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The Melt-In-Your-Mouth Cookie You'll Want All Winter

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Welcome to The Cookbook Cookie Parade: a new cookie from a new cookbook every Friday. Are your sheet pans (and stomachs) ready?

Today: Delicate snowball cookies get a nutty, nibby crunch.


Photo by Bobbi Lin

Snowballs, Russian Tea Cakes, Polvorones, Austrian Crescents— these ubiquitous light, sugar-dusted shortbread treats go by many names. But no matter what you call them, the buttery, melt-in-your-mouth cookies make the perfect holiday treat.

In San Francisco-based Dandelion Chocolate's first book, Making Chocolate, the pastry chefs put their own spin on the delicate cookies with the addition of bold, crunchy cocoa nibs.

"The other flavors in this cookie are fairly neutral, so you can choose whatever kind of [cocoa] nibs you want: nutty nibs will play up the nut flours, while chocolate-y nibs will harmonize with the flavor. Tender, light, and crunchy, with just a hint of chocolate from the nibs, these cookies are best served in overflowing piles to friends and family."


Another pro move? Chefs toss the warm (not hot!) cookies in a bowl of confectioners’ sugar twice before letting them cool on a wire rack. That way, each snowball gets a nice, even coat of sweetness.

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Nibby Snowballs

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Makes 18 cookies
  • 1 cup (150 grams / 5 ounces) all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons (100 grams / 3 1/2 ounces) whole-wheat flour
  • 1/2 cup (56 grams / 2 ounces) almond flour
  • 1 cup (100 grams / 3 1/2 ounces) hazelnut flour or finely ground hazelnuts
  • 1/2 cup (100 grams / 3 1/2 ounces) sugar
  • 1 teaspoon (3 grams) kosher salt
  • 1 cup (120 grams / 4 ounces) cocoa nibs, coarsely chopped
  • 1 cup (220 grams / 8 ounces) unsalted butter, chilled and cut into ½-inch cubes
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons (7 grams) vanilla extract
  • 2 cups (240 grams / 8 ounces) confectioners’ sugar
Go to Recipe

What do you call these buttery, delicate shortbread cookies? (Besides delicious.) Share below!

Tags: cookbook cookie parade, snowball cookies, shortbread