2 sticks unsalted butter
4 Tbl powdered sugar, plus morefor dredging
1 tsp Pure Vanilla Extract
1 tsp Pure Almond Extract
1.5 cups finely ground pecans
2-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp Sel Gris

These cookies go by many names: Sand Tarts, Mexican Wedding Cookies, Russian Butternut, Snowflake, Russian Tea Cake, Viennese Snowball. No matter the name, these cookies are melt-in-your-mouth delicious. We bring in Vanilla and Almond goodness with a pair of extracts. A salty bite of French Sel Gris helps point all the buttery, nutty flavors in the right direction.

Cocoons are a mainstay on the traditional Catholic offering to St. Joseph each spring. Cocoons can be found on St. Joseph’s altars along with Fig and Italian Seed Cookies. We love this generations-old recipe. Your grandmother would call this one “a keeper!”


1.Preheat oven to 300°F.
2.Cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in the extracts and pecans. Slowly beat in the flour just until incorporated. Form into balls about two inches in diameter.
3.Place on a baking sheet and bake until firm and lightly browned on the bottom - 15-20 minutes.
4.Allow to cool for about five minutes on the cookie sheet. While still warm, dredge in confectioners sugar and set aside. The sugar will melt on the cookies. After all the cookies have been dredged, start again and re-dredge. This second coating will create the snowball effect.

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