. When the cookies are completely cool, roll them in the sugar again. Makes about 36 cookies.

Nutrition Facts
Serving Size 1 Cookie
Servings per Batch 36
Amount Per Serving
Calories 90
Total Fat 6g
Total Carbohydrate 8.6g
Dietary Fiber 1g
Sugars 3.4g
Protein 1.2g

Additional Info:

Growing up, they were my parents favorite Christmas cookie and my least favorite. Now, as an adult, I have come to love and appreciate these cookies and recognize them as a more appropriate (and tastier) way to eat snow. I hope you enjoy them as much as we do!