Almond Snow Balls

Almond Snowballs
 I   have  fond  memories  of   trips  to  the  local bakeries  in  Kerala  .  Bakeries were  not  as  ubiquitous  as  the   tea  stalls ,  which  you could  find  at least  one in  every  few  kilometers . All  small  towns  had  these   family owned  shops with  glass  display cases   beckoning   children  . They  all displayed  the same standard  fare –   biscuits ,  puffs ,  plum cake , buns ,  etc – with  a  few   regional  variations .  Very rarely were   the  goods  baked  on  the  premises , but  on the   days  the  fresh  batch  arrived  the  aromas  used   to  waft  through the  air .  Fond  memories  indeed …

One  of  my  favorites   was  the  lightly  crunchy  ball  shaped   cookies  dusted   with   powdered   sugar .  I  think   they  were a   variation of  the  ever  popular nan kattai .    I have  seen  similar ones  from   around  the   world  , like the  Mexican wedding   cookies   and  the   crescent  shaped  Italian  ones  ,  with  a bit  more  texture  .  I am   not   sure   what these  cookies  were  called.  As a  child  I  just  had  to point  to  the  jar  containing  them  …

I was  not   sure  if  my  kids  are  going  to  like  them  as   well as   I did .   Very often   we  try to  recreate   things   from   our   memories   and  it just  does not   feel the  same .   To my delight this  one  did   go well   with  the   children  and  the  adults .   Here  it  is .

Bring  the  1/2 cup butter  to  room  temperature .   Cream  it   well   with  1/2 C  fine  sugar .  With  room  temperature  it  takes  only a    minute or  so  to mix  and   get  the  light  fluffy  cream  texture .  One  really does  not  need a  mixer  unless  planning  to  bake  in   large  quantities .  Add  the   vanilla  extract  and  mix  well . Sift 2  cups of   All Purpose or pastry   flour   with a  pinch of  salt   .   Finely  chop  the   almonds  leaving a  few   coarse  chunks  in it .   If  the  almonds  are  raw  toast it  lightly .  Add  the   flour  and  the chopped  almonds  to  the   butter  sugar  mixture .   Mix  gently with as  few   turns  as  possible   scraping   the  sides  of  the bowl  as  well .  The  mixture  will have a  coarse breadcrumb  texture .   Scoop a   small amount in the  palm  of  your  hand  and  roll into a  ball .  If  it  does  not  hold  together ,  which   could  happen depending  on the   water  content of  your   flour  as  well as  butter  and one  tablespoon  of  oil/softened butter/milk   and  try again .

Roll  into  lime  sized  balls .  Arrange  them in a  tray , cover  and   refrigerate  for  about  an   hour .   If  you are not  planning  to bake  them   immediately you can  keep  these  in the   fridge  for a   couple of  days .  These  can be  frozen as   well  for  longer storage .

Preheat the  oven to  350  F  or 180 C . Arrange   the  balls   3  inches  apart   and  bake  for   around  15  minutes  till the  bottoms  turn   light brown .     You  can  also   roll the   cookies  in powdered   sugar  before  baking   for a  glazed  look . Cool the   cookies  in the pan  for  a  minute  ,  remove  and  cool  completely  on  a  cooling  rack .   Roll  them in  powdered   sugar  .    Store  them  in  an  airtight   jar .
 Enjoy  !
Almond Snow Balls

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Cook Time: 20 minutes

Total Time: 1 hour, 40 minutes

Yield: 2 dozen

Almond Snow Balls

Ingredients

Butter - 1/2 C , softened
Sugar - 1/2 C fine
Vanilla extract - 1 Tsp
All Purpose Flour - 2 C
Salt - 1 Pinch or about 1/8th Tsp
Almonds - 3/4 cup chopped
Confectioner's sugar - 1 C

Instructions

Make sure that all ingredients are at room temperature.

In a medium bowl cream butter and sugar. Add Vanilla extract and mix well.

Sift the flour and salt together. Finely chop the almonds, leaving a few small chunks , using a food processor or by hand .

Add the flour and almonds to the butter mixture and mix uniformly well scraping the sides after every few turns.

Roll into lime sized balls Arrange in a container cover and refrigerate for 1 hour.

Preheat the oven to 350 F (180 C).

Bake for 15 minutes or till the cookie bottoms begin to brown.

Remove from the oven and cool in the pan for a minute .

Transfer to a wire rack and cool completely.

Roll the cookies in powdered sugar .

Store in an airtight container .

https://oventales.com/almond-snow-balls/

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