These tender snowball cookies are made with butter, all-purpose flour, almond flour, and powdered sugar, then tossed in a chai-spiced mixture. They are a fantastic holiday cookie or great served with coffee!
Alright. So you guys know I’m all about quick and easy weeknight meals, right? I mean, obviously.
But there’s also a part of me who loves to stretch my cooking skills and tackle recipes that are more…involved, let’s say. Especially on the weekends or for a dinner party.
A lot of the time, I turn to my friend Jen at Savory Simple. She’s a culinary school graduate, who applies her professional skills for the home cook. And her recipes are top notch, filled with fresh produce, bold flavors, and vibrant color! So, it was no surprise when her cookbook, The Gourmet Kitchen, was released. And I couldn’t wait to get my hands on it!
WHAT IT’S ABOUT? From-scratch home cooked meals, elevated to a gourmet level. Filled with recipes of varying cultures and styles from around the world, twists on some classics, and essential know-how for beginner cooks and accomplished chefs alike. Chapters include Homemade Stocks, Breakfast and Brunch, Soups and Salad, Appetizers and Sides, Main Courses, and Sweets and Treats.
WHAT KINDS OF RECIPES ARE INCLUDED? There is an abundance of healthy fruit and vegetable focused recipes, alongside chicken, pork, beef, seafood, vegetarian, desserts, and gluten free options.
DO I NEED SPECIAL EQUIPMENT? Yes and no. Most of the recipes just require a chef’s knife and your basic saucepan. But others call for a quiche pan, food mill, digital scale, ice cream machine, and stand mixer. That shouldn’t deter you from getting the book at all, though. You can improvise or just skip those recipes. There are certainly a ton to choose from!
ARE THE INGREDIENTS EASY TO FIND? Yes! All of the ingredients used in the recipes can be found at most grocery stores. But be prepared to spend some money. Jen cooks frequently with liquor, fresh herbs, and less commonly used spices, such as cardamom (one of my favs!)
WHAT IS THE LEVEL OF DIFFICULTY? I would say moderate. This book, IMHO, is not for the novice cook. But if you’re comfortable in the kitchen and cook regularly, you won’t struggle. You just need time.
ARE THERE A LOT OF PICTURES IN THE BOOK? Yes! With the exception of a small chapter devoted to Homemade Stocks, all 100+ recipes are accompanied by a stunning photo.
Just a sampling of other recipes I want to try:
Andouille Corn Chowder
Grilled Skirt Steak Salad with Tahini Dressing
Roasted Radishes with Butter and Parsley
Maple Soy Glazed Salmon
Goat Cheese Mousse with Roasted Blueberries
Other recipes I already tested and absolutely loved:
Butternut Lobster Bisque
Old Bay Potato Latkes
Cream of Winter Squash Soup with Spicy Candied Pecans (this one didn’t make the book, but it’s on her website. And it’s amazing.)
DO I RECOMMEND THIS COOKBOOK? Absolutely! It was everything I thought it would be. Upscale, yet totally accessible, unique, and gorgeous.
Now let’s talk about these Snowball cookies! (Also known as Snowdrops, Mexican Wedding Cookies, and Russian Tea Cookies. I mean, how many names can one cookie have??!) I call them snowballs because…well, they look like snowballs. And they are one of my all-time weaknesses when it comes to homemade cookies.
This recipe was actually one of four that I tested for Jen when she was writing her manuscript. I fell in love immediately and have since made them several more times. 8YO Trevor begs for them. This is surprising considering the chai-spiced coating. But I guess any cookie that calls for two sticks of butter and powdered sugar is bound to be a winner no matter how old you are!
NOTE: you might have a little sticker shock when you go to buy the ingredients for these cookies. Cardamon and almond flour don’t come cheap, my friends. But…BUT…these cookies are so beyond delicious, you will make them many more times. Plus, if you do enjoy Cardamom, Jen has several other recipes in her book that call for it, so it will not go to waste.
- • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
- • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
- • 2 sticks (1 cup) unsalted butter, room temperature
- • 1 1/2 cups powdered sugar, divided
- • 1 teaspoon vanilla
- • 1 1/4 cups almond flour
- • 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
- • 1 teaspoon ground cardamom
- • 1 teaspoon ground allspice
- • 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
- Line a baking sheet with parchment paper; set aside.
- In a small bowl, whisk together the flour and salt.
- In a large bowl, cream together the butter, a 1/2 cup of the powdered sugar, and vanilla on high with a handheld electric or stand mixer, until light and fluffy. Turn the mixer down to low and add in the almond flour, followed by the all-purpose flour, scraping down the bowls once or twice.
- Using a tablespoon-sized cookie scoop, measure out the dough and form balls with your hands. Place on baking sheets.
- Chill cookies in the refrigerator for 20 minutes.
- Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. Bake cookies for 18-20 minutes.
- While cookies are cooking, whisk together the remaining 1 cup of powdered sugar, the cinnamon, cardamom, allspice, and ginger in a bowl.
- Remove cookies from the oven and allow to sit for 1-2 minutes, then gently coat them with the spice mixture.
- Set aside to cool for 15 minutes, then toss them in the spice mixture again.