This month, Tasting Table is sweet on holiday cookies. This is the fourth in our 12-part series, the 12 Days of Cookies:
Quite possibly the international spies of the holiday-cookie community, these sugar-coated spheres go by many names. Whether you call them Russian tea cookies, Mexican wedding cakes, butter balls or polverones, these under-the-radar delights should be a holiday fixture as far as we're concerned. We developed ours in Tasting Table's Test Kitchen using toasted and finely ground cashews and a pinch of nutmeg. The cookies are then rolled twice in confectioners' sugar. Think of them as Tasting Table's spin on a deserving classic.
Check out all of Tasting Table's 12 Days of Cookies' recipes by clicking here.
Cashew Butter Balls
Developed in the Tasting Table Test Kitchen
Yield: 30 to 40 cookies
Cook Time: 35 minutes
1¼ cups raw cashews
1¾ cups all-purpose flour
Pinch ground nutmeg
¼ teaspoon salt
2 sticks unsalted butter
⅓ cup granulated sugar
1½ cups confectioners' sugar
1. Preheat the oven to 350°. Spread the cashews on a sheet pan and place in the oven. Bake until the cashews are toasted and fragrant, about 10 to 12 minutes. Remove the cashews from the oven and set aside to cool completely. Once cool, place the cashews in a food processor and pulse until finely ground.
2. In a medium bowl, whisk together the ground cashews, flour, nutmeg and salt. Set aside.
3. In a standing mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat together the butter and the granulated sugar until lightened and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Add the flour mixture and mix until a dough just begins to form. Wrap the dough in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 1 hour or up to overnight.
4. Preheat the oven to 300°. Using your hands, roll the chilled dough into 1-inch balls and place on a baking sheet spaced about an inch apart. Place in the oven and bake until just firm to the touch, about 20 to 25 minutes. Transfer the cookies to a cooling rack and cool slightly.
5. In a medium bowl, add the confectioners' sugar; roll the warm cookies in the sugar mixture. Transfer the cookies back to the cooling rack and cool completely. Gently roll in the sugar mixture once more. Serve immediately or store in an airtight container at room temperature for up to two weeks.