Gluten-Free Mexican Wedding Cookies (Snowballs)

Recipe for gluten-free snowball cookies: also called Mexican Wedding Cookies or Russian Tea Cakes

Courtesy Alison Needham, A Girl Defloured

I wish that I could slow down real time and add more days until Christmas because I am not ready. But I never am, so I guess it really doesn’t matter in the end. Christmas comes, ready or not, and it’s mostly always a wonderful day (even that Christmas where we all had the stomach flu wasn’t that bad–okay, it totally was, but we still managed to have some fun…ugh).  I did finally order our cards, our tree is decorated and gorgeous this year and I’m getting ready to wrap today (not really a fan, I must say). At any rate, the kitchen is still humming with my usual holiday treats and I’ve switched to wearing all-things-stretchy until at least late January when I’m hoping to be able to button my pants again (cleanse, anyone??).

Last week, I had a special request for those holiday nut cookies that are shaped into balls and rolled in powdered sugar. I call them Mexican Wedding cookies, and they are my absolute favorite things in the world (I think I say that about everything…). But these really are. They are buttery, crunchy and nutty. The cookie itself isn’t particularly sweet as the sweetness comes from rolling it in powdered sugar–the same powdered sugar that can be accidentally inhaled when biting into one of these beauties causing you to choke and then run, sputtering from the room at the cookie exchange party. (Not like I would know, but be warned, my friends). These cookies are a must-have at Christmas time. Or during a Mexican wedding, apparently.

 

Mexican Wedding Cookies

Prep Time: 15 minutes, Cook Time: 20 minutes, Total Time: 35 minutes

3 dozen

Mexican Wedding Cookies

These nutty confections look like round snowballs and are a favorite at cookie exchanges. Swap the pecans for skinned hazelnuts or walnuts if your prefer. You can try replacing my AP GF Flour Blend with your own, or a purchased GF Flour, however I can’t guarantee the results, as I’ve only tested the recipe with mine.

Ingredients

  • 1 cup AP GF Flour Blend
  • 1/4 cup almond flour
  • 1/4 cup tapioca starch
  • 1/4 cup corn starch
  • 2 teaspoons xanthan gum
  • 1/8 cup powdered sugar
  • heaping 1/2 cup pecan halves (or skinned hazelnuts or walnuts)
  • 12 tablespoons of butter, cut into cubes (1 1/2 sticks)
  • 1 egg, lightly beaten
  • additional powdered sugar for rolling (about 2 cups)

Instructions

  1. Pulse together flour blend, almond flour, tapioca starch, corn starch, xanthan gum, sugar and pecans (in the bowl of a food processor fitted with the steel blade) until nuts are finely ground. Add butter and pulse just until large crumbs form. Add the egg and pulse again, just until the dough comes together. Remove dough and wrap in plastic, shaping into a disk. Refrigerate for at least 2 hours.
  2. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Shape dough by the tablespoonful into balls and place 1 inch apart on baking sheets. Bake in batches until lightly golden brown, about 15-20 minutes per batch.
  3. While cookies bake, lightly sift a layer of powdered sugar onto a baking pan with sides. When cookies are finished baking, transfer them to the sugared pan, and sprinkle additional sugar on top of each cookie. Transfer cookies to a rack to cool completely.

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