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Holiday Snowball

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Weelicious.com

Looking for a fun holiday baking recipe you can make with your preschooler? Try these Holiday Snowballs from Weelicious.com.

Weelicious.com
If you are heading to the kitchen this holiday season, be sure to bring your little one with you for some quality time as well as a perfect learning/teaching opportunity. Besides getting to spend time with someone who loves them very much, cooking and baking reinforces a whole host of important skills that your preschooler needs to develop, from math to language, from following rules and directions to putting things in the right order. Even cleaning up is covered!

If you are still shuddering at the thought of your voluntarily bringing together your little one and messy ingredients like sugar and flour, take a look at this recipe for Holiday Snowballs courtesy of Catherine McCord, the founder of the family friendly culinary site Weelicious.com. Low in sugar and free of preservatives or additives, they are incredibly easy and fun to make. Great to add to your Christmas cookie repertoire, but also a fun one to make anytime during the winter, especially when there is some snow on the ground or falling from the sky.

Holiday Snowballs are a traditional Christmas cookie recipe. This one calls for raw walnuts, but other versions use wild black walnuts, pecans, hazelnuts, hickory or butternuts, all with great success. If you have a nut allergy in your home, you can eliminate the nuts altogether.

When we've made them in our house, we've always called them snowballs, but these traditional cookies are also known as "nut balls," Swedish Tea Cakes, Mexican wedding cookies, and Russian tea cakes, depending on who makes them and where they are from.

Recipe and image courtesy of Catherine McCord, Weelicious.com.

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 15 minutes

Total Time: 25 minutes

Yield: Makes two dozen cookies

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup raw walnuts
  • ½ Tsp vanilla extract
  • ½ Tsp ground cinnamon
  • ½ Cup unsalted butter, softened
  • ¼ Cup confectioners’ sugar, plus additional sugar for dusting

Preparation:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 F.
  2. Place the walnuts in a food processor for 30 seconds or until they are finely chopped.
  3. Place the ground walnuts, flour and cinnamon in a bowl and combine.
  4. Place the butter, sugar and vanilla extract in a standing mixer or bowl using a hand mixer and cream for 3-4 minutes.
  5. Slowly add the flour mixture to the butter mixture until combined.
  6. Using a cookie scooper, scoop out the dough and place on a silpat or parchment lined baking sheet.
  7. Bake for 15 minutes.
  8. Dust with confectioners’ sugar and serve.
  9. If not eating right away, store in an airtight container. These cookies are totally freezable. Simply layer the cookies between sheets of parchment or waxed paper and place in an airtight container.

Extra Tips:

To make the most of your kitchen time together, give your child specific jobs like pouring the nuts into the food processor and/or balling the dough onto the cookie sheet. Even the simple act of explaining what you are doing -- "We preheat the oven before we start mixing together the ingredients so it will be nice and hot when we are ready to put our cookies in," or "It's important to make sure the cookies are all the same size and shape so they will bake evenly" -- will get her mind going and add to the learning process.

While this recipe calls for using a cookie scooper, you and your children can certainly use your hands to roll them out as well. Refrigerating them for one hour will make the dough easier to handle. To add a healthy twist to this recipe, use a half of a cup of whole wheat pastry flour mixed with a half of a cup of white flour.

Recipe and image courtesy of Catherine McCord, Weelicious.com.

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