Noel balls are my favorite holiday cookie. Variations on the basic recipe are also called Scandinavian Walnut Cookies, Walnut Snowball Cookies, Pecan or Butter Balls, Mexican Wedding Cakes/Cookies, Russian Tea Cakes/Cookies, and probably a few others. They seem to have been made by almost everyone's family, and are one of almost everyone's favorites cookies. The effort required to make them is inversely proportionate to how delicious they are. What's not to love? A buttery-sugary-toasted nuttiness flavor, all rolled into a pop-it-in-your-mouth-sized ball of joy. Just as most everyone else does, I credit my mom as the origin for my recipe, though she prefers walnuts (Scandinavian Walnut Balls), and I prefer pecans. I love all variations of these cookies -whatever name they are called.
1 c. butter
1/2 c. powdered sugar
1 t. vanilla
2 1/4 c. flour
1/2 c. finely chopped nuts
Form 1 1/4 inch balls. Place on baking sheet and chill thoroughly. Bake 325-350 degrees for 20-25 minutes. Roll balls in powdered sugar while warm, and again when cool.
Years ago, when my kids were little and our dog, Jane was just a puppy, I had baked several batches of cookies for our holiday gift tins. I ran out of counter space in the kitchen, so I put a batch of these cookies on the floor downstairs in our family room to cool. Jane, being the very smart dog she is, had quickly learned the rule that she was to ONLY EAT FOOD PUT ON THE FLOOR. So of course, she thought that the cookies had been intentionally put on the floor for Good Dog Jane, and ate every last cookie.