Pecan Snowball cookies (a.k.a. Buttery Fingers, Butter Nut Cookies, or Butter Snowballs) are traditional at Christmastime — rich and delicious and not overly sweet. They’re yummy!
I decided to make them this year, but I have a really hard time following recipes word-for-word, especially when they call for nutrient-free white flour and white sugar!
So I altered the recipe a bit so that it’s a little more nutritious, yet just as delicious — replacing the white flour with whole wheat (although you could do half-white-half-whole-wheat), and using rapadura/sucanat (evaporated cane juice sugar) in place of white sugar. I also replaced 4 tablespoons of butter with water, and they’re still plenty rich (almost a little too rich for me!).
Here’s my recipe. Turn on the Christmas music, and bake these with love!
Lindsey’s (Healthier) Pecan Snowball Cookies
Makes about 40 small cookies
1 cup small pecan pieces
2 1/2 cups whole wheat flour
3/4 cup rapadura or sucanat (evaporated cane juice sugar)
12 Tbsp butter (1 1/2 sticks butter) (if you further reduce the butter, increase the water by an equal number of tablespoons)
4 Tbsp water
2 tsp vanilla extract
powdered sugar, about 1 cup (to roll cookies in)
Preheat oven to 325 degrees. In a medium bowl, stir together the pecans, flours, and sugar. Then melt the butter over low heat in a small saucepan. Pour the butter into the flour mixture, and add the water and vanilla extract. Stir until well combined. Scoop up some of the dough and form it into a ball with your hands. The dough should form a ball that holds together easily. If the ball doesn’t hold together very well or seems a little dry, return the dough to the bowl and stir in a little more water.
Form the dough into small balls, and place them on a cookie sheet (no need to grease it). Since the cookies won’t expand, you can place them pretty close together. Bake for 20-30 minutes, depending on the size of your cookies. I made mine fairly small, and baked them for 20 minutes. Since the whole wheat flour and sucanat tint these cookies a light brown, it’s a little hard to tell when they’re done. Don’t let them go too long (better to undercook these than overcook them), and the bottoms shouldn’t get any darker than the rest of the cookie.
Take them out of the oven, and without delay, roll them in powdered sugar.