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Snowball Cookies (Paleo & Vegan)

Snowball cookies. Russian Tea Cakes, Mexican Wedding cookies. I’d say they’re pretty much the same with different names or made for different traditions. I like to call these snowball cookies because it’s the holiday season — and they look like little balls of snow!


I am inspired by cookie season this year. I can honestly say I have not had this much time at home in years, along with everyone else! Which means more time in my kitchen and more time to create. I’m trying out new gluten free desserts and healthy snacks I’ve never thought to make before! On the list for this holiday baking season are snowball cookies. I love eating a cookie in a ball shape for some reason, it just seems more unique more fun.

These snowball cookies are paleo and vegan, and only a minimum of 4 INGREDIENTS. Yep, no grains!! I’ve actually tried to make these two ways — with all purpose gluten free flour and with a combination of cassava and almond flour. And the cassava and almond flour mix was the winner! The almond flour lends to the flavor of the cookie, especially if you choose to add in almond extract! However if you only have gluten free all purpose flour on hand, that works perfectly here too. They just come out a bit more crumbly. But both melt in your mouth!

The best part about these paleo and vegan snowball cookies, they require the 3 ingredient staples! Flour, butter and powdered sugar. Of course we are going to substitute all of these traditional ingredients to make them paleo, but that is all you need for these cookies. You have the option to add in vanilla extract, almond extract and the traditional pecans or walnuts. But 3 ingredients will get you a nice, buttery, melt in your mouth cookie. If you are looking for a simple, easy, quick paleo dessert (prepped in 10 minutes and baked in 15), these are for you! They are also safe on a low fodmap diet.



What is a snowball cookie?


Snowball cookies are another version of a Mexican wedding cookie. They are a buttery, slightly sweetened cookie shaped into a ball. They have a dry crumb, so will crumble easily but will melt in your mouth. They are traditionally rolled in powdered sugar after they are baked, and that just tops off the perfect bite.

These are paleo, gluten free and vegan!


I use almond flour and cassava flour for the blended flour here. I use dairy free butter sticks and unrefined powdered coconut sugar! I add in chopped walnuts or pecans and a touch of vanilla. Those are the only ingredients!


What is in these paleo and vegan snowball cookies?


Almond Flour: This flour keeps your cookies moist, it’s the best low carb flour out there imo!

Cassava Flour: I combined my almond flour with cassava flour to keep these grain free, and the texture was perfect

Dairy Free Butter: The buttery flavor in your cookies, obviously! I use Earth Balance Sticks or Miyoko’s butter here, but any butter will work

Unrefined Powdered Sugar: See my note below on how to make unrefined powdered sugar! Your sugar needs to be powdered here or your cookie will not hold together

Vanilla Extract: This gives your cookie a hint of vanilla. However if you prefer almond flavored cookies, you can replace this with almond extract in 1/2 the amount

Optional Walnuts or Pecans: These are traditional to a snowball cookie, but you can omit. They give the cookies a crunch and nice flavor



What special equipment will I need?

A hand mixer to cream together your butter and sugar


How do I make my own unrefined powdered sugar?

To make your own unrefined powdered sugar, place any granulated sweetener in a high speed blender for 30-60 seconds. I use my Vitamix and place the sugar in my dry container. I prefer to use coconut sugar because it is my go to low glycemic sweetener but you can use any granulated sugar, even monkfruit. Powdered sugar is great to have on hand for frostings, icings, and shortbread cookies so I like to make a bunch and store it for later.


Ingredients:

  • 1 cup of fine blanched almond flour*

  • 1 cup cassava flour

  • 1 cup of non-dairy butter sticks, softened

  • 1/2 cup of powdered coconut sugar or unrefined powdered sugar, plus more for rolling*** (see notes)

  • 1 tsp of vanilla extract

  • Optional: 1/2 cup of finely chopped walnuts or pecans


Instructions:

  1. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and set your oven to 325F.

  2. In a medium bowl, combine the flours until well mixed. Add in your nuts if using them.

  3. In another bowl, add the softened butter and powdered sugar. Mix well with a hand mixer until creamed together and smooth. Now add in your vanilla extract and mix well.

  4. Once fully mixed, add in your flour/nuts to your wet ingredients and mix until a dough forms.

  5. Scoop out about 1 tbsp of dough and roll into a ball. Place on cookie sheet and repeat until all dough is used. You can keep them close together on the sheet, they will not spread.

  6. Bake 15-20 minutes until the cookies just begin to crack and the tops are slightly brown.

  7. I made these twice, once with almond/cassava flour and once with Bob’s GF All purpose and they both took 18 minutes (in a convection oven).

  8. Once cookies are almost cooled, you can roll them in additional powdered sugar. This is the best part! I rolled mine in powdered monkfruit to keep the sugar coating a pretty white. Make sure you don’t roll them while they’re still hot, they will crumble apart.

  9. Enjoy the melt in your mouth deliciousness!


And for amusement, here's a shot of an actual blizzard! lol


Notes:

*If you cannot tolerate nuts, you can sub both flours for GF All Purpose Flour. So you would use 2 cups total and omit the almond and cassava flour

** To make your own unrefined powdered sugar, place any granulated sweetener in a high speed blender for 30-60 seconds. I use my Vitamix and place the sugar in my dry container. I prefer to use coconut sugar because it is my go to low glycemic sweetener but you can use any granulated sugar, even monkfruit. Powdered sugar is great to have on hand for frostings, icings, and shortbread cookies so I like to make a bunch and store it for later.


Make sure you do not roll the cookies in the additional powdered sugar while they are still hot, they’re a delicate cookie to begin with and will crumble! Wait until they are just warm or room temp. The sugar sticks better when cool anyway!


Here are some other holiday recipes you may enjoy:


3 Ingredient Paleo Shortbread Cookies

Gluten Free Peppermint Mocha Donuts

No Bake Peppermint Patties

Cranberry Sauce Crumble Bars



As always if you make these cookies, leave me comments and reviews below! I’d love to hear from you and it helps others! And be sure to tag me on instagram @gutsy_baker, and use #gutsybakes


xo Stephanie