Jump to content
  • Welcome to the eG Forums, a service of the eGullet Society for Culinary Arts & Letters. The Society is a 501(c)3 not-for-profit organization dedicated to the advancement of the culinary arts. These advertising-free forums are provided free of charge through donations from Society members. Anyone may read the forums, but to post you must create a free account.

Sign in to follow this  

Butterball Cookies

Recommended Posts

Butterball Cookies

This is a cookie recipe my mom made for us every Christmas while we were growing up. The name of the cookie comes from the amount of butter in it. These cookies are similar in looks to Mexican Wedding Cakes or Russian Tea Cakes. However, Butterballs are not as hard/crisp as these look-alikes. Be careful not to over-stir when adding in the flour and walnuts and you will have a light, tender cookie when baked.

Fair warning: Due to the cookies being rolled in powdered sugar, don't wear black when trying to eat one and don't attempt to breathe in while taking a bite.

  • 1 lb butter, softened (4 sticks)
  • 1 c powdered sugar
  • 1 T Vanilla extract
  • 4 c flour, sifted
  • 1 c walnuts, chopped

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

In a large mixing bowl, cream the butter, powdered sugar and vanilla extract together (You don't really need to use a mixer to do this recipe. A sturdy wooden spoon should work fine though the dough will get thick by the time all the flour has been incorporated).

Add the sifted flour one-cup at a time, mixing it in each time until just incorporated. By the 4th cup, the dough may seem too thick to stir with a wooden spoon, but it can be done.

After all flour has been mixed in, stir in the walnuts, mixing thoroughly until just combined.

With your fingers, grab enough dough to make a decent-sized ball (golf ball sized). Roll the dough in your hands until it is in the shape of a ball (the warmth of your hands will melt the butter in the cookies enough to prevent the dough from sticking to your hands).

Place the cookie balls on an ungreased cookie sheet**. Bake for 10-12 minutes, depending upon your oven. Recipe should make 50-60 cookies depending upon how large/small you made the balls.

The cookies are done when they become a pale golden brown and will even crack a little on the top.

Let cookies cool completely.

Put some powdered sugar in a bowl with deep sides (I actually use a plastic "Cool Whip" container). The deep sides will help you as you roll each cookie ball completely in the powdered sugar. Don't press too hard when rolling the cookies as the cookie can crumble from the pressure of your fingers (they're very flaky!).

That's all the originally recipe called for, however I go one step further. As the powdered sugar-covered cookies sit, the sugar gets absorbed by the butter in the cookies and then they don't look as pretty as before.

I let them sit for a day (or overnight) and then I roll them again in the powdered sugar to give them a final coating and then they're ready to eat. They will look like little snow balls.

**Note: For this recipe, I prefer to use the cookie sheets with the "air cushion". I used to use a cookie sheet that was just a dark brown single layer of metal pan with small sides on it, but found the cookies got burned on the bottom before they were completely cooked. The "air cushioned" pans seem to allow less burnt cookie bottoms.

If you get burnt cookie bottoms (like I used to), don't worry. After the cookies have cooled completely, take a 4-sided grater and gently grate the burned bottom off of the cookies on the small grating side (press too hard and the cookie will crumble). Brush away any burnt crumbs and no one will be the wiser! Proceed to roll them in powdered sugar.


edited fer spelling and clarification

Keywords: Dessert, Easy, Cookie, Christmas

( RG756 )

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites
Sign in to follow this  

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.