The holidays & Christmastime generally is just an explosion of baked goods. So much about the celebrations has to do with sweets. Thinking back to my childhood, we were always surrounded by cookies, chocolates, panettone, and ricotta cakes. But- SO many kinds of cookies. An absurd amount, although an enormous amount of joy comes with those baked goods. There are so many memories of baking together with family, and the idea of baking for Christmas just seems like such a norm for so many families. Being gluten and dairy free adds a huge challenge to the holidays. There are so many recipes out there, but it’s not as easy to bake gluten & dairy free. I don’t love to bake, and it honestly just makes me nervous. I worry that the proportions won’t work out and I will have spent an enormous amount of time baking something that tastes terrible. Even with these fears, I want to be able to bake at Christmastime and create some of those memories.
One of my favorite cookies of the season was introduced to me by my cousin (my cousin’s wife). Her mom makes these cookies every year, and when I was young and a gluten/dairy-eating human I would always look forward to her making these. After almost 3 full years gluten & dairy free I decided it was time to try to make them, so I adapted her recipe and was very excited about the results. Her original recipe calls for walnuts, which I used. However, some people do use pecans and others even use chocolate chips instead of nuts. I love them with the walnuts, so if you can eat them, I highly recommend the combination.
These cookies came out delicious, but super delicate. You really need to make sure you give cooling time so they don’t crumble when you pick them up. My sister and I got excited and immediately tried to pick two up post-oven and they pretty much imploded. After cooling time they were much easier to handle and roll into the confectioners sugar. When you pop them in your mouth, they explode like a little puff of snow and melt in your mouth, truly earning the name “snowball cookies”. Due to these properties, I highly recommend making small balls for your cookies so they remain pop-into-your-mouth-able. Enjoy!
Gluten-Free Vegan Snowball Cookies
Makes 3 dozen cookies
Prep time 15 mins before, 30 mins after baking
Bake time 20 mins
- 1 cup vegan butter (I used Earth Balance soy-free buttery sticks)
- 1/4 cup confectionary sugar (for dough)
- 1/2-1 cup confectionary sugar (for rolling)
- 1 cup chopped walnuts
- 1 tbsp water
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 2 cups Bob’s Red Mill 1:1 Gluten-Free Flour mix
- Preheat oven to 325 degrees.
- In a mixer, cream vegan butter & 1/4 cup confectionary sugar.
- Add water & vanilla extract & mix thoroughly.
- Add chopped walnuts & flour and mix thoroughly.
- Roll dough into small balls and place onto an ungreased cookie sheet.
- Bake at 325 for 20 mins. Remove from oven, allow to cool for 15-20 minutes. Then roll in additional confectionary sugar until they are thoroughly covered.