cashew butter balls

The Smitten Kitchen Cookbook Book Tour ended its 2012 run on Monday evening at the New York Public Library in Midtown, as fine of a place to call a finish line as any, and with great company to boot. I know I should say something here that sums up this sprawling, incredible last couple months in one neat paragraph. There’s so much we haven’t had time to talk about! But, it feels too soon to get my head around all of it and I’d rather talk about this here site because as overwhelmingly grand the last few weeks have been, once I got reunited with my kid/husband/bed, it’s this place I’ve missed the most — fiddling in the kitchen, sharing things we’re excited about and chatting in the comments. So thank you for being part of it. I can’t wait to catch up.

toasted cashews
grinding the cashews with flour

I’d like to tell you that my first foray back into the kitchen was a raging success, alas, this is no time to start teetering on the edge of facts. The second was not much better, and only cemented my hunch that cookbook book tours and cooking are, quite ridiculously, mutually exclusive activities. The third, however, must be shared, despite the fact that the technical errors I encountered were largely avoidable had I, 800-plus site recipes and a cookbook later, yet learned to go with my gut. Why be hasty, right?

the dough before it is chilled

You see, a frequently asked question on the tour has been how I go about creating recipes and while the answer is long and boring winding, I can say in the realm of cookies, it’s a bit more straightforward as most come back to basic formulas that need only a little adjustment for nuance to make them work for a specific flavor profile. Today’s case in point is one of my favorite holiday cookies, the Russian Tea Cake/Mexican Wedding Cakes/Nut Crescents/and sometimes Povlorones. 99 percent of the recipes out there follow a formula that works gorgeously each time — tender, buttery barely-sweet mounds of cookies hot from the oven roll in the powdery sugared deep before cooling into the only cookie I make consistently from year to year. But when I spied one with slightly more nuts and slightly less flour, I was sent into a neurotic typical tailspin over whether I should a) try something new that might be better or b) not fix what is not broken. In the end, I went for the new and potentially different and while these were probably the most fragile and elegant version of the cookie yet, I am only recommending them below as an alternative recipe, as a cookie that cannot handle tumbling through a freshly-sifted mound of featherlight powdered sugar without breaking in half is… probably not a headache anyone needs this weekend.

scoop and roll, scoop and roll

Really, baking should not cause furrowed brows. It should unwind and make the hallway swoon with the scent of creamed butter, sugar and vanilla toasting against flour. In the background, the Muppets and John Denver should be yukking it up and any adjacent preschoolers should be lightly dusted in powdered sugar as well. Somewhere, someone should be either be mixing you a Perfect Manhattan or plotting your getaway to one.

ready to bake
rolling in the powdery deep

I typically make this kind of cookie with pecans or walnuts. I’ve sometimes used in macadamias or almonds. I even once tweaked them for chestnuts roasted on an open fire in a dinky oven. But I’ve never made them or absolutely anything else with cashews because I don’t much care for cashews. If you asked me why, I’d go on about them tasting rather one-dimensional and flatly sweet, almost buttery but in need of more texture, more salt and maybe a little vanilla. You would probably have the common sense to suggest this means that they’re actually calling out to be included in a cookie (buttery? check. crisp? check. vanilla? check.) I, however, took nearly a decade to come to this conclusion and still another year to finally make them.

some lost an edge or two

You were right, by the way, they make an excellent cookie. Everything I find dull about cashews alone is perfect toasted and embedded in these cookies and although this isn’t half as exciting as the other dozen cookies I’d dreamed of sharing this month (next December, friends, I may not leave my apartment at all — for balance and stuff — and you will have all the cookies I owe you) they’re hardly an unwelcome unwelcome addition to any party.

I hope you have a wonderful holiday, friends. I hope somebody bakes you lots of cookies.

and then we went to a party
little boxes tied up with bakery string

For your baking extravaganza: There are 57 cookie recipes in the archives. Where to start? Well, Grasshopper Brownies, of course. Then Spicy Gingerbread Cookies (perfect for houses, squat or tall), Rugelach Pinwheels, Crescent Jam and Cheese Cookies, Seven Layer Cookies, ridiculously decadent Chocolate-Toffee Cookies, Toasted Coconut Shortbread, Austrian Raspberry Shortbread, then how about some Pink Lemonade Bars? From the book, I implore you to not skip the Gooey Cinnamon Squares, a mash-up of Snickerdoodles and St. Louis Gooey Butter Cake I became so obsessed with last year, I begged my editor to let me add them, long past the point I was allowed. Need a great cake to top off your meal? You will never be unwelcome with Gramercy Tavern’s Gingerbread (I make it every year), a Chocolate Stout Cake or even this flourless Ho-Ho of a Heavenly Chocolate Cake Roll.

One year ago: Nutmeg-Maple Butter Cookies, Caesar-Salad Deviled Eggs and Peppermint Hot Fudge Sauce
Two years ago: Roasted Chestnut Cookies, Garlic Butter Roasted Mushrooms, Iced Oatmeal Cookies, Broiled Mussels and Spicy Gingerbread Cookies
Three years ago: Creamed Spinach, Gingerbread Apple Upside-Down Cake, Cappuccino Fudge Cheesecake, Balsamic-Braised Brussels Sprouts with Pancetta, Cream Biscuits, Coffee Toffee, Vanilla Roasted Pears and a little guide to Building Your Own Smitten Kitchen
Four years ago: Cauliflower Salad with Green Olives and Capers, Onion Tart with Mustard and Fennel, Apple Pancakes, Fennel, Proscuitto and Pomegranate Salad, Meyer Lemon and Fresh Cranberry Scones and Winter Fruit Salad
Five years ago: Pumpkin Waffles, Creamy White Polenta With Mushrooms, Oatmeal, Chocolate Chip and Pecan Cookies, Nutmeg-Maple Cream Pie, Tiramisu Cake, Fennel Ice Cream and Chicken and Dumplings
Six years ago: Sundried Tomato Stuffed Mushrooms, Orangettes, Honey-Hoisin Pork Riblets and Chocolate Chip Sour Cream Coffee Cake

Cashew Butter Balls
Inspired by the Tasting Table Test Kitchens

It was one of my favorite food newsletters that put the idea of a cashew spin on one of my favorite cookies into my head last winter, however, in the end, I preferred my go-to formula (with slightly less nuts and slightly more flour) to theirs as mine crumbles less. I also nixed the nutmeg, added some vanilla and replaced the granulated sugar with powdered sugar, but kept the name because I love it too much to part with it. I also give a flaky salt option, because I think a faint crunch of salt contrasts wonderfully with sweet cashews.

Oh, and (big and!), I adapted the recipe for a one-bowl assembly in a food processor, yay. If you don’t have one, grind your nuts in whatever you have around (mini-grinder, coffee grinder, etc.) to a powder (I find grinding them with a bit of the flour makes them less prone to turn to a nut butter), then whip the butter and 1/2 cup powdered sugar with an electric mixer until fluffy. Add the vanilla. Whisk together the ground nuts, flour and salt separately and mix them into the butter mixture until just combined. Chill and scoop as directed below.

If you’d like to make the recipe as TT suggests, use 1/4 cup more cashews and 1/4 cup less flour and only move them from tray to sugar to cooling rack with the gentleness of feathers. Once they cool, they’ll firm up enough that they’re less fragile, although I still wouldn’t recommend them for shipping. Nope, you’ll have to keep them for yourself.

Makes about 40 cookies

1 cup (145 grams) raw cashews
2 cups (250 grams) all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon table salt, or a heaped 1/4 teaspoon sea salt flakes
1 cup (2 sticks or 230 grams) unsalted butter, softened slightly, cut into chunks
2 cups (240 grams) powdered sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

Heat oven to 350°F and toast cashews in a single layer until a shade darker, about 10 to 12 minutes. About halfway through the toasting time, toss the nuts around to redistribute them for even coloring. Let cool completely. You can hasten this along by transferring them to the freezer for a few minutes.

Place cooled cashews, flour and salt in the workbowl of a food processor. Clear the kitchen of toddlers and others sensitive to loud noises, then grind the mixture to a fine powder. Pour mixture into a bowl and set aside briefly.

Add butter and *only* 1/2 cup of the powdered sugar to the empty food processor and run the machine until the mixture is creamy and combined. Add the vanilla and mix. Add the nut-flour mixture and pulse the machine until it is just combined. Scrape the soft cookie dough back into the bowl that held the nut-flour mixture, cover it with plastic wrap, and refrigerate it until firm, about an hour.

