#SundaySupper is teaming up with Gallo Family Vineyards to share some of our Memorable Holiday Meals and Traditions, and help you conjure up old memories and create new ones. You can all have your cakes and pies and buche de noels. In my family, Christmas dessert centers around one thing – cookies! So to combine the old and the new, I updated a classic, much-loved recipe in my family by adding a fabulous flavor combination to make White Chocolate Macadamia Nut Snowballs.
White Chocolate Macadamia Nut Snowballs
Disclosure: Compensation was provided by Gallo Family Vineyards via Sunday Supper, LLC. The opinions expressed herein are those of the author, and are not indicative of the opinions or positions of Gallo Family Vineyards.
Ah, Christmas Eve. I’m sure I’ve talked about it before, but growing up and even as an adult, it has always been my favorite holiday meal. Whether we were crammed in my grandparents’ small dining room, in the larger dining room of my parents’ old house, or eventually spread through the tiny dining room and at folding tables in the living room of my house with The Hubby, it was pretty much the same. Christmas Eve is a meatless meal in my family, so first we’d gather around the table, say prayers, and eat a bowl of mushroom soup. This was followed by passing around platters and bowls of pierogies and mashed potatoes and fried shrimp and corn pudding and green beans with mushrooms till we were so loaded up on carbs that we had to push back from the table a bit to make room for our expanding bellies.
After clearing the table, doing some dishes, cramming the leftovers into the fridge (because somehow we always felt the need to cook up eight dozen pierogies, even though we’d usually only eat about three or four), and exchanging some presents, out came the cookie platters. After the kids grabbed their cookies and went back to playing or watching a Christmas movie, the adults would linger around the table, maybe with another glass of wine, or perhaps a cup of coffee or tea, nibbling on a cookie here or a cookie there, chit chatting until we were ready to all go our separate ways for the evening, just to meet up the next day and feast again. Of course topped off with more cookies!
The faces gathered around the table and the table we gathered at have morphed and evolved over the years, sometimes adding, sometimes subtracting, sometimes showing up as a special surprise, but the tradition has remained the same. Until this year. We just moved, family members have different work schedules, new extended families, other obligations, so my husband and children and I may be on our own for Christmas Eve for the first time. In some ways this is sad, but in other ways it seems fitting since we will have just been in our new house for about a month. It’s time for traditions to evolve, and to make new memories. Though of course we will hold on to the old ones. We will likely have our traditional Christmas Eve dinner on Christmas Day or over the following weekend. Maybe we’ll add some steaks for a little surf and turf. A nod to the past, to the familiar, to the traditions we hold dear, but with something new and different. And hopefully just as memorable.
Like these cookies…
White Chocolate Macadamia Nut Snowballs are a little blend of old and new. Snowball cookies have always been my mom’s favorite Christmas cookie recipe. You may know them as Russian Tea Cakes or Mexican Wedding Cookies, but we’ve always called them Snowballs, and I’ve been making them the same way – with walnuts, not pecans like many people do, because that’s how mom likes them.
But last year I changed them up just a bit and made Toffee Almond Snowballs. While I don’t think mom will ever give up her favorite ones, she loved this version, as did the many, many people who pinned and bookmarked and made my more modern version. So I figured I’d do it again with White Chocolate Macadamia Nut Snowballs – still tender and buttery, but with the rich macadamia flavor and the little bursts of vanilla. A perfect blend of old and new, traditional and modern, just like these special Limited Edition Holiday Blends from Gallo Family Vineyards.
Just like all of our families, the Gallo family has many of their own holiday meals and traditions. But they would also love to be a part of yours, whether it’s a bottle or two from their lineup of traditional wines being passed around your dinner table, or one of their Limited Edition Holiday Blends that you uncork with dessert, or give as a gift to a party host or hostess, a coworker, or someone who has done something special for you during the year. With two varieties, Apple & Caramel Holiday White Blend and Mixed Berries & Chocolate Red Blend, there’s definitely a variety that everyone will love.
We enjoyed these cookies and holiday wines at a family party over Thanksgiving weekend, and they were both a hit. Other than the few that my mom hid in the freezer (yep, she might just be a convert from the traditional version), the rest disappeared amidst the other cupcakes, cookies and pie. And the wines were both unique and festive with the traditional flavors of a sweet white or wine, but with subtle undertones of the featured flavors of Apple & Caramel and Mixed Berries & Chocolate – the flavors were unmistakably present, but not overpowering. They would definitely be fun for mixing up some mulled wines or cocktails!
And as I mentioned last month, don’t forget that Gallo Family Vineyards has partnered with the Meals on Wheels Association of America to help fight hunger with the Every Cork Counts Campaign. For every one of their corks you mail in or submit a photo of electronically until December 31, 2014, they will donate $1 to Meals on Wheels (up to $50,000). It doesn’t get any easier as you are enjoying the wines of Gallo Family Vineyards this holiday season. And be sure to connect with them on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, or YouTube, and check out the store locator to try some of their wines yourself. And here’s a dollar off for you!
Would you like to join the Sunday Supper Movement? It’s easy! You can sign up by clicking here: Sunday Supper Movement.
Are you looking for some new recipes and ideas to add to your old holiday traditions, or to inspire some new ones? Check out all of the fabulous ideas at the bottom of this post and on the Cooking With Wine Pinterest Board!
How do you blend old and new holiday traditions?
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- ½ cup powdered sugar
- 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 2¼ cups all-purpose flour
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- ½ cup chopped macadamia nