Say hello to your perfect Christmas Eve cookies! If you didn’t get around to baking yet, or you did but all the cookies are mostly gone already (ahem) and you need a great Christmas Eve cookie to bake today, these are them. These cookies have so many different names I can never keep it straight. I just call them puffballs because that’s exactly what they look like. And taste like. They are just literally little puffballs that melt in your mouth. They are so so good. They’ve always been my absolute favorite. They’re completely addicting! And since they’re basically bite size, it’s so hard to not just keep popping them in your mouth. They’re also easy to make and really pretty quick– perfect for some last minute baking just to get the festive air going in your house for Christmas Eve but not actually spend all day slaving away in the kitchen.
For a long time I kept trying all these different recipes for these cookies trying to make them exactly right and as best as they possibly could be. Then I finally remembered that I actually have a recipe written down from my aunt years ago. She always made great ones every year for Christmas and I think they were actually the ones I had in my mind as the example of the perfect pecan puffballs and I had just totally forgotten. This is now my new tried and true recipe and there is no reason to try any others. I also like that this recipe makes a large enough batch that they’re not gone in the first few minutes after making them. They lasted like two whole days in my house. I had all intentions of bringing some of these to people as little gifts and treats for Christmas since I had a couple of parties and dinners to go to, but my husband ended up eating literally all of them before I brought any anywhere! I’m just glad I found a treat he loves because usually he claims to not be into sweets which is just not something I can comprehend.
Definitely making these again though before this holiday season is over. I like that they are so festive and cute too because they work perfectly for New Years Eve as well as Christmas is my opinion. I don’t refer to these as Christmas cookies, they are just perfect celebration cookies in general.
1 cup butter
4 tablespoons sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla
2 cups pecans
2 cups flour
1 cup confectioners sugar
Heat oven to 300. Beat butter until soft. Add sugar and keep beating until creamy. Add vanilla.
Grind nuts in food processor until they are the consistency of sand. You want them totally tiny and ground up, but stop before you turn it into a nut butter. Add to butter. Add flour, and mix until both are thoroughly combined.
Roll into small balls, about an inch in diameter, and place onto parchment lined baking sheets. They expand a little but not much, so just leave a little space around each one. Bake for 30 minutes or until just beginning to brown. Let cool for only a minute or two, just so they’re cool enough to handle.
Pour confectioners sugar onto a plate and roll warm cookies in it until thoroughly coated. Let cool completely and sprinkle with another layer of confectioners sugar. The first layer will absorb into the cookies a bit, but the second layer will sit on top and make them look like little snowballs.