[Do ahead: You can chill it in the fridge for up to 2 days, or in the freezer for longer.]

Heat your oven back to 300°F. Place remaining 1 1/2 cups powdered sugar in a wide bowl. Using your hands, scoop tablespoon-sized (about 1-inch round) balls of the chilled cookie dough into your palms and quickly roll them into little balls. Place them evenly on a parchment-lined baking sheet an inch apart. Bake 20 to 25 minutes, until they feel dry on the outside, but still quite soft. (Don’t fret!)

Let cool on sheets for a few minutes, then gently roll the hot cookies in the powdered sugar before transferring them to racks to cool completely.

Cookies keep in an airtight container for at least a week, probably two, though never at my place. They can be frozen for as long as you trust your freezer. They occasionally benefit from a fresh coating of powdered sugar before serving.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

New here? You might want to check out the comment guidelines before chiming in.

260 comments on cashew butter balls

  1. Jori

    Welcome back!! We’ve missed you! These look amazing and will go on the To-Bake-Immediately list, but in the meantime, my family & friends thank you for the ever-popular espresso-chocolate chunk shortbreads and the ridiculously fabulous butternut squash-caramelized onion galette in the book. Holy fontina, that may be my favorite for awhile. Great talk at the Free Library of Philly, too!

  2. I thought these were Mexican Wedding Cookies when I saw the pic. I think your take on them sounds much better – cashews are my favorite nut.

    It also sort of remind me of cajeta de coco. Have you had those? Little balls of heaven that’s what she said).

  3. Elizabeth

    Yumm… my mom makes these (we call them bon bons) with primarily hazelnuts and they are incredibly delicate and heavenly. I bet the cashews are amazing.

  4. Butter Balls have always been one of my favorite Holiday cookies. When I was a kid, I used to love licking my fingers after finishing with the powdered sugar. So sweet and yummy.

    I never thought about using cashews before, but now, thanks to your idea, I will.

  5. J in Canada

    Cashews and butter – sold! Thank you Deb for years of great reads, great eats and great pics. I just made the choco peanut butter cake for the umpteenth time due to so many requests. Merry Christmas to you and yours!

  6. Brookline Booksmith was sold out in the blink of an eye, so a ton of us ended up completely missing you. You’ll just have to write another cookbook so we can snag seats the next time. :-)

    I always get the cashews when I spy a roasted nuts vendor. Definitely give them a shot; they are actually better than a bag of peanuts or almonds. And since my sister is DEATHLY allergic to walnuts, I’m happy to give these a go.

  7. Ruthie

    So fun that I saw you speak about working on these cookies at the NYPL signing and here they are! They look delicious – I’ll have to give it a go.

  8. Polvorones really are a pain at times (I am Mexican!)- but they are well worth the pain! Here in Mexico we actually toast the flour as well beforehand (we use whole wheat flour)- and the taste really is THAT much better when you toast it! (I think this is something not heard of too much outside of Mexico though.

  9. I met you at Fishs Eddy last week, and am in love with the book! I made a special trip to Staples to buy colored post-it tabs and marked all the recipes I want to try. I made the Gooey Cinnamon Squares for my coworkers a few days ago, who went crazy for them, and froze half the batch to serve on Christmas day.
    Congratulations again on such a spectacular cookbook and happy holidays!

  10. Brandiann

    Welcome back!! Russian tea cakes are my favorite Christmas cookie and I am delighted with this new spin on the classic.

    In your absence, I have been obessively plowing my way through your cookbook. My husband and I had the pleasure of meeting you in Chicago at the Book Cellar’s signing, right after Jacob made a bookstore full of women swoon with his post-nap entrance :).

  11. Cashews are like vegan butter! So creamy, fatty, rich, and can be pulverized into submission and a great blank canvas for so much! I love that you used a solid cup here.

    And congrats on wrapping up a successful book tour! I brought your book with me on my holiday vacation and have been sitting poolside and on the beach reading your cookbook like others read novels :)

  12. Laceflower

    Of course you opted for “new and potentially better” never a doubt in my mind that you would. I just got my hands on your cookbook and as I’m not past the 100 comments point, and you might actually read this far; congratulations. I’ve been checking in with you to find out what I’m cooking next for so many years I’ve lost count. Wishing you and your adorables a very happy holiday season.

  13. I had wonderful intentions this year of baking gifts. In my dreams they would look like the beautiful gift packages in your photo. In reality THREE sick children – one after the other – has resulted in my usual last-minute Amazon dash. Sigh. I will however be insisting on someone mixing me cocktails. We can at least have that in common, right??
    Happy Christmas to you and yours, and thank you for yet another year’s worth of fabulous recipes. xx

  14. Yum, Deb… I remember you mentioning these during our talk. I’m glad you went ahead and posted the recipe. I can’t wait to try them myself…During the day, of course!

  15. The Russian Teacakes are my daughter’s favorite cookie. I’ve made them with pecans and almonds. I was planning on using almonds this year, but I may have to try them with cashews. Congrats on being back home and getting back in the kitchen!

  16. I’m with you on cashews missing something… I don’t enjoy snacking on them unless they are all flavored up– preferably with chili and lime. But these cookies don’t look like they are missing a thing!

    The Christmas cookie tradition is not in my family, so I’ve never made anything remotely like this, but you’ve convinced me it’s worth a try. How much tweaking of the other ingredients is necessary when using other nuts (specifically walnuts or almonds)?

  17. Wendi

    Hi Deb! You’ve got my mouthwatering over the Gooey Cinnamon Squares, but I can’t find the recipe anywhere. Can anyone locate the link? Thanks!

  18. Kay

    So happy to see this post this morning. Butterballs are my absolute favorite Christmas cookie. I can’t claim a history with many particular foods, but and I go way back. I actually wrote about them recently. I’ve always made them with pecans, it’s hard to imagine anything better. I tried one from a local bakery yesterday made with slivered almonds…ugh, seriously disappointing. I honestly can’t imagine cashews being a decent substitute for pecans BUT I fully trust your opinions, Deb, so I may have to try these!

  19. Emily P

    A similar recipe to this is in my family’s Christmas cookie arsenal as well, and often referred to as snowballs. But being the chocoholics that we are, we hide Hershey’s kisses in the middle of the cookies. It makes them a little harder to roll in the powdered sugar (they fall apart much more easily) but the chocolate surprise in the middle is well worth it.

  20. Wendi

    Oh, I see. I’ll have to steal my sister’s copy then — or get my own for Christmas. Santa, are you listening? ;)

    Thanks for the clarification, and for the many wonderful recipes that have ended up on my dinner table, Deb!

  21. Omigosh!!! Once again you’re a mind-reader. I have all the ingredients for Mexican Wedding Cakes on my counter at home, waiting, whilst I get my java/blog-surfing fix. I’ve never prepared them in a food processor. A detour for cashews and these will be on my table in an hour and I love the way you’ve boxed them.

  22. I made these this winter too, but in a more traditional version: almond crescent cookies. They were also rolled in a lot of powdered sugar and looked like cute little half-moons. And currently, our house is full of Russian tea cookies with walnuts. Cashew is next on the list!

  23. Marcia

    So happy to see you back online, Chica!
    I’m w/you on the meh-quality to cashews, but definitely am making this version of whatever-one-chooses-to-call-them cookies. Thanks, Deb, for again bringing such wonderful goodness into our lives.
    And the cookbook is amazing — the perfect combination of you, food, photos, and, of course, Jacob!
    Now put your feet up and enjoy a martini. :)

  24. Susan

    Butterballs are always on our Christmas cookie plate, too, but are great when you’re out of eggs any time of year.. My base recipe is the same as TT’s but I use 1/2 cup ground almonds. They are fragile, but not as much as 1 whole cup would make them.

  25. laurie

    Hi Deb,
    My mom called them crescent cookies and made them with almonds, except when we made them with pecans and they became Mexican wedding cookies. Down here in Dallas, it’s going to be 65 and sunny today so come back to as soon as you can!
    P.S. My husband gave me your book for Chanukah!
    P.P.S. Adorable hat on Jacob. What a great present.

  26. Katie A

    I am staring at a big bag of huge gorgeous pecans – not a cashew in sight! I am assuming this recipe will be just fine with pecans, right? Or do I need to adjust anything?

  27. Leah

    Welcome Back! I’m sad I missed you at my local book signing, had to stay home with sick kiddos, but I was given your book as a holiday gift and love it. I’m already wishing it was summer so I could be eating the tomato shortcakes. Happy Holidays!

