Pecan Balls are a holiday cookie tradition in many families, maybe because they resemble snowballs.
It’s hard to resist these buttery, nutty morsels coated with powdered sugar, but those allergic to certain tree nuts have to resist, until now.
Here is a simple nut-free version of the Pecan Ball. It’s based on a Greek dessert called Kourabiethes—buttery ball shaped cookies with a delicate orange flavor, and dipped in powdered sugar.
Kids are likely to love these sweet treats, and a tin of them would also make a great gift for anyone on your list - allergy or not.
You will need:
- 1 lb (4 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
- 1/4 cup confectioners’ sugar, plus more for sprinkling on the cookies
- 1 egg yolk
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 2 tablespoons fresh orange juice
- 5 to 6 cups all-purpose flour
- (for a stronger orange flavor add 1/4 teaspoon orange peel)
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
- With a standard mixer, beat the softened butter until its light and fluffy. Add the powdered sugar, egg yolk, vanilla, and orange juice - beat the mixture thoroughly after each addition.
- Mix in the flour a little at a time until the soft dough can be handled easily.
- Take about one teaspoon of dough at a time and roll into balls. Place them on a non-stick cookie sheet and bake for 15-20 minutes.
- Roll the balls in powdered sugar while they are still hot, and sprinkle liberally with powdered sugar after they cool.
Makes about 6 dozen cookies.