Do you have a favorite Christmas cookie recipe? One that you’ve loved since the time you were little? Well, I do. And it happens to be a snowball cookie, only we didn’t call them snowballs. We never really had a name for them. We called them something like, “Those round cookies with a hidden candy inside covered in powdered sugar.”
I got this cookie recipe from my mom, who got the recipe from her mom, and they called them Secret Kiss Cookies. But when I called them that, my mom didn’t know what I was talking about. For one thing, we didn’t put kisses in them very often. The kisses sound good, in theory, but in reality, they melt inside the cookie and you can barely tell they are there.
So I recommend you experiment with fillings and put an assortment of different fillings in each batch. Why? Well, then the cookies turn in to a fun game. Kind of like a blind bag that my girls always want to buy. You never know what you are going to get.
The traditional filling is half of a walnut inside. I always felt like my mom put a walnut inside to try to make them a little healthier. One of my favorite fillings in them is to take an orange candy slice, cut it in half and put a piece in the middle of each cookie. Yum. Or we would do gumdrops sometimes.
That really kind of depends on which flavor. Any kind of nut would be good. Can you think of something else we could try to put inside that won’t melt but that you can chew and that would go well with walnuts? If you can, comment below. I would love to try it out.
This Christmas I wanted to make the same cookies I had growing up, but I needed them to be gluten-free, so I thought I would give my grandma’s traditional recipe a try, but replace the flour with Bob’s Red Mill 1 to 1 Baking Flour. Guess what? They turned out great, it was the perfect 1 to 1 substitution for the wheat flour! Not surprising, since Bob’s Red Mill products are all high quality. That’s how these ookies were born.
And then, you know how when something is good and you just have to share? Well, I thought of my friend who recently had surgery and eats gluten-free and thought these would be perfect to share with her. Cause who doesn’t like a little treat at Christmas?
Especially someone who has dietary restrictions and who just had surgery. I thought these would be the perfect pick-me-up! Please comment below and let me know if you give these cookies to someone.
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Gluten-Free Snowball Cookies Recipe with a Surprise Center
These snowball cookies are my favorite Christmas cookie of all time. Only 5 ingredients, plus the secret and powdered sugar. I love the walnut flavor of the cookies and not knowing what secret filling I will get.
- Prep Time: 20 minutes
- Cook Time: 10 minutes
- Total Time: 30 minutes
- Yield: 27 cookies 1x
- Category: Dessert
- Cuisine: Gluten-Free
- 1 Cup Butter (softened, may also use margarine)
- 1/2 Cup Granulated Sugar
- 1 tsp Vanilla Extract
- 1 3/4 Cup Bob’s Red Mill Gluten-Free Baking Flour
- 1 Cup Walnuts (Finely Chopped)
- Candy Kisses, walnuts, sliced orange slices, gum drops or other favorite candies for the secret in the middle of the cookie
- 1 Cup Powdered Sugar (or more or less, depending on preference)
- Using an electric stand mixer fitted with paddle attachment, or handheld electric mixer, cream together butter and sugar.
- Beat in the vanilla. Gradually add flour; beating after each addition. Stir in the nuts; mix until fully incorporated. Divide dough in half and refrigerate in plastic wrap for approximately 45 minutes.
- Meanwhile, arrange oven rack in middle of oven and preheat to 375ºF.
- Line two baking sheets with parchment paper; set aside.
- Measure dough using a small, 1-inch spring-loaded scoop making sure each scoopful is level. Put the scoop in your hand, press a dent with your finger and put the secret candy in the middle and form the dough around the candy, not leaving any candy showing. Roll dough between palms of hands to achieve a small rounded ball.
- Place dough balls 1½ inches apart on prepared baking sheets. Bake in preheated oven until the cookies are just beginning to brown, about 10 to 12 minutes. They are easy to over bake. Make sure the underside of the cookies are only lightly browned.
- Cool cookies on baking sheets on wire racks for approximately 5 minutes. Don’t try to move them too soon, because they are very crumbly when warm.
- Move cookies to a wire rack to cool for a few more minutes. While cookies are still slightly warm, gently roll them in the powdered sugar. Place the sugar-coated cookies back on wire racks to cool completely. Roll cookies once again in the confectioners’ sugar (you may want to skip this step if you like less powdered sugar.
- Store cookies in an airtight container at room temperature. Cookies will keep up to 4 weeks.
- These cookies freeze especially well.
- To me, these really should have walnuts, but I know a lot of people prefer pecans to walnuts, so pecans could be substituted for walnuts.
Keywords: Gluten-Free, Christmas, Surprise, Fun