  28. I’ll have to add these to my cookie list for next year, I just finished my holiday baking extravaganza, and can’t bear to look at another cookie (best diet plan around the holidays? Make 14 kinds of cookies over 3 days, you won’t want to eat sweets again for a good four months). Also, I’ve made those grasshopper bars for a few years now after finding them at Epicurious, and will be making them for the forseeable future, or until I run out of the giant bottle of creme de menthe I had to buy! It is good added to hot chocolate though.

    Happy holidays!

  29. Geneva

    Wendi, if you want to try the gooey cinnamon cake before you get the book, David Lebovitz did a write up of it recently and posted the recipe on his blog.

    (Hope it’s okay to post this. Love both bloggers and love your cookbook and the cake and wanted to share).

  30. I love cashews, but that might be more about my deep and abiding love of Indian food than any stellar quality in the nuts themselves. I will have to try this… or something similar to this soon!

  31. How funny – cashews are the only nuts I like to eat by themselves :). my husband just bought home a kg of macadamia nuts from the farm he manages as a Christmas gift from the owner, and this is something beautiful to do with them. Thank you!

  32. ginger marks

    Channeling a moment from ‘Hello Dolly’…Deb, it’s so nice to have you back where you belong. It must be weird to mean something to people you’ve never met, but I’ve missed reading your blog. It’s a bit of comfort in a bustling. uncertain world and I like your blog voice. Hope you enjoy your Holidays and get a little rest compared to the last few months…..

  33. Deb C

    Deb, these look delicious! Thanks for all of the cookie suggestions for our holiday baking (which i still have yet to do!), but what happened to the Holiday/Gift Cookie ideas link that you used to have on the side? I was looking for it this year and it looks like it’s gone…

  34. Sarah U

    Glad you’re back, Deb! You were missed! Congrats on completing your cookbook tour. I’m still waiting rather impatiently for Christmas morning to see if Santa remembered my #1 request…your cookbook! I made your chocolate swirl buns for the first time last week and am making them again for Christmas morning – I believe we have a new tradition. Many thanks!

  35. I found a recipe for this type of cookie with pine nuts in it a couple of years ago and fell in love with them. I’ve made them for Christmas for the past couple of years. Cashews are my absolute, all-time favorite nut though and it’s always made me sad that I haven’t found many cookie recipes that call for them. I will have to give these a try – thanks so much for this new version!

  36. I love reading your prose Deb, I really do. It’s what makes this place so special (of course, together with the recipes).
    Happy holidays to you Deb. Have a fantastic time with your family!

  37. Love! Where’d you get the super cute boxes?? I think I’m on a cookie spree…I’ll be sure to scrounge around on your site for some good recipes! Obviously, this one sounds like a winner! :)

    1. deb

      Alyssa — The boxes are cheapo wedding cake favor boxes and I find it nice to have them around for small food gifts (they hold 8 to 10 cookies). I have instructions in the head notes for if you do not have a full-sized food processor.

  38. Dana

    I love cashews! And ‘Russian Tea Cakes’ are one of my hubs fave cookies (we always use walnuts). I’ll bet cashews are just divine in this cookie! I will certainly give it a go!

  39. Kate

    I make cookies similar to these without any nuts – only (lots of) butter, vanilla, a bit of sugar, water and flour. My husband’s mother made them and they have no name except “The Best Christmas Cookies Ever.” My husband does not like nuts, so I’m wondering if my MIL took the Russian tea cake and tweaked it, leaving out nuts. She couldn’t remember – it was just a recipe she “always had.” I need to take a loan out every year to finance the purchase of butter for these cookies and walnuts for my Ukrainian Nut Rolls.

  40. MJ

    I’ve learned to wait until my Pecan Sandies (my version of these same cookies) have cooled before I roll them in the powdered sugar. The sugar sticks just fine, and it doesn’t soak in so you never need to re-roll them.

  41. Mary Moss

    Hey Ms Deb. Glad to have you back. Uhmm, So this has nothing to do with your cashew butter balls. I am in the throes of putting together the accoutrement for the subway cake! It’s my boy, Rowan’s 3rd birthday coming up and he actually asked me to make him a subway cake! So amazing, since i already decided to make it months earlier. I bought “Subway” from your recommendation and he’s been enamored with subways et al ever since.
    Also to note: Rowan’s nickname was Monkey for a while and i too followed you down the path to the monkey birthday cake, so this is absolutely perfect.

    Which brings me to this new smart plan: Whatever Jacob gets into, Rowan surreptitiously follows.
    I figure it’s not too manipulative of me. I mean, we are already 2-0 by accident. I will take advantage of all your scrupulous cake planning. I love it.

    Anyway- back to to the matter: I can most certainly pull off all the cake details except i have no idea how you were able to print out the subway letters onto the card stock? Please, oh please can you help me out on this?
    I’m really bad with computer stuff, so I’m going to have my guy do it, so if you need to get technical in order to tell us how- geek out all the way. Whatever details ya got.
    I went to Michael’s looking for alphabet stickers and found nothing that matches the NYC letters, i imagined that you did the same thing and found- nada. I thought i was being clever though, with that idea.
    Love the apple cider caramels (i normally don’t like caramel) and i made the Smores cake- twice! Granola- is now my go- to recipe. Do you ever add more egg whites? And Gooey Cinnamon Squares- ohmygod! I want to make EVERY SINGLE RECIPE IN YOUR BOOK. This has never happened to me. You are a folk legend

  42. shari

    I must agree that any version of these cookies is a classic. I’m not fond of cashews as a general rule, however they are my absolute favorite salted chocolate nut cluster, so now I will have to make some of these cookies out of them too. And don’t you love the red and white twine? If only it was a little heftier.

  43. Jim E.

    I loved seeing you in Santa Cruz! Got your book for a friend’s 50th B-Day! Thanks for all the great recipes and congrats on your success! You deserve it.

    Great work!

  44. Lori T.

    My husband is another of the “it must have chocolate” camp, so when I make them with the pecans, I put some cocoa powder in with the powdered sugar – when it hits the hot cookies it forms a lovely chocolate shell and then I roll them in the plan powdered sugar the second time around – but I think that the cashews will be on the list to try next year -thanks for the variation on the theme!

  45. I’m not too keen on cashews, I might have had them about 4 times in my entire life.
    But looking at the pics and reading the recipe made me want to make them!

    Merry Christmas :)

  46. It was so nice to get up this morning and see the Smitten Kitchen in my inbox! I am enjoying the cookbook so much, I really appreciate the vegetarian fare in there, as well as the desserts! Awesome. Thanks you so much, and Happy Holidays! :)
    BTW, this post has me convinced that if I don’t get a replacement food processor for Christmas this year, I am ordering one from Amazon on Dec. 26!

  47. Opi Hana

    Hi! I actually tried these last night… I made mine with almonds instead, since my income doesn’t allow me to splurge on the $10 cup of cashews (what?!?) that NYC tries to get away with, and you did mention you’ve done so before. They were amazing!! (Note: “were” as in past tense, as in they’ve been eaten). I did leave aside a portion in a Christmas tin for a holiday gift for my bf’s mother, and I think if your cookies can be used for any sort of in-law(-ish) flattery, then they must be delicious.

  48. Sarahb1313

    Deb- one of my favorites!

    All Nuts I love equally like my children, although some days one will be my favorite, etc.,.

    This year I made these cookies with toasted hazelnuts! I was working on a Lebovitz cookie with the same and they just overtook my taste buds.

    I do still love these with pecans best of all, but will love to try the cashew!!


  49. Kim in MD

    These look delicious, Deb! I’m watching The Today Show this morning, and they just featured a “best books for giving this holiday season” segment. Your cookbook was recommended! Congrats!

  50. Joan

    I haven’t posted before but I am an avid fan to say the least. I LOVE your cookbook and, of course, your emails and website, fantastic food, stories and pictures of a beautiful boy. Pot pie crust from the cookbook is a new favorite in our house. Best of the season to you and thank you so much for everything you have contributed to our kitchen:)

  51. MamaCas

    I’ve been following your progress for a few months. I requested your cookbook for Christmas and can’t wait to devour it on Christmas day. I did make 12 batches of Roasted Pear and Dark Chocolate Scones for neighbors and friends after sampling them with my family the morning after Thanksgiving. Absolutely exquisite!

