Call them Snowballs, call them Mexican Wedding Cookies, or call them Kurabiye: whatever you call them, they are a taste of Christmas that few families are unfamiliar with. These cookies have made the rounds and lots of cultures have a version. This particular recipe is based on the Turkish version, called Kurabiye ("Koor-ah-bee-yay") - which I think just means "cookie", but that goes to show how fundamental these cookies must be to the culture, if this is the one that is named with no qualifiers. It's like me calling Chocolate Chip Cookies just "cookies".
Despite the Turkish origin, this recipe closely resembles the Greek, Iranian and apparently also the Bulgarian versions. And let's all just admit that it is not too far off from the Spanish/Mexican version. So, it kinda turns out that perhaps the secret to making warring cultures see how similar they are long enough to establish world peace is actually...a cookie. That's probably going to be the basis of my platform when I run for Congress. Will you vote for me??
*Note: I adapted this recipe from the amazing Em at Mbakes. The original is her mom's recipe, which prescribes rolling the dough into fat snakes and bending them into crescents before baking. I'm
There's a little bit of magic in the powdered sugar, too, I think. Not only does powdered sugar do a fantastic job of covering flaws, which is important here because this dough won't form a perfectly smooth spherical top, but if you ask me, any cookie covered in powdered sugar automatically seems exponentially more delicate and fancy. Plus, the dunking part is fun! If you're baking with kids, that would be the perfect step to give them jurisdiction over.
Speaking of enjoying the holidays with friends and family, there will be no post next week as I plan to be relaxing (and eating!) with my family and my almost-in-laws, and I hope you all will be enjoying yourself doing the same. If you need more Christmas baking ideas, please check out this holiday recipe page, or the main recipe index, and enjoy your holiday!
Adapted, slightly, from Mbakes
16 Tablespoons (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1/4 cup + 1 Tablespoon flavorless oil (I used canola)
1 large egg
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 cups all purpose flour
1 cup almond meal
Powdered sugar for coating
In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream butter and sugar together until light and fluffy. Slow down the mixer and slowly add oil, egg and vanilla. Mix to combine. Stop the mixer, add all of the flour and almond meal at once, and mix until just combined. Do not overmix. If the dough is too sticky to roll into balls, add flour, 1 Tablespoon at a time, until the dough is stronger. Be careful not to add too much.
Scoop or roll dough into 1 1/2" balls and refrigerate for a minimum of 2 hours.
Preheat the oven to 350F and space chilled dough balls at least 2" apart on a cookie sheet covered with parchment or a nonstick pad. Bake for 12 minutes or until the edges are golden.
Cool on cookie sheet for about 10 minutes. Put the powdered sugar in a small cereal bowl and gently toss the slightly cooled cookies to coat. Arrange on a wire rack to cool completely.
Store in an airtight container for up to three days. Makes approximately 32 cookies
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