This weekend I made one of my favorite holiday cookies, Russian Teacakes. I doubled the recipe to freeze some dough so I could make cookies next week before Christmas. I rolled them into balls, froze them on a pan and then transferred them to a plastic bag for storage. Unfortunately, something did not translate well in the doubling of the recipe and they are not as amazing as usual. But fortunately, I was trying a new twist on this cookie from Tasting Table’s 12 days of cookies. I’ve seen these made with walnuts and pecans but never cashews. I love cashews and butter balls so I definitely had to try them. I am glad I did. These may be my new favorite. They have such a great nutty flavor. And their technique for sugaring them is also a keeper.
I ended up with too much ground cashews so I ground it further into cashew butter. I added a little vegetable oil until the consistency was correct. A dash of sugar and a pinch of salt went into the mix. It’s the best!
Cashew Butter Balls
Makes 30-40 cookies
Dough needs to chill for 1 hour before baking
1¼ cups raw cashews
1¾ cups all-purpose flour
Pinch ground nutmeg
¼ teaspoon salt
2 sticks unsalted butter
⅓ cup granulated sugar
1½ cups confectioners’ sugar
Preheat the oven to 350°. Spread the cashews on a sheet pan and place in the oven. Bake until the cashews are toasted and fragrant, about 10 to 12 minutes. Remove the cashews from the oven and set aside to cool completely. Once cool, place the cashews in a food processor and pulse until finely ground.
In a medium bowl, whisk together the ground cashews, flour, nutmeg and salt. Set aside.
In a standing mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat together the butter and the granulated sugar until lightened and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Add the flour mixture and mix until a dough just begins to form. Wrap the dough in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 1 hour or up to overnight.
Preheat the oven to 300°. Using your hands, roll the chilled dough into 1-inch balls and place on a baking sheet spaced about an inch apart. Place in the oven and bake until just firm to the touch, about 20 to 25 minutes. Transfer the cookies to a cooling rack and cool slightly.
In a medium bowl, add the confectioners’ sugar; roll the warm cookies in the sugar mixture. Transfer the cookies back to the cooling rack and cool completely. Gently roll in the sugar mixture once more. Serve immediately or store in an airtight container at room temperature for up to two weeks.