  52. Eileen

    I asked you for a new cookie recipe a few weeks ago and here it is! Thanks. I have “GMA” on in the background of my living room and Sarah Moulton just sang praises to your cookbook. Congrats again. I am ordering it today along with Bouchon bakery for Christmas gifts to myself! Looking forward to it.

  53. Tovah

    I got your book as a birthday present and holy moly, I have been the star of the (baking) season this year! My tiny Manhattan kitchen thanks you and yours for: Cranberry Bars, Coffee Toffee, Whole Lemon Bars, Breakfast Latkes… the list will go on and on, I’m sure. THANK YOU!

  54. tj

    …These sound perfect! Thank you so much for the recipe and for doing what you do Miss Smitten – it is appreciated far more than you know! :o)

    …Happy Holidays to you & yours and may your new year be filled with love, laughter, prosperity and good health!

    …Btw, your cookbook is on my Christmas List. C’mon Santa, don’t let mama down. ;o)

    …Bless you.

  55. I feel like we are on the same wavelength! Last Monday I made the pecan version of these cookies, with John Denver & the Muppets playing (one of my favorites), and yes, my preschooler was lightly dusted with powdered sugar too! Happy Holidays! :)

  56. Stef

    Deb, another recipe that cashews fit into well is as an alternative to peanuts in peanut brittle. If you use salted cashews the sweet salt is more pronounced and the buttery texture of the cashews is marvelous.

  57. Katie

    These sound good, but I used the last of my cashews yesterday subbing them for the almonds in a buttercrunch toffee recipe (which came out awesome with the cashews). I’ll have to try them some other time.

  58. Stu B.

    I read up to 75 comments. Doesn’t anyone ever make your recipes and then comment? It is such a bore to read, how pretty the pictures are and how nice to think of cashews instead of pecans and all this junk. Someone MAKE the cookies and comment on how good they are or what might be needed as a modification. Say something useful!

    1. deb

      Kim — The sticking comes from leaking and the leaking of course come from little cracks in the crust. I know a huge crust like that is tricky but next time, just check carefully for little holes, patch them with little bits of crust trimmings, and it won’t happen again.

      Stu B. — Complaining about comments that haven’t reviewed the recipe with a comment that hasn’t reviewed the recipe isn’t very helpful either, and in your case, isn’t very friendly. (We’re all pretty nice here. It’s like you are a guest in someone’s home.) In every comment section, the first batch (usually, first day) of comments tend to express excitement over the recipe. After 24 hours, if you scroll to the end, almost always, someone had made the recipe and is reporting back with their results, so in the future, you can wait a day and read the comments at the end. I enjoy both halves of the comment sections — the conversations about the recipes, and the reviews themselves — but don’t expect everyone to.

      Mary Moss — Well, then I should give you a preview of what is coming next: Airplanes. He’s obsessed. You cannot even fathom. For this obsession, I recommend both this book and this toy. And anything, anything you can buy at an airport. (How convenient, to be honest, given the amount of them I have seen on the book tour!) As for the letters, I made them in Photoshop (not very well, as I am terribly at Photoshop). Nevertheless, shoot me an email (thesmitten/ and I will send you a PDF of what I made so you can print it and use the letters you need. I printed it on card stock, which is surprisingly useful to keep around.

  59. TracyB

    I was wondering the same thing….whether I could substitute cashews (which I love) for pecans (which I don’t) for this cookie. I’m so glad you took the plunge for me! Thanks Deb!

    P.S. I’m hoping I get your cookbook for Christmas!

  60. Nan

    Welcome Home! So happy you are back in the saddle, so to speak! And with a great cookie recipe, too! Fragile cookies…aren’t they all fragile? Meant to be eaten carefully, purposefully and with serious intent? Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukkah, and a Festive Festivus to you and yours!

  61. Lyn

    Wishing you and yours a Very (late) Happy Hanukkah—I was up to my elbows in latkes at the time!—a Merry and Bright Christmas and New Year, Deb! Thank you for enriching my life this past year, both food wise (always delicious!) and well, just Life-wise. Your outlook puts a huge smile on my face every time I visit your blog! I made these babies with almonds last night cuz that’s what I had, and hid three little chocolate chips inside each delicate ball. Amazing! You should try it. You just inspire me to try things…. Thanks!

  62. i totally love making russian tea cakes at home, and yes its probably the most reliant and quick recipe i have for ‘in a pinch baking.’ there’s also a rumour in my family that my mom once lived off russian teacakes and marlboro ciggarettes for a stint! i belive it too.
    thanks for the new version of these nostalgic cookies. ill make sure to have my mother test them out!

  63. They look delicious! By the way, I just wanted to say that I was walking in my neighborhood and saw a big ad for your book on the side of a bus stop, and I got so excited and shouted “I know Smitten Kitchen! I read her blog!” Can’t wait to check out the book!

  64. Ada

    Once again, you managed to post just the recipe I was looking for. We made them with roasted hazelnuts and they’re delicious, of course. I also make your world peace cookies (with dried cherries added) and your lemon bars every Christmas, and they’re a big hit.

  65. Gail

    Welcome back! Thanks for not abandoning this website. I love seeing you in all your New York times video interviewing glory, and perusing your awesome cookbook, but I am addicted to SK the website and your recipes and stories. Best wishes for 2013.

  66. Jean

    Having just polished off two (more) of your Maple Nutmeg Butter Cookies, I want to thank you for the great recipes this year, your delightful cookbook (my current bedtime reading), and your cannot miss a post blog.

    Best wishes for 2013. Jean in SC

  67. Cathg1g2

    I made my family and friends the spiced nuts for Xmas that you featured ages ago and sat down and ate the emergency jar last night wrapping presents… this recipe is for 2013 gifts
    Best Wishes , love your site, come visit us in Melbourne Australia

  68. Caren

    Hi Deb. I plan to make heart-stuffed shells from your book for company Tuesday.
    Can I prepare the dish up to baking stage the day before and bake it off next day?
    Will it go watery or soggy?

  69. Oh boy! I’ve never really thought of cashews as cookie material, but I bet they’re delicious… I just received some shelled local black walnuts from a friend, and as far as I’m concerned they’re a pretty high nut-calling. They’ve got a spicy, distinct flavor that fights with some things but is delicious with others, like in brown sugar-y concoctions. Any ideas? Also: I just made your sugar- and spice-candied nuts and the granola-crusted ones as gifts, how delicious! I used sesame seeds in place of pepitas and some ginger in the granola ones, which are really good. Thanks!

  70. Mary Moss

    I found thee perfect stickers! It’s made by Headline. 1’2″ Stick On Letters & Numbers A-1, bought at A.C. Moore. Just thought to let you know, should anyone obsess like me, to get the look right.
    I’m using my ever amazing Ateco biscuit cutters to make the circles perfectly round.

  71. Zigzag10

    The walnut version of these have been a favorite holiday recipe in my family for many years — we call them snowballs. I tried your cashew version today, which elevates them to holiday poetry! I’ll never go back to walnuts now!!! One suggestion, though – if you bake them for 20 minutes or more they will dry out and fall apart more easily. I bake them for 12 – 15 minutes and there’s less risk of the dreaded crumbled cookie. Love your site and have your book on my wish list this year — Happy Holidays!

  72. Pam

    I made these last night for a cookie swap today, they were so easy in the food processor! I added a tweak of my own, in my last batch (4 of 4!) I used the cashews, and added some unsweetened cocoa (1/4 cup) and instant espresso (1/4 cup) and reduced the flour by 1/4 cup. Then rolled the cookies in a combination of the unsweetened cocoa and confectioner’s sugar. YUM!

    My only problem was neglecting to make sure the dough was chilled as it went into the oven, I ended up with a few flatter balls….but putting the tray into the fridge for a few minutes before popping them into the oven correct that!

    Thanks Deb, and Merry Christmas!

  73. Mame M

    Welcome back! We have so missed you!! I am giving your cookbook for Christmas to a friend (in which return, she is giving me your cookbook!). I have made quite a few recipes and loved them all.
    and p.s. I pretty much love Mary Moss’s post – maybe it’s just because she and I have the same initials :o)

  74. Bella

    Hi Deb,
    Welcome back!
    I read your blog lots but have the unfortunate habit of only commenting when you have made a typo. I just can’t help myself, and I know you would prefer if someone pointed it out :) So here it is, in the last paragraph before the recipe:
    “they’re hardly unwelcome an unwelcome addition to any party.”
    By the way the cookies look hot damn!

  75. Guusje

    I made Gooey Cinnamon Squares for a librarians in-service and they were so popular that the librarians came back voluntarily for a second day when I promised to make a another batch. The Library Director is very happy you convinced the publisher to include them.

