No holiday cookie tin would be complete without at least a few Noel nut balls, rich nut-and-butter domes, rolled in confectioners' sugar to resemble miniature snowballs. In Martha's family, the cookie dough was traditionally made with a touch of bourbon (or orange juice), for extra flavor.

Advertisement

Ingredients

Ingredient Checklist

Directions

Instructions Checklist
  • Whisk together flour, pecans, confectioners' sugar, and salt in a medium bowl. With an electric mixer on medium-high speed, beat butter and honey until fluffy, about 3 minutes. Mix in bourbon or orange juice just to combine. Add flour mixture, and beat just to combine. Turn out dough onto a piece of plastic, wrap tightly, and chill 3 hours.

    Advertisement
  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Roll dough, 2 teaspoons at a time, into balls. Place 2 inches apart on parchment-lined baking sheets. Bake until brown around edges, about 12 minutes. Transfer cookies to wire racks; let cool completely. Roll in confectioners' sugar to coat. Cookies can be stored in an airtight container at room temperature up to 1 week.

Reviews (11)

101 Ratings
  • 5 star values: 27
  • 4 star values: 41
  • 3 star values: 22
  • 2 star values: 6
  • 1 star values: 5
Rating: 5 stars
12/10/2018
Have already had to make this twice this year as the first batch disappeared like magic - love this recipe!!
Rating: Unrated
11/30/2015
QUESTION: Can the dough be frozen for the nut balls? Thanks. Sheilasu
Rating: Unrated
12/08/2013
I used a melon baller and got 5 dozen wonderfully sized cookies with no problem. These have become my Christmas tradition. They remind me of Danish Wedding Cookies.
Advertisement
Rating: Unrated
12/23/2010
I saw a great tip on the show that is not mentioned here. Before wrapping the dough in plastic form it into a flat disk. When you remove the dough from the refrigerator cut it using a grid pattern into about 1 inch cubes. Then you can take each cube of dough and roll it between your two palms to form the ball. This doesn't make anywhere near 5 dozen, I got 3 dozen cookies.
Rating: Unrated
12/23/2010
This is a great recipe. Everyone loves them and they are easy to make. My only complaint is the claimed yield of 5 dozen. I don't make them too big and yet I've never got more than 3 dozen. To get 5 dozen you would need to make them the size of a marble.
Rating: Unrated
12/06/2010
Thanks for re-running this recipe on your Christmas Cookie Special! It is superb and will be our family favorite for years to come!
Advertisement
Rating: Unrated
12/06/2010
Thanks for re-running this recipe on your Christmas Cookie Special! It is superb and will be our family favorite for years to come!
Rating: Unrated
05/18/2010
These are YUMMY! I made up my own variation of them, that I called "Noel Nib Balls" Make the cookies according to the recipe above, substituting 1/2 cup of cocoa nibs (roasted cocoa beans) and 1/4 cup of pecans for the 3/4 cup of pecans listed. Add cocoa powder to the powdered sugar used for coating the baked and cooled cookies. A chocolaty treat with no additional fat!!! These were the hit of my Christmas Cookie platters!
Rating: Unrated
12/19/2008
I made thse for Christmas thinking that these were a type of Bourbon Balls. They were ok...not great. Mine turned out like Cookies, Not at all what I was expecting. Don't overcook...take out of the oven before the edges turn brown...they taste good...just not expecting cookies! Merry Christmas!
Rating: Unrated
12/16/2008
I made these on Sunday,
Rating: Unrated
12/16/2008
I've been looking for this version for years. My mom made it with orange juice. But her version, i thought had passed with her in 86'. Thank you Martha for giving it back to me.