Lemon Snowballs

From Chef Oonagh Williams of Gluten-Free Cooking with Oonagh

No, this isn’t a Girl Scout cookie lookalike recipe. These lemon snowballs actually came from a 1997 Lithuanian Heritage magazine. They were originally made with wheat, and I made them gluten-free. These are delicious and easy to make!

Gluten-Free Lemon Snowballs
Makes 20

Ingredients:

  • ¼ c powdered/icing/confectioner’s sugar
  • 1/2 cup soft butter
  • 1 tsp gluten-free vanilla extract
  • 1 tbsp gluten-free cornstarch in one cup measure, add
  • 5 oz (140 g) King Arthur all-purpose gluten-free flour blend to fill one cup. (this blend doesn’t contain xanthan gum or baking powder. Adding cornstarch is a way of softening the flour blend, more melt in the mouth and tender, and a substitute for cake flour.)
  • ½ c finely chopped, toasted almonds, pecans or walnuts. Bake nuts for 10-15 minutes in 350 oven, watch they don’t burn. Let them cool before you add them to dough. 
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • ¼ – ½ tsp xanthan gum. 
  • powdered sugar to finish
  • Zest or orange or lemon for flavor, optional

Directions:

  1. Heat oven to 350*F.
  2. Beat 1/4 cup powdered sugar, butter and vanilla (and zest) together until light and fluffy.
  3. Add flour with cornstarch, xanthan gum, chopped nuts and salt and gently mix until soft dough forms.
  4. Shape into 1 inch balls.  I use small pampered chef cookie scoop about 1+1/4 inch diameter, 1 Tbsp quantity.  Number 60 should be carved onto circle that cleans cookie dough from scoop. Scoop, clean against side of bowl and drop cookie onto ungreased cookie sheet, two inches apart. I like to line cookie sheet with parchment paper.   I don’t bother to roll cookie into ball shape. They flatten slightly on baking, refrigerating before baking doesn’t keep the ball shape.
  5. Bake in preheated oven for about 20-25 minutes until light golden brown on the outside, still almost white in the body of the cookie but set to the touch.  Don’t cook until brown all over, tastes disgusting. This is meant to be like a melt in your mouth shortbread.
  6. Remove from oven, remove from cookie sheets, cool slightly and heavily dust with sieved powdered sugar. I find when hot they are far too fragile to pick up. Cool completely.
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