Snowball cookies, Russian Tea Cakes, Mexican Wedding cakes – call them what you like. These are essentially nutty balls of gluten-free shortbread rolled in frosting-esque powdered sugar, kissed with a Mexican chocolate-inspired mixture of cocoa powder, cinnamon, and a little cayenne for kick.
1stickunsalted, cold butter, in 1/2" pieces(4 ounces / 115 grams)
~3/4 cup powdered sugar(3 ounces / 90 grams)
Let's make cookies!:
Position a rack in the center of the oven and preheat to 350ºLine a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper (or grease lightly).
In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, combine the almond flour, cocoa powder, tapioca starch, sugar, cinnamon, salt and cayenne. Add the pecans, scatter the butter pieces over the top, and sprinkle over the vanilla. Mix on low until the butter is incorporated and the dough forms large clumps, 1-2 minutes. (If you don't have a stand mixer, use a pastry cutter to blend the butter into the dough.) Cover the dough and chill for 30 minutes (or up to several days).
Sift the powdered sugar into a shallow bowl. Form tablespoon-sized 1" balls of dough and roll them in the powdered sugar, knocking off any large clumps, and place the balls on the baking sheet an inch or two apart (I was able to fit all of mine on one sheet).
Bake the cookies until puffed and cracked, 18-22 minutes. It's a bit hard to tell when these are done so I recommend setting a timer and using an oven thermometer if you've got one. The cookies will be soft at first but should crisp up when cool. (If they're still soft when cool, return them to the oven to bake them a bit longer).
Let the cookies cool, then roll each one a second time in the powdered sugar. I like these best the first day of baking when the spices are bright and the cookies are crisp, but they can be layered with parchment paper and stored airtight for up to several days. If they start looking bald, give them another coat of powdered sugar.
Adapted liberally from Jay's mom Mary's awesome snowball cookie recipe.Since these cookies are a tad fussy, be sure to use the dip and sweep method if measuring by volume, or, better yet, use the weight measurements if you've got a kitchen scale.All ounce measurements are by weight.Nutritional values are based on one of thirty two cookies.