Soft and delicate powdered sugar-dusted cookies filled with candied cherries and plenty of almonds.
Pink, pink, pink!
It’s that time of year again, when the over-commercialized, practically pointless holiday Valentine’s Day rolls around. We never make a big deal of it at our house, though I do enjoy baking a few fun and cutesy treats to celebrate.
I’d take a dozen frosted sugar cookies over roses any day of the year.
These cherry almond snowball cookies were a stroke of genius that came to me as my mother-in-law and I baked our last batch of Christmas cookies over the New Year. There was no way I could wait a whole year to make them a reality, and since they’re so beautifully pink I just knew they’d be a hit for Valentine’s Day.
These cookies are the classic snowballs (i.e. Mexican wedding cookies, Russian tea cakes, etc.). They’re made with butter, a little sugar, flavoring, flour, and nuts, and rolled in plenty of powdered sugar when they come out of the oven.
With these cookies I swapped out the vanilla extract for almond, added blanched slivered almonds, and threw in some chopped up maraschino cherries (red candied cherries will work too). And they turned out just as I hoped! They’re soft and delicate, with a little crunch from the almonds, and lots of great cherry-almond flavor. They actually remind me a lot of my favorite cherry chip cake, just in cookie form.
Plus, they’re pink! I just love it.
No matter how you celebrate February 14th, promise me you’ll try a batch of these cookies?
baking tip:Why I only bake with unsalted butter
Most baking recipes call for unsalted butter instead of salted because the amount of salt in salted butter varies from brand to brand, and there’s no way to really know how much salt you’re getting in a stick. So if you’re following a typical recipe that calls for both salt and butter, and you choose to use salted butter, you could be adding quite a bit more salt via the butter than the recipe requires.
To give myself full control over the amount of salt in my baking, I only buy and use unsalted butter. But if all you have is salted butter, can you substitute it in a recipe? In a pinch, yes. Reduce the amount of salt called for by half, and if possible, taste and adjust as necessary.
Cherry Almond Snowball Cookies
- ¾ cup unsalted butter , at room temperature (170 grams)
- ¼ cup granulated sugar (50 grams)
- 1 teaspoon almond extract
- 1 ¾ cups all-purpose flour (210 grams)
- 1 cup blanched slivered almonds , finely chopped (114 grams)
- ½ cup candied or maraschino cherries , finely chopped (100 grams)
- Powdered sugar , for rolling
- Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. Line 2 sheet pans with parchment paper.
- With an electric mixer beat the butter and sugar until smooth and creamy, about 2 minutes. Add almond extract. Add flour and mix just until combined. Add almonds and cherries and mix just until incorporated.
- Drop by rounded spoonfuls (I use a #20 cookie scoop) onto prepared sheet pan about 2 inches apart. Bake until puffed and bottoms just begin to turn brown, about 15 minutes.
- Let cool for about 5 minutes, then roll in powdered sugar. Return coated cookies to the sheet pan and let cool completely. Once cool, roll again in powdered sugar.
- Cookie will keep in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 5 days.
- I prefer to use a food processor to finely chop the nuts and cherries, but you can also chop by hand with a knife.
- I used blanched slivered almonds because I didn't want any almond skins messing with the color of my cookies. If that's not important to you, feel free to use whole or sliced almonds instead.
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