These simple lemon almond snowball cookies are mildly sweet and delicate. (Photo by Tressa Dale/Peninsula Clarion)

These simple lemon almond snowball cookies are mildly sweet and delicate. (Photo by Tressa Dale/Peninsula Clarion)

Lemony sweet Easter treat

These lemon almond snowball cookies are mildly sweet and delicate

The night before Easter my sister and I tucked our kids in and sang them their bedtime songs before shutting the door for the night. From outside their door, we listened to them giggle and make guesses about what they might find in their baskets in the morning.

“I hope he brings me chocolate!” “Of course he’ll bring us chocolate … and maybe stickers too!”

They stayed up just a little late chatting, and when the room was finally quiet (except for the snoring of the eldest), we brought the gifts up from the basement and got to work making magic for our babies.

The first exciting minutes of a holiday morning are more joyful with cousins. My precious niece was the first to emerge from their room, and when she saw the baskets set out on the floor, she sprinted back to the bedroom to wake the boys with happy shrieks of “the Easter bunny came!”

They all gathered on the floor and pulled out their coloring books and stickers and passed bits of candy back and forth, so everyone had their favorites. My nephew was the first to spot a hidden egg, and then the hunt was on.

In minutes they had found every candy-packed egg and were already asking for permission to have some chocolate before breakfast … don’t worry, they each got to have a couple pieces before their eggs and biscuits.

These visits are short, but we pack in as much as we can with them while they’re here. My niece loves to bake with me, so I whipped up a quick batch of these simple lemon almond snowball cookies for her to roll into balls.

These cookies are mildly sweet and delicate, and the way they melt in your mouth makes them absolutely addicting. Make a double batch or they’ll be gone in a day.

Lemon Almond Snowball Cookies

Ingredients:

½ pound cold unsalted butter (2 sticks) cubed

2 cups all-purpose flour

1 cup almond flour

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

½ teaspoon almond extract

The zest of 2 lemons

½ cup powdered sugar (plus more for dusting)

½ teaspoon salt

Directions:

In the bowl of your food processor, combine the butter, almond flour, vanilla and almond extracts, powdered sugar, salt, and lemon zest.

Pulse until the mixture looks crumbly and well combined.

Add in the all-purpose flour and pulse until the mixture forms a cohesive dough. You may need to remove it from the food processor and mix a little by hand, but try not to overmix or the texture of the finished cookie might suffer. Mix just enough to combine.

Transfer to a bowl, cover, and chill for 30 minutes.

Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and preheat your oven to 350 degrees.

Remove the dough from the refrigerator and start rolling into small balls. You want each one to be about the size of a ping-pong ball. Do not press or flatten on the tray.

The cookies won’t spread or rise during baking, so you can bake more on a sheet than with other cookies.

Bake for 12-14 minutes. The cookies will be soft and very pale but should be slightly browned on the bottom when done. Slightly underbaked is better than overdone — if they are overcooked, they will be hard and crumbly when cooled.

Transfer them straight away to a cooling rack and generously dust with powdered sugar.

When the cookies are totally cooled, dust again with powdered sugar before storing in an airtight container.

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