Russian Tea Cookies, Mexican Wedding Cookies, Snowball Cookies… they are one in the same. An old fashioned, tender little cookie that is quick to pull together and bake. My Grandma always made these when we were growing up and I can still remember her letting me double roll them in powdered sugar. A step in my recipe that aren’t in many! Whenever I bake them I think of her. She published a cookbook with my Aunt that this recipe may be found in. The only way to improve upon these cookies is to put a Hershey’s mini kiss in the center prior to baking, like my Mom does. If you do that, they are called “Snowball Surprise Cookies”.
These cookies are ‘friendly’ cookies for a cookie swap. I mean that they play well with others (minus the powdered sugar residue they leave on surrounding cookies). Have you ever been to a cookie exchange and there are a few mint flavored cookies and a couple of peanut butter cookies on the take-home plate? Yes… that’s a party foul.
Rule #1 for cookie exchanges: Pre-wrap mint or PB cookies in plastic wrap or foil. This will prevent any cross-flavoring from one cookie to the next. Totally worthless information, but something to think about! The last straw a couple of years ago happened when I had a piece of maple fudge that tasted like mint! Yikes!
This weekend I’m giving a baking class to 12 girls, ages 10 and older. We’ll be baking apple pie (recipe to come), and I’ve got to go buy ingredients! Before that I’m out to tend to pigs. We’ve got some gilts and sows in heat, plenty of pens to clean, waterers to check and bedding to distribute. This is the more difficult time of year to have animals outdoors. The pigs in our modern commercial barns are enjoying 70+ degree temperatures while the pigs we have outside are deeply bedded and endure the cold, which is that way it will be until the warmth of spring swings back our way in March (hopefully).
Last year we travelled out in a ground blizzard to check some new babies at my in-laws house. It was freezing and visibility was so bad. Check out the wind sweeping my hair. If the weather doesn’t act up like that this year, I’ll be happy!
The pigs we are breeding this time of year will farrow in late February or early March. A pig’s gestation lasts for 114 days or roughly 3 months, 3 weeks and 3 days. It is a great time for our family when we have sows farrowing. The kids learn so much, and so do I. My husband is a kind and patient teacher.
She’s still the best pig farmer in our family. We’ll all agree. We sold this exact piglet (Big Red Barn, the boar) to a nice family from Nebraska. I hope they are reading… here he is!
I can’t wait for new little ones and the opportunity to spend more time in the barn with the kids.
Instead of throwing snowballs at your kids (seriously honey?!) bake them these cookies!
Adapted from The Prairie Rose Tea Room Cookbook
Makes approx. 3 dozen cookies
1 C (2 sticks) butter
3/4 C powdered sugar 1 tsp vanilla extract ¼ tsp salt
2 ¼ C all purpose flour
3/4 C pecans, chopped finely
1 ½ C powdered sugar for rolling
Cream butter, sugar and vanilla until light and fluffy. Add salt and flour, mix until combined. Add pecans, mix until incorporated. Make into ‘walnut sized’ balls. Bake in a preheated 350 degree oven for 12 minutes. Remove from oven to cool a bit. Roll in powdered sugar. When finished rolling, re-roll for best results.