Are you familiar with wedding cookies? Sometimes they are called Mexican wedding cookies or Russian tea cakes. These peppermint snowball cookies are very similar.
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They were my Mom’s favorite, and when I say favorite I mean ALL TIME FAVORITE, cookie. These days they can be disguised as a snowball cookie, a name that is especially popular around Christmas and winter.
The wedding cookies usually have nuts, most often pecans. I made these without nuts because I knew my oldest son would love the peppermint but not the pecans. I was right, he devoured them. His Gigi would be proud!
I want to take a minute and talk about the holly dish. I have two of these beauties and they were both made by my Dad. Yes, you read that right, my Dad.
When he retired after a 22-year military career in the United States Army, he took up ceramics. Again, you read that right, ceramics. Mind you, this was the 1960s. This was a man who moved through the military ranks rather quickly for the day, retiring as a full colonel. He served in both the JAG (Judge Advocate General) Corps and Medical Corps of the army during WWII and the Korean War. He served on the War Crimes Trials Review Board at Nuremberg.
Heavy stuff so I guess when he retired he needed a creative outlet. He was actually retired when I was born but these were made before me. This was not all he made. I have a cat statue as well as awesome cantaloupe bowls that I’m sure will show up in a photo sometime.
These peppermint snowballs get an extra dose of peppermint from Adams peppermint extract and crushed candy canes. Now you could use starlight mints, but candy canes are in abundance during the holidays.
My favorite ways to crush the candy cane are to either put them in a Ziploc bag and pound them with a meat mallet or rolling pin or, for a finer grind, use a food processor. The finer the candy, the better it will stick to the cookies.
If you’re looking for a tender, not too sweet cookie for your holiday trays, this is a good choice. Similar to these are my muddy snowballs, which is a chocolate version. Other good choices for a cookie tray are these red velvet white chip cookies and Christmas sprinkle cookies.
- 1 cup butter, softened
- 1 cup sugar
- 1 large egg
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 2 teaspoons peppermint extract, I used Adams Extract
- 2 2/3 cups flour
- 1 cup powdered sugar
- 1 cup peppermint candies, finely crushed
- In the bowl of a stand mixer, cream together butter and sugar. Add egg, salt and peppermint extract; beat well until incorporated.
- Gently mix in flour. Chill cookie dough for at least one hour and up to overnight. Mix together powdered sugar and crushed candy canes; set aside.
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Form dough into one-inch balls and place on parchment or Silpat lined baking sheets. Using a one-inch cookie scoop, form dough into balls. Bake for 10 to 12 minutes until bottoms start to brown.
- Immediately roll warm cookies in powdered sugar mixture. Cool completely and store covered. Makes 3 to 4 dozen.