  76. My parents gave me your cookbook as one of my hanukkah presents a few days ago (hanukkah happened late for us, I was away at school), and I’ve already made the choco chip brioche pretzels, the fig challah, and the gooey cinnamon squares are in the oven (my dad keeps opening the oven door just to smell them – its heavenly), and everything has been beyond delicious. Congratulations on a job well done, you’re a real inspiration.

  77. Lisa Cornely

    I can’t wait to try these. I make these with pecans. Cashews are my absolute favorite, and I have never made any type of cookies with them. They look and sound amazing. Thanks so much for sharing this wonderful recipe.

  78. Diana

    i made these tonight! turned out beautifully, and came together in minutes. they tasted just like my mom’s russian tea cakes and i loved them. thank you again, deb. you’re a gem!

  79. Catherine

    I found your book under my tree. My lovely Sister-in-Law picked it up for me and I have to pace myself with the reading. It may be hands down the best Christmas present I receive this year!!


    Deb, I love your website. I always make Russian tea cakes with walnuts because they are my favorite. This year’s batch was a little different because their first “dip” into the powdered sugar pool proved fatal for the first 10 or so, broke right in half and I was being careful. Not to worry I still had plenty that turned out ok and I was happy to eat the crippled ones!! Merry Christmas!! :)

  81. Heather

    OMG!! I’m SO excited you did this recipe!! I’m allergic to tree nuts (something about turning 30 caused a new allergy to them), but cashews are NOT tree nuts and I can eat them!! I was so sad when my mom made Russian Tea cakes over the weekend and I couldn’t eat them, but this is the PERFECT alternative!! THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU!!

  82. Sorcha

    I just got your book for Chanukah – after the fact as we were away and have so many recipes from it that I want to make that I don’t know where to start. I’m even thinking of making a dairy shabbat meal just so I can have an excuse to make some of the recipes! Possibly top of my list are the popcorn cookies but I’m also desperate to make the pasta with cauliflower pesto.

  83. I LOVE LOVE LOVE mexican wedding cookies/ russian tea cookies. I think when I was a kid I just enjoyed playing with the powdered sugar, but now I actually eat them. Cashews sound like they would go perfectly. I am going to HAVE to try these. Thanks!!

  84. A

    TOTALLY making these TONIGHT!

    oh, and I’m pretty sure that the book shaped gift with my name on it sitting under that there Christmas tree is the Smitten Kitchen Cookbook! can’t wait to open it! :D

  85. Sally

    This isn’t as good as tumbling the cookies in powdered sugar, but you’ll have much less breakage. I sift powdered sugar over the baking sheet (and nearby surfaces), put the warm cookies on the sugar and sift more over the cookies. Sometimes I get energetic and turn the cookies on their sides to sift yet more sugar over them. It’s a simple way to fewer crumbled cookies.

  86. jwg

    Did you know that you are at the top of the list of Sarah Moulton’s recommendations for Best Cookbooks of 2012? Congratulations! I’m making the bagel casserole from the cookbook for Christmas Brunch tomorrow morning. It looks so good!

  87. Lisa Moran

    Merry Christmas! I am very excited because I’m getting your cookbook for Christmas!!! I can’t wait to make something from it.
    Love your blog :0)

  88. Kate

    Merry Christmas! Can’t sleep so am checking out your latest post Deb! Love THE sound of these cookies. I have not cooked with cashews before but will try these. Wendi – check out David Lebovitz for a great post on Deb’s cinnamon cake. But buy her book too!! :-)

  89. Frances

    YUM. Soooo good! Love the cashew switch. My husband and I aren’t sure these are going to make it to our friend’s house for dinner :) taste even better than my Mexican wedding cookies!

  90. Laura

    These really look perfect. I can’t wait to try them. I got the Smitten Kitchen cookbook for Christmas! I am so excited to pour over it.

  91. Caroline


    It’s Christmas morning and your cookbook was at the top of my list, unknown to my family until yesterday, and they secretly scoured bookstores up and down mid-Michigan to snag me a copy. I’m in love. Thank you from a faithful reader since 2008!

    Love and Happy Holidays!

  92. Amanda

    These look delicious! But on an unrelated note: I just received your cookbook for Christmas and couldn’t be happier. Can’t wait to get cooking!!

  93. Dez

    Happy Holidays! Just heard your interview with Diane Rehms and discovered your site. What impressed me on the radio was your assertion that a good cook does NOT need a large kitchen. Unfortunately an oversized, even massive kitchen with acres of cabinetry has become the central feature in so many new-construction homes. Not only does “too much kitchen” add significantly to your construction costs, but a good cook needs neither an enormous kitchen, vast counter space nor a million gadgets to be an EXCELLENT cook. I’ve worked in restaurants and you’re right, most line cooks have a small section of prep table. Too many people think they will become “good cooks” if they fill their homes with specialty gadgets — I know one person who purchased separate lemon and lime squeezers, for example, and really believes that she “needs” them. The gadget manufacturers will try to sell you ANYTHING. I grew up in humble Southern kitchens stocked with few gadgets, little counter space and excellent cooks. I think that a confident cook needs little more than a good set of knives and a good set of pots and pans (I have my granny’s iron pots, and our other cookware came from the restaurant-supply store, not a thousand-dollar “designer cook” set). Add to that a good set of bowls, a blender, a small food processor, a few hand tools like a grater and zester, the usual assortment of spatulas and cooking spoons, and some containers for storing leftovers. All of that can fit in the tiniest apartment. Not only does this simplify your cooking, but you will find this lack of overspecialized gadgetry in most restaurants, and “less is more” leads not only to more confident cooking but an less cluttered life. Thanks for underscoring that. REALLY enjoyed the show. Off to finish Christmas dinner…

  94. Cheryl Brannock

    Heard your interview on Diane Reems Show on local public radio station this Christmas morning. Absolutely loved listening to you. I’m an old grandma who almost never tries anything new, but I LOVE cookbooks. Can’t wait to get my hands on yours–especially for my college senior granddaughter who loves to cook! (This is my first blog post EVER!)

  95. I agree completely about cashews on their own. Pinning these cookies for later as I am baked out after making over 150 Pioneer Woman cinnamon rolls. Sadly, I had to miss your book signing in Austin due to a family emergency but I received your cookbook today and I love it. The writing and photography are so lovely and the RECIPES! I can’t wait to dig in and get cooking.

  96. Sarah u

    Big news! Santa came through for me! And not gonna lie, I squealed and clutched that baby to my chest like a little girl. Can’t wait to get cooking!

  97. Rebecca

    Deb! I got your cookbook for Christmas! I’m so excited, and I immediately went out and invited people over for dinner so I can have an excuse to try some things out. Wish me good luck.

  98. Kim

    Made the deep dish apple pie today from the cookbook. Everything appeared great (although had to cook for about 40 min longer than recipe specified) until I tried to remove the springform ring. It would not come off because there was too much caramelized juice that had cemented the ring to the bottom. After twenty minutes of chipping was able to get it removed a little bit, although left behind about 1/5 of the bottom crust. Any suggestions for avoiding this problem in the future? Was such a pain I probably wouldn’t make it again.

  99. Deb,
    Did I ever tell you I love your egg sandwich recipe:-) It’s probably the most simple recipe in the world besides the boiling egg but it’s so delicious! I honestly thought it was going to be in your book since it’s not on your website. Every time I cannot think of what to make for breakfast I make this. I am going to post the link for the curious ones. It really is the best egg sandwich you will ever have. It’s the best one I ever had.

  100. Taina

    Every Christmas my family makes a version of these with almonds, and we add cinnamon into the powdered sugar. I made the Gooey Cinnamon Squares from your cookbook, to take to a dessert potluck. Sooooo good! My sister tried to make me leave them at home so she could eat them all haha :)

  101. Laura

    This has nothing to do with cookies, although they look amazing. Instead its a great big thank you for sharing your uncanny sense about food. I gave the gift this year of your cookbook (which I love) along with a bag of your homemade sweet spicy nuts. Every single recipe I have ever made of yours not only works, but is delicious! Your poached pears were our dessert last night–big hit! The roasted chicken was dinner the other night and omg…perfect and so easy! Keep it coming. Thank you my friend.
    Happy Everything

  102. Ande

    Happy Holidays glad to see you back. I received your cookbook as a gift (requested it) and made the gingersnap dutch baby for christmas morning breakfast. It turned out perfect and wonderful. Thank you for such a beautiful addtion to my kitchen.

  103. Shelly

    Deb, thanks for the twist on these little favorites – I expect my cashew-loving husband will be very happy. Got your cookbook for Christmas (YAY a signed copy too in Austin!) & immediately made latkes & fried eggs for a relaxed dinner last night. Have too many more recipes bookmarked to work with on this vacation. Thanks for such a beautiful book. And as a mom of 3, I especially love your dedication page!

  104. barbara lassiter

    I received The Smitten Kitchen Cookbook yesterday as a Christmas present from my grandson(age10) and obviously his mother(my daughter) was listening when I was talking about your web site and and some of the fabulous looking recipes I wanted to try. I love cookbooks that have stories to tell as well as great recipes and I am enjoying reading every page and can’t wait to get started on some of the recipes.

  105. stephanie

    Got your cookbook for Christmas and spent all afternoon yesterday and this morning reading it, and now looking through your blog. I used to work for a food magazine and can really appreciate all the work that went into the project. It is beautiful, an entertaining read, and I can’t wait to start cooking (after we get through some of the leftovers that have taken over the fridge). Congratulations, and thanks so much!

  106. Heather

    Got your book fro Xmas! So hard to decide what to make first. Maybe broccoli slaw tonight, perhaps the amazing looking cheese buns…:). Looking forward to trying more and already enjoyed reading the intros to the recipes!! Thanks!

  107. Gabrielle

    Got your book for Christmas, and since I was out Christmas day my mother has already taken it back from me to read before I truly get to sit down with it! I managed to read the introduction quickly before breakfast and am so glad that my favorite food blogger – blogess? something along those lines – can now be one of my favorite authors as well. You’ve made so much deliciousness so accessible and your passion truly translates across web text AND printed text.

    Now to find that Gooey Cinnamon creation in the pages…

  108. Liz

    I got your cookbook for Christmas and am having a lovely time reading through every recipe and story. Just this morning I got to the stacked Iceberg and Blue Cheese salad, just as my iceberg loving Husband was saying “I feel like we’ve been eating rich food for days – what about a biiig salad for lunch?”. Now, his idea of a salad (iceberg and a creamy dressing) and mine (a mix of crispy crunchy vegetables in a sparky vinaigrette) are two different things, but I was drooling over your iceberge blue cheese poem and my Husband was very happy to help to gratify my craving for it. We chose not to stack but to spread the discs of lettuce (brilliant change from wedges!) over a big platter and then scatter the rest of the good stuff over top. Soooooo yummy! We took a picture to send up to my girlfriend in Alaska where she is Christmassing with her Daughter and Soninlaw so she knows what a great gift-giver she is! Thanks for the book to you – looking forward to reading the rest of it (with frequent trips to the market for ingredients, I’m sure)

  109. Kelsey

    Just had to mention that I got your spiffy new cookbook for Christmas after dropping some very *subtle* hints. My whole family was laughing at me because as they kept going around the circle opening presents I was zoned out for at least 10 minutes paging through all the recipes and getting excited to plan which ones I’d make first. They actually took it away from me so I’d pay attention and I was like “but… but… it all looks so good!”

  110. Kate

    Bought your cookbook last month for my sisters and one for me (gave my hubbie a ready made gift for me), but didn’t look at until yesterday when I opened the pretty paper under our glimmering green tree with snow falling softly outside- and what to my wondering eyes should appear, but the coolest recipes ever. I can’t wait to make the crepe layer cake for the next birthday in the family.

  111. bergamot

    Woohoo – like others, got your cookbook for Christmas and was so thrilled I squealed. I’d been waiting until after the holidays to buy it, just in case… and my sister came through :) With all the holiday madness, I’m only 6 or 7 recipes in, but am already planning on making everything I’ve read so far. You know it’s a keeper, when… Happy holidays to you and yours!

  112. Tiffany

    OMG OMG. My brother got me your cookbook for Christmas and I squealed with joy the moment I opened it! “How did you KNOW?!?!?!” :) Just used it tonight to make dinner and oh, was it delicious. Just thought I’d say, THANK YOU.

  113. Kristi

    I made these for Christmas – my son loved the raw dough (haha) and the cookies lasted only the first hour that my mom and sister were here ;-) Thanks!

  114. laddie

    I stumbled across your site and now own the cookbook. I am moving into a new house in about a month and a half and I plan to open that cookbook the day I move in and begin a long and happy relationship with my kitchen and what’s in it.

  115. I LOVE THESE COOKIES! It was tradition for my Mother and I to make these every year to give as gifts for family and friends. Russian Tea Cakes is what we called them and there is a photo of me at two standing in our kitchen rolling the warm cookies in powdered sugar. When my Mother passed away when I was 14, I made it a point to continue to make them every year. Now 31, I have probably made close to a million of these butter-balls. BUT Cashews? Wowzers…I may have to try that next year!
    Thank you Deb for your dedication and continuing promise to posting delicious recipes. 5 of my friends received your cookbook for the Holidays! BTW I made your Lasagna Bolognese for Christmas Eve dinner. It was bittersweet to see two days of work vanish in 10 minutes.
    Happy 2013 too you! Wishing you much success!

  116. Hi Deb – just to say happy holidays, and happy new year, and thanks for being such a kitchen goddess/inspiration. Your determination and commitment to make everything the best it can be means that I know going in to them that your recipes will be ‘right’ – and now I have a whole book of them to boot :) Hope you get some r&r post tour. And as a cashew lover (toasted, salted, and topping sauteed greens they are a perfect creamy element – not the usual nutty crunch, but something really nice all the same – just sayin … ;) ) – anyway, as a cashew lover and a Deb-truster, I’m happy to give this one a spin.

    Merry, happy, etc etc to you and yours —

  117. Julie

    Hi Deb! I have a question on one of your cookbook recipes – am I allowed to ask it here? I was just wondering if I could make the cheddar swirl breakfast buns all the way through to the end, before baking, the night before and let them rise overnight in the fridge before baking in the morning? Do you think they’d rise too much overnight? Is it too risky given they’d be all filled and unsavable if they over-rose? Thanks!

  118. Brittany W.

    Hi Deb, these cookies look good. Question – I’ve noticed that a lot of people have asked questions about recipes in the cookbook in the comments sections of your posts since the book has come out. Would you consider making a comments/questions-for-the-cookbook page? I would love to see everything in one spot so that, for example, I can go back later if I have a question on a recipe that someone made last month, instead of looking through comments in the posts since November. Thanks! By the way, the book is beautiful. I made the artichoke heart stuffed shells and they were great.

  119. Andi

    Have you ever considered making (and blogging about) traditional iced/not iced sugar cookies? I keep searching for the perfect recipe and year after year yours is one of the first sites I check, but alas… Though perhaps a recipe is in your cookbook (which I was hoping to receive as a gift for the holidays, but did not. Also, alas…).

  120. GBannis

    Delicious, rich cookies! Loved the taste of the slightly toasted cashews.

    I do want to add that I had to let the cookies cool for more than a few minutes before I could handle them. They are fragile when warm and, after a few fell apart on me, I decided to forego rolling them in sugar. Instead, I waited until they were almost cool and just sprinkled powdered sugar on top. I’m not a big sugar fan anyway, so prefer them with less rather than more sugar.

  121. Susan

    Anna #148 = Thanks for linking to the egg sandwich demo. I made one this morning, too, and it’s delicious. So glad you shared. Uh, Deb? You holding out on us? ;)

  122. Snuggz

    I just made these and they are so delicious! But they’ve come out pretty crumbly and I’m hoping to cart them to a friend’s house. Any suggestions for how to transport them so they don’t end up into a crumbly pile?

  123. Jen

    Deb, is it possible to make this cookie gluten free? What do you recommend I use? Almond flour or could I use Bobs Red mill ready flour?

    1. deb

      Questions about the recipes in the cookbook — I finally built a little section yesterday listing the few (gasp!) errors in the book and that I will add tips/FAQ to as needed. Right now, I can’t find a streamlined way for people to do Q&A on the site but I’m gathering them from comments/emails/tweets and will answer the ones that I think benefit from more than 1:1 response in that section. [see: Cookbook Tips & Errata]

      Jen — I haven’t fiddled a lot with GF flour replacements but have heard excellent things about Cup4Cup. It’s expensive, but I understand to be a confident replacement for white flours in baking when you don’t want to go through a lot of rounds of testing.

      Susan — Ha! I linked to it when it was published but it’s been buried. I really do need to create a part of the site with links to my recipes, elsewhere. I make that all of the time, including in triplicate last Saturday morning for us. The best part is how aghast commenters were over my use of American “cheese.” It just melts better and its my husband’s favorite on egg sandwiches. I aim to please. :)

      Andi — I think about it all of the time. Usually it leads to episodes like this. But mostly, it’s because I haven’t found a favorite. I’ve found most recipes people swear by to be underwhelming and I’m not terribly into the fussy nature of icing and food-coloring up cookies. (Although, I’d never be silly enough to turn one down.) Next year. Promise. Oh, and let me know if you’d like me to have a little talk with your family. ;)

  124. Marie

    Ah deb I received your cookbook from my husband for Christmas ( best husband ever).I have not gone anywhere without it since! I think I have read the entire thing and made the cranberry crumble bars for my in laws today! They were fantastic! Sunday is going to be brunch day for 15 so New York breakfast casserole, cinnamon toast bake and potato frittata with feta and scallions will all be making an appearance. Thanks for reigniting my passion for food ( I temporarily lost it).

  125. Patty

    New favorite Christmas cookie! Delicious…I did not have raw cashews so used ‘regular’ ones and adjusted my salt and they were perfect. I typically shake some powdered sugar on this type of cookie right out of the oven (tops only) and then thoroughly coat as you indicated in recipe. A really nice change from pecans.

    LOVE the cookbook…you did good!

  126. Susan must create a sidebar link to your recipes elsewhere. I come across them occasionally, inadvertently, and feel like you’re two-timing this blog! In this’s a rare egg that’s not soft-yolked on this-here site (my pref) ! My husband wanted this again this morning! So easy, so good!

  127. Levynite

    I’m not sure if someone’s commented on this yet (my eyes starting crossing somewhere around comment #80) but your recipe states raw cashews.
    To my knowledge, raw (100% raw) cashews are actually poisonous. I think what you mean are the pre-cooked cashews that have already been through a roasting process to get rid of the urushiol (spelling?) oil.

    1. deb

      Levynite — Wow! I hadn’t heard that before and will look into it. In baking, “raw” nuts would indeed imply that they are precooked/safe to eat.

      Strega_Rossa — I suggested butter because the creaminess and dairy fat seems a better fit for cheese, if you’re trying to make the concoction creamier.

      marybmoss — Oh, you gotta tell me about what you’re looking for — casual? fancy? We love Back 40 for farm-to-table, Redhead for fried chicken, Empellon Cocina for upscale, really incredible Mexican. There’s a new barbecue place (casual, but excellent) on 2nd Ave and if you’re into crazy cured meats and housemade sausages, DBGB has them.

      Janet — Make extra. You’ll want leftovers. Oh, and don’t skip the egg noodles, either.

  128. On the topic of the book, I’ve been enjoying the hell out of it. Those breakfast bars contain neither butter nor sugar, what a win compared to pretty much everything else one bakes around this time of year. Also did those mini rolly things with the berry jelly or jam or whatever. So much effort, but totally worth it. Grapefruit pound cake, awesome. Etc. Etc. Awesome. Etc.

  129. Karen

    Oh, Deb, I always get such a kick out of your posts. Thanks for yet another yummy recipe. I wouldn’t let just anyone mess with one of my all-time favorite cookies. I’m so sorry I missed you in Portland and Seattle! To paraphrase my 70’s roots: Keep on cookin’.

  130. Karen

    LOL – was dying to give Stu B a piece of my mind!! Don’t need to now. You gave him a good serve Deb :-)
    You can certainly tell he isn’t part of our happy community!!!! I can’t imagine how miserable life must be if you have that sort of attitude …..

    On a happier note – I made your Chocolate Silk Pie for Christmas day and it was a huge hit! (deservedly so as it was truly delicious) Mum has now added it to her ‘take-to-parties-to-impress-people’ list :-)

  131. I’ve had a charming day here in Boston, reading your gorgeous new cookbook, while the freezing winds howl past outside. Yup, the kitchen is a great place to be on an icy day like this. My 22 year old son just gave me your book for Christmas, and I don’t even mind if it was his girlfriend’s idea. I will be happily cooking my way through… (Oh, and I just learned that the “Christmas Pancakes” my family has been scarfing down for the past 40 years or so might be Dutch Babies!)

  132. I love your blog and your new cookbook. I have a question about weighing ingredients for baking. I know it is more precise, and I would like to try it but am never sure of the technique. Do you use a separate bowl for each ingredient, or is there some trick for using just one bowl? I would appreciate any tips you might have.

  133. Erika

    I also just discovered using cashews in these cookies this year and had a ‘why didn’t I think of this before” moment. My dad loves cashews, and they were always around the house. My story is I have a new boyfriend, asked what his favorite Xmas cookie is, and he said ‘Cashew Nougats, I don’t think they make them anymore.’ (apparently there wasn’t a lot of baking going on around him, as he is referring to a store bought cookie from Archway). I searched the Internet and found some copycat recipes, and in the end combined a few elements of each to try and make this new boyfriend his cookies.
    I was nervous but they totally worked! I crushed my cashews with the smooth side of a meat mallet and used a hand mixer for the batter, stirred in the cashews. Some cookies had bigger chunks of nuts than others but dad, boyfriend, and mom ate them up pretty fast. As my mom said, “there really is no such thing as a bad cookie.”
    Maybe next year I’ll break out the food processor and try your recipe. Thanks.

  134. Those cookies are traditional Greek sweets prepared and eaten around Christmas time – here we call them kourabiedes. Every year, when November comes, I already start dreaming about them :)

  135. Liz O.

    You’ve heard this millions of times, but I’m adding my voice to the chorus…I love the way you write! Makes me smile every time. :-)

  136. Esmee

    Oh Deb, I have a hundred cookbooks and this is AFTER rearranging the bookshelves and giving away sooooo many more… I swore I would not buy even ONE more since of course everything is on the internet… and I was doing SO well, purchasing only John Besh’s New Orleans cooking (4 years ago!) and the Blue Chair Jam cookbook (just too hard to find different recipes on the kindle)… but now i’m reading the posts here and it’s 0045 and I’m thinking if i order your book on Amazon maybe i’ll have it before I get home on Friday and ONE exception to the rule isn’t going to make the bookcase break and… well… those Gooey Cinnamon things… oh, my….

  137. Julie

    Made these tonight, they have an amazing flavor. I thought they would be like Mexican wedding cookies, but they are so much better!

  138. Deb, there is a similar recipe on Elise’s website which has a higher nuts to flour ratio — 3:2 rather than 1:2. The sugar proportion is just a tiny bit different too. I’ve made that recipe two times — a halved (or was it 1/3rd?) version with walnuts, and a doubled version with walnuts, almonds and cashews. It was wonderful both times, and not overly delicate for rolling purposes. I don’t blitz the nuts in a food processor (don’t have one!), but chop sort of finely to obtain a mixture of pieces and powder. Give it a shot!

  139. I have developed a line of nut biscuits and soft finger muffins made with almonds, cashews and hazel nuts. They are so tasty that I have people from all over the world ordering them from me. I am thrilled to read the posts on this site. I own 10 large bed & breakfast Victorian mansions across the United States, and people from many different countries return year after year just to enjoy these dishes. I offer almond butter and home made goose berry jam to top these sweets, that I grow in the orchard. I also bottle a wonderful cashew and almond whiskey, that I manufacture and send out internationally to suppliers abroad. It is listed under Anderson’s Nut Whiskey. It is amazing to see how many tantalizing things you can make from nuts.

  140. Kris

    These are lovely! I was expecting to need a coffee, tea, or milk to go with these because I figured they’d be naturally a dry cookie, but actually they are lovely just on their own! Very simple but rich and buttery. Even with the “don’t fret” warning, when I checked on them after 20 min in the oven and they looked exactly the same as when they went in, I fretted a bit! However I just took them out at 25 min and they were perfect. The only weird thing about this recipe is that 1.5 c of powdered sugar for rolling the finished cookies in was WAY too much – I got 32 cookies out of the recipe, rolled them once while hot and then a bit more once they cooled since a lot of the sugar sinks in, and I still had a good 3/4 cup of powdered sugar left in the bowl. I would start with 1/2 cup of powdered sugar for rolling next time and add more as needed.

  141. Meena

    Wow!! these cookies were delicious. They melted in my mouth tasting like nuts and butter. Absolutely amazing. Did not expect it to come out so nice on the first try!! Though for me it cooked really fast.

  142. Marcia

    Like a previous poster I thought this recipe would be an update of the lovely yet ubiquitous name-your-culture wedding cookies, but they are even better. It could be from toasting the cashews or because I had to keep eating warm ones I broke when rolling them in the powder sugar. yuuuummmmm. Can’t wait to share these on these on this year’s Christmas cookie platter if they make it that long. I do have a baking tip to share. Turns out that I was low on powdered sugar so I looked online and saw I could make it at home (Deb, if you note this on elsewhere on your site and I`ve missed it, apologies). I had no idea it was as easy as putting a cup of granulated sugar in a blender and running it on high until it is powdered. 1:1 ratio. It worked so well I may never buy powdered sugar again!

  143. Hi. I realize I’m a little late the party here (and also out of season), but I don’t think I’m familiar with these cookies. Can someone tell me–are these crunchy or soft?

  144. tara gutman

    I can’t believe it took me 4 years to see this recipe…maybe it’s the 4 year old and 5 year old? I hope your little ones are well! Can’t wait to bake these…as always, Thanks Deb!!

      1. Amanda

        So I just did another trial batch of these without all purpose flour. I used about a cup and a half of blanched almonds ground into a meal/flour and a little over a quarter cup of coconut flour. They came out amazing!

    1. tara gutman

      these are great. I used lightly salted cashews and over toasted themy and the were still great. they were a little dry at first but I stored them in the freezer and they are amazing!

  145. Chelsey

    Followed recipe exactly except I used my blendtec. I was surprised it worked as well as it did however I think the dough consistency would have been a bit more even with a proper food processor.

    They taste just as good as the dough once cooked (don’t start eating it, you won’t stop)

    These are a perfect pop in your mouth cookie so don’t make them too big!

    They are very crumbly but still hot so I’m hoping hold up a bit better once they cool completely.

  146. Janet

    I made these. They were fine, but next time I’ll go back to the usual recipe using pecans. Could not really detect the flavor of cashews at all.

  147. Amanda

    Hey there! I love these cookies and want to make them for Passover. Have you ever tested this recipe with a 1:1 replacement ratio of flour to almond flour? I did it with coconut flour and that ended poorly. Maybe had to reduce coconut by 1/2 cup? Would love your input! Thanks :)

  148. jillkh

    Sis made these last night for our holiday gal pal gathering. SUPER GOOD!!! We used almonds bc I didn’t want to spend money when I already had those (lol) and they still tasted great. Did an equal weight sub for the cashews. We sped up the chilling process in the freezer bc we didn’t read ahead and leave enough time for an hour in the fridge -_- and they turned out just fine. Thanks as always for great recipes!

  149. Deb, would you kindly answer my question below? I would like to know what I can add to the cookie dough that I have in the fridge to moisten it up a bit. I baked a couple cookies yesterday after making the dough and they were pretty dry. Could be the toasted cashews made them taste dry as I have always used pecans for these cookies. Please help so I don’t have to start all over😩thanks for any advice you can provide.

    1. deb

      I am sorry, I’m unaware of anything that can be added to this kind of dough if it’s coming out too dry. Butter makes cookies spread. Possibly if you could work in a small spoonful of water? And try to bake it slightly under, they might seem more moist when they’re done.

  150. Lori

    This recipe is a disaster! I had to throw the first batch out, partially my fault for over toasting the cashews. I tried a second time, starting all over and followed the directions exactly being careful not to over toast. The second batch was even worse. The cookies basically melted in the oven and when I took them out I let them sit for 10 minutes and went to take them off the parchment paper and they crumbled all over. I have been making these for years with pecans and have always been successful. I will go back to my Mother’s recipe which is a winner!

  151. Karina Lake

    I wanted to comment here because I just made these with Bob’s Red Mill 1 to 1 gluten free flour. I find that butter cookies are actually *better* with GF flour because there is no pesky gluten to take away from that melt-in-your-mouth shortness. I noticed the dough was very sticky so I added 1/4 cup powdered sugar and called it good. I got the cookie balls very firm in the fridge before baking. They looked perfect but they started falling apart when rolling in the powdered sugar so they needed to cool first. Then sugar. They turned out great! I’ve got some dough logs in the freezer and will make more before Christmas. I think they would also be really good slice-and-bake cookies.

  152. I found the baking time to be too long for both the cashews and the cookies themselves. My cashews were a little burnt after the 10 minutes, I should have taken them out after 6-8 minutes. The cookies only needed 10 minutes in my oven. Other than that – found the recipe to be delicious!

  153. Linda

    This recipe has now replaced a former family favourite of my mother’s called Snowball Cookies. Sorry, Mom. We’re on our second batch already this Christmas.

  154. Brenda

    Hi Deb!

    I’ve made these several times, but with pecans because they are my favorite (ha!) and my daughter is allergic to cashews. Anyways, I’m making these as party favors and putting them in boxes just like your pictures above. I wanted to know what is the best way to put them in boxes? (wrapped in wax/parchment paper or plastic bag) It will be an outdoor party and will be 95 degress :(.


  155. tsn

    these look great. i want to use up a big jar of organic cashew butter i have lying around – how would i modify the recipe for that to use instead of the ground cashews? Thanks!

    1. deb

      It doesn’t really work the same here because any jarred butter already has a lot of added oil but we don’t know how much so wouldn’t know how to work it in without testing. You might, however, try the cashew butter with this recipe.

  156. Jennifer Best

    Where do you find the white boxes in this post? I’m looking for something that will fit 1/2 dozen cookies and these look Perfect!! Love the sting. Maybe some washing tape?!?

  157. Jan

    These look amazing and I plan on making them this Christmas. Do you think I could make them with a cup for cup gluten free flour? My celiac daughter will be home from college for the holidays and I’d love it if she was able to enjoy theses too!

  158. Jessica Parsons

    Loved these but they needed longer in the oven than recommended, at a higher temperature – is 300F really the temperature needed or higher??

  159. Cathy

    These were simply devine. The perfect wedding cookie. So light, and the toasted cashews simply make these amazing. Could eat the entire batch at once!

  160. Sofie

    I made these recently after eyeing the recipe for some time. On a holiday dessert table loaded with cakes, cookies of all types, and other sweets, they were the sleeper hit! They are so good that I am still sneaking them into my lunch days later, when I am decidedly not a sweets person. They satisfy without being overly sweet, even with the double coat of powdered sugar.

    Be careful of over-baking them; it is very easy to do since they are so pale. One of my batches was getting a bit golden on the bottom when I removed it, and these are a bit drier than the others. I did not have any crumbling issues following the recipe as written. Highly recommended.

  161. Natalie

    I’ve made this before and they were amazing! I want to make them for Passover, will these work with almond flour? I read you can do a 1:1 substitution but may need more binding agent?

  162. Ashley

    I made these exactly as written, and they were superb. My dough stayed in the fridge for a couple of days before I got around to baking them, to no apparent ill effect. I am pleasantly surprised at how light these are. Simply delightful little cookies. This recipe is a keeper!

  163. Kris

    I’ve made this 4-5 times now, most recently yesterday, and just have to comment again on the fact that the yield is WAY lower than 40. You’d have to make mini, bite-sized cookies for it to be 40. I made 2-bite cookies, so still quite small, and I got 24. Also, you do NOT need 1.5 cups of icing sugar for dusting, nowhere near. I start with 1/2 cup icing sugar in a bowl as you can always add more as you go, but usually there’s still some left over even just using 1/2 cup. Even if you somehow got 40 cookies from this recipe you’d still not need anywhere near 1.5 cups. So don’t waste over 1 cup of icing sugar by starting with that much in your bowl!

    Otherwise, I also make these without a food processor and it works well. I grind the cashews in a coffee grinder and mix with the flour. I fully soften the butter and use an electric hand mixer to mix everything. To make sure the cookies aren’t too crumbly and fragile, I mix it a big longer than “just combined.” Everybody loves these!

  164. Lori Redmond

    I made both the Mexican Wedding Cookies and Cashew balls. The pecan is much more flavorful and the cashew flavor doesn’t really shine at all! Even after toasting them! Just sayin

  165. NdeyeLaura

    It was my first time making any in this “family” of cookies and they were delicious and very easy!
    1. I accidentally left the dough in the fridge for nearly 2 weeks and it was still totally fine.
    2. The lightly roasted and salted cashews available in Senegal worked perfectly-I did not toast them because I was nervous it would be too much.
    3. They were well liked by Senegalese friends who don’t usually like very sweet desserts.