This favorite holiday cookie is known by many different names around the world, such as Mexican Wedding Cakes, Russian Teacakes, Swedish Tea Cakes, Italian Butter Nut, Southern Pecan Butterball, Snowdrop, Viennese Sugar Ball, Sand Tarts, and Snowball. Butterballs. They always contain finely chopped nuts and are twice rolled in powdered sugar. These cookies always seem to be a favorite of men and also a favorite Christmas Cookie. This recipe is originally from a 1950's Betty Crocker's Cookbook.
* HOW TO TOAST NUTS - SPREAD NUTS IN A SINGLE LAYER ON A BAKING PAN (ONE WITH WALLS IS BEST) FOR TOASTING IN THE OVEN. COOK AT 400 DEGREES F FOR 7 TO 10 MINUTES OR UNTIL THE NUTS START TO TURN GOLDEN. SHAKE THE PAN HALFWAY THROUGH TOASTING.
VARIATION: SUBSTITUTE 1 CUP MINIATURE SEMISWEET CHOCOLATE CHIPS FOR THE NUTS.
In a large bowl, cream butter, powdered sugar, and vanilla extract until light and fluffy. Sift in flour and salt; stir until well mixed. Mix in nuts. Refrigerate 1 hour.
Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
Roll dough into 1-inch balls. Place onto ungreased cookie sheets. Bake 10 to 12 minutes or until set but not brown. Remove from oven and cool slightly on wire cooling racks. While cookies are baking, place the powdered sugar in a shallow dish.
While still warm, roll cookies in powdered sugar. When cookies have cooled, roll them again in the confectioners sugar to give them a nice even coating of sugar. Store in an airtight container.