Lemon Snowdrops | A Christmas Thank-You

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Coating cookies with powdered sugar can be time-consuming, but I have devised a way to streamline the process and end up with prettier cookies, too.

When my favorite Christmas tree decorator hinted he would accept some kind of lemon-flavored Christmas cookies as payment, I had my working orders. I surprised him with lemon thumbprints last year but wanted something different this year, of course. My tradition-following gene is apparently mutated.

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Tree by Rob (Sorry Rob. I know this picture doesn’t do it justice.)

I went to one of my favorite cookie cookbooks, Great Cookies by Carole Walter, and started with her recipe for Snowballs. We called them Mexican wedding cookies when I was growing up.

For lemon flavor, I added 1 teaspoon of lemon oil. I prefer the oil (available at health food stores or specialty grocers like Whole Foods) over lemon extract for a brighter, more natural but intense lemon flavor. If you like, substitute 1 teaspoon grated lemon peel for a milder hint of lemon even non-lemon lovers will enjoy.

Christmas cookies = extra trouble in my dictionary. So I set about to streamline the process of sugar-coating the cookies. Try it yourself or stick with the old-fashioned way which is pressing each cookie, one at a time, into a bowl of powdered sugar, twice on each side. (I’ll admit the latter method has its benefits. All that individual attention usually produces more broken cookies, unsuitable for anybody but the baker to eat.)

Offload baked cookies upside down onto a cooling rack set over a piece of waxed paper.

Lemon Snowdrops-58.jpgWhile still warm, sprinkle with powdered sugar using a sieve.

Lemon Snowdrops-59.jpgFlip them, and sprinkle top side with powdered sugar.

Lemon Snowdrops-64.jpgAllow cookies to cool completely.

Sprinkle top side for the second time using a sieve full of powdered sugar.

Lemon Snowdrops-65.jpgMove rack off of waxed paper and press each cookie, top-side up, into the sugar left on the paper giving the bottom a second coat.

Thank-you to each of you in 2012 for your thoughtful comments, your (sometimes challenging) questions, and your continued encouragement. May God bless you with good eats and good memories during this time of celebrating Jesus Christ, our Savior.

P.S. If you make one of my recipes over the holidays and have a question, please don’t hesitate to drop me a line or leave a comment. I will try to answer ASAP. paula

Lemon Snowdrops
Recipe type: Cookies, Dessert
Serves: 56 cookies
Prep time:
Cook time:
Total time:
A lemon-flavored shortbread-type cookie studded with finely chopped pecans and dressed liberally with powdered sugar
  • 1-1/4 cups pecans
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup unsalted butter
  • 2 tablespoons powdered sugar
  • 1 tablespoon cold water
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon lemon oil (or 1 teaspoon grated lemon peel for milder lemon flavor)
  • 2 cups powdered sugar
  1. Using a food processor with a metal blade, finely chop pecans along with ¼ cup of flour. Pulse 3 or 4 times, then process steadily for about 8 seconds.
  2. Add remaining flour and salt to pecans and again, pulse a few times until combined.
  3. Add room-temperature butter to large bowl and beat with mixer on medium-low until light and creamy.
  4. Reduce mixer speed to low and add 2 tablespoons powdered sugar, water, vanilla, and lemon oil.
  5. Add chopped pecan-flour mixture to butter mixture in 3 portions, mixing just until combined. Don't overwork.
  6. Press dough into a ball, wrap well, and chill at least 30 minutes.
  7. Make tablespoon-size balls and place onto lined (parchment paper or silicone mat) cookie sheets. Leave them as balls, if desired, or slightly flatten each ball with the bottom of a glass dipped in granulated sugar.
  8. Bake in preheated, 325-degree F oven 20-25 minutes or until the bottom starts to brown.
  9. Allow to cool for 5 minutes.
  10. Offload baked cookies upside down onto a cooling rack set over a piece of waxed paper.
  11. While still warm, sprinkle with powdered sugar using a sieve.
  12. Flip them, and sprinkle top side with powdered sugar.
  13. Allow cookies to cool completely.
  14. Sprinkle top side for the second time using a sieve of powdered sugar.
  15. Move rack off of waxed paper and press each cookie into the remaining sugar on the waxed paper so now the bottom also has two coats.(Sugar will melt a little in the beginning, thus requiring more than one coat.)
  16. Store in airtight container between layers of wax paper.


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{ 10 comments… read them below or add one }

Adele February 2, 2013 at 11:39 pm

Hi , I just found you , and I can tell you I love your blog pretty much !!!



Jeanine January 4, 2013 at 11:24 pm

After consulting with Bonnie, I made these as a Christmas gift for my neighbor. Of course, we kept some for ourselves. They were tasty and easy. Thanks for sharing. Next, I’m trying the bacon-wrapped Jalapeno Chicken Bites.


Paula January 5, 2013 at 9:52 am

Wish I was your neighbor. 🙂 Thanks for writing.


Jeanine January 5, 2013 at 1:49 pm

By the way, you look and speak remarkably like your adorable sister, Bonnie. She has been my dear friend for more than 20 years and ANYTHING she prepares is good. She kindly brought me some of her roasted jalapenos when she stopped by last year and I will be using some of them for the chicken bites! Keep up the good work!


Jen @ Savory Simple January 3, 2013 at 8:18 pm

Snowdrop cookies are my absolute favorite!


Sandy December 25, 2012 at 12:22 am

These cookies were wonderful!!! Rob decided it would be the right thing to do if he shared with the family. I finally had to move them out of site. Yummmm. All I have to say is anyone who make these won’t be disappointed! You’re the best.


The Café Sucré Farine December 24, 2012 at 7:42 am

Paula, these are so yummy looking – I love your technique and I love your tree! So pretty!


Natasha December 20, 2012 at 9:45 am

Mmmmm these look delicious!
I want to make some cookies for Christmas for my neighbours and I think these will be perfect. Thanks for all the wonderful recipes and fun posts of the past year and I hope you and you family have a wonderful Christmas and a very happy and healthy New Year!


Paula December 18, 2012 at 12:44 pm

The cookies look as beautiful as the tree!


Tina December 18, 2012 at 4:07 am

A great idea for my Christmas gifts 😀
Happy holidays


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