Waking up to snowfall got me thinking, and with the culinary wheels turning full throttle inside my head, I was ultimately lead to creating today’s Autoimmune-friendly “snowball cookies.” Essentially, these festive treats are the same thing as the European pastry known as “Russian tea cakes.” In fact, both versions are actually a derivative of an English, cookie-like-pastry from the 17th century, known as “Jumbles.” Original recipes are very simple, and typically combine flour, nuts, butter, and sugar, with the festive flavors of vanilla, caraway, and (or) anise. However, their presentation was anything but the latter, as they were twisted into knot patterns or intricate loops. As the years have progressed, this age-old baked good has been turned into many, modern varieties, including Mexican wedding cookies, Italian wedding cookies, butterballs, and Russian tea cakes as mentioned above.With my snowball variation, I decided to keep things comparatively close to the original recipe, omit the nuts, dairy, and refined sugar, yet still make a buttery, flakey, and delightfully sweet cookie that everyone would enjoy. Much like my Espresso Fudge Brownies and Santa Brownie Bites, this recipe features Anti-Grain’s Apple Flour. By combining this naturally sweet ingredient with lard and maple sugar, these cookies came out incredibly flavorful. I realize that not everyone had the opportunity to back Anti-Grain Flour in their Kickstarter, and thus cannot yet get their hands on these amazing flours. Therefore, I did a few test batches using arrowroot, sweet potato, and coconut flour, as well as replacing the lard with palm shortening and coconut oil. The use of coconut flour in place of the apple flour worked fantastic, and actually kept better form than the apple flour itself, while replacing lard with palm shortening was also a winner. However, the coconut oil made a completely flat cookie. Arrowroot can also successfully be substituted for the tapioca starch, though in my opinion, the tapioca version has a better texture. As a note, you can find all of these flours, as well as the non-hydrogenated palm shortening in my Amazon affiliate store here. Overall, these cookies were devoured the very day that I made them, and even my mother (who is a lover of real Russian tea cakes), said they were amazing.
- 1 cup AntiGrain apple flour (or) coconut flour
- 1 cup tapioca flour
- 1 cup maple sugar
- 1 tbsp vanilla extract
- 1 cup lard – refrigerated
- 1/8th tsp sea salt
Powdered Topping Ingredients
- Preheat oven to 325 degrees.
- Combine 1 cup of apple and tapioca flour in a small mixing bowl.
- In a standard mixing bowl, beat lard until whipped and smooth on medium-high.
- Turning mixture to medium, add in maple sugar, vanilla, and sea salt, continuing to mix until fully combined.
- Scrape down the sides of your mixing bowl, turning the mixer on low.
- Slowly spoon in tapioca and apple flour mixture.
- Once all flour is added, turn mixer to medium-high, beating until a cookie dough has formed.
- Using your hands, roll dough into 1 inch balls, placing on a parchment lined baking sheet a couple inches apart.
- Place sheet in the freezer to chill for 10-15 minutes.
- After the snowballs are down chilling, place in a preheated oven and bake for 15-20 minutes.
- In a shallow bowl, mix together topping ingredients.
- After the cookies are golden, remove from oven and allow to sit for 3-4 minutes.
- Once they are cool enough to handle, place cookies one at a time into the topping mixture, rolling until fully coated.
- Repeat with remaining cookies, placing on a plate for serving.
- Dust the tops of cookies with more powdered sugar mixture and enjoy!
If you do not want to make a full recipe, 1/2, or even 1/4th recipes work great!
Coconut flour acts as a fantastic replacement for apple flour.
Non-hydrogenated palm shortening can be used in place of lard.
*Do not make these cookies with coconut oil, unless you want a flat cookie.
Isaiah 30:18 “Yet the Lord longs to be gracious to you; therefore He will rise up to show you compassion. For the Lord is God of justice. Blessed are all who wait for Him!”