This is a buttery, domed nut cookie (in this case made with walnuts) generously rolled in confectioners’ sugar. These are a snap to make in the food processor.
Yield: 32 cookies
¾ cup walnut halves
1¼ cups confectioners’ sugar
¼ teaspoon salt
½ cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, cut into tablespoons
½ teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup all-purpose flour
1. Place walnuts, ¼ cup confectioners’ sugar, and salt in a food processor, pulse to break up nuts, then process until nuts are finely ground. Add butter a few pieces at a time, pulsing to incorporate, then process until mixture is smooth; pulse in vanilla. Add flour and pulse until incorporated. Process until dough begins to form a ball. Place dough on large piece of plastic wrap, form into a very flat disc, cover completely with wrap, and refrigerate until firm enough to roll into balls, at least 2 hours or overnight.
2. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line 2 rimmed cookie sheets with parchment paper.
3. Roll dough between your lightly floured palms into 1-inch balls and place 2 inches apart on cookie sheets, Gently flatten just enough so they don’t; roll off.
4. Bake until light golden brown around edges, about 15 minutes. Place pan on rack to cool for 5 minutes, then sift remaining 1 cup confectioners’ sugar over warm cookies. After cookies have cooled completely, roll them in sugar on the sheets to cover completely.
Round, crumbly sugar cookies with nuts in the dough appear in many cuisines, such as the Vanilla Crescents of Hungary, Pecan Butter Balls from the southeastern United States, and Mexican wedding cakes, which are virtually identical to the butter balls.
Lifespan: 2 weeks at room temperature in airtight container in single layers separated by waxed paper