My grandmother was an incredible baker; her kitchen was always bustling with the aroma of something freshly baked. Whether sweet or savory, she cranked out an amazing display of holiday favorites that everyone in our family enjoyed. Every year at Christmas, she made about a half dozen different types of cookies, all from scratch. One of my absolute favorites were her snowballs, studded with walnuts and coated in confectioners sugar while still warm. I would eat one after another, savoring every mouthful of buttery goodness.
Now, I’ve tried her recipe using a gluten free flour blend in a 1:1 ratio; the results were pretty good, but I will warn you that the cookies have to cool for a while before you can handle them or they will crumble. I tried coating them with confectioners sugar while still warm as you would do with the traditional, non-gluten free recipe and sadly, they fell apart. I left the rest of the batch to cool completely and then coated them with sugar and they held up pretty well. Nature of the gluten free beast. Lots of trial and error.
My second take on her recipe and the one I’m sharing here, uses gluten free oat flour instead of a blend. I also added one egg which helped to bind it all together. The result was more of a snowdrop shape instead of a ball, but the taste was fantastic. As with the first attempt, I allowed them to cool completely before I handled them. When you are ready to coat them in the sugar, do so very carefully and gently, as the cookies are delicate.
It’s always a good idea to weigh your gluten free flours. Not every gluten free flour is a 1:1 ratio for regular flour! This is because different flours weigh different amounts. If you think you’ll be doing a good amount of gluten free baking, invest in a kitchen scale to measure your flours. You can find inexpensive ones on Amazon. This is the one I have and I love the convenient, removable bowl.
Enjoy these sweet cookies with a hot cup of coffee or for the kiddos, hot cocoa! They also make the perfect cookie to leave for Santa with a cold glass of milk!
Gluten Free Walnut Snowdrop Cookies
- 2 sticks unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
- 1/2 cup confectioners sugar, plus more for coating the cookies later
- 2 cups of gluten free oat flour
- 1 large egg
- 1/4 tsp. salt
- 2 tsp. vanilla extract
- 3/4 cup chopped walnuts
- Step 1 Preheat oven to 325 degrees.
- Step 2 In the bowl of a food processor, combine the butter and confectioners sugar and pulse until smooth.
- Step 3 Add the egg, salt and vanilla and pulse until combined.
- Step 4 Slowly add the flour to the mixture and pulse until it forms a dough. Add the walnuts last and pulse once or twice to blend them in. If you process it for too long, the walnuts will be pulverized, which you don’t want. You want to see small bits of the nuts. You can also use pecans if you don’t like walnuts.
- Step 5 The dough will be very sticky. Scoop it out of the bowl and place on a piece of plastic wrap. Place the ball of dough in the fridge for about 30 minutes. This makes it easier to handle.
- Step 6 Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
- Step 7 Break off small pieces of the cookie dough and roll into small balls, about 1 inch in diameter.
- Step 8 Bake for about 25 minutes or until the bottoms are lightly golden. Allow to cool completely.
- Step 9 Very gently, place the cookies a few at a time in a shallow dish with confectioners sugar. Coat completely. Store in an airtight container for up to 5 days.