Recipe courtesy of Kristin Rosenau

Hazelnut Espresso Snowballs

Snowballs, traditionally known as Russian Tea Cakes, are nutty, buttery cookies that make their appearance once the snow starts falling. These Hazelnut Espresso Snowballs are a twist on the traditional Christmas cookie. It is a simple recipe - mainly hazelnuts, butter and flour - but they pack a lot of flavor (feel free to use roasted almonds or pecans instead). The addition of espresso powder complements the roasted nuts, making them perfect for serving with coffee.
  • Level: Easy
  • Total: 2 hr 25 min
  • Prep: 10 min
  • Inactive: 2 hr
  • Cook: 15 min
  • Yield: 2 dozen cookies
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2 cups all-purpose flour

1 cup roasted and skinned whole hazelnuts

2 sticks (16 tablespoons) unsalted butter, at room temperature

1 1/4 cups confectioners' sugar

1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

1 tablespoon espresso powder

1/4 teaspoon fine salt


  1. In a food processor, combine the flour and hazelnuts. Process until the hazelnuts and flour form a fine meal. Set aside. 
  2. In a large mixing bowl, beat the butter and 1/2 cup confectioners' sugar together on medium-high speed until smooth. Mix in the vanilla, espresso powder and salt until uniform. Add the flour/nut mixture and beat on medium speed until a dough forms. Form into a disk, wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate for a minimum of 1 hour.
  3. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
  4. Roll the dough into 1-tablespoon balls, place on a baking sheet and bake until the bottoms of the cookies are lightly browned, about 15 minutes. Let the cookies cool on the baking sheet for a few minutes.
  5. Place the remaining confectioners' sugar in a bowl and gently coat the warm cookies once out of the oven. Place on a cooling rack to cool completely. Before serving, roll the room temperature cookies in the confectioners' sugar again to give them a nice, uniform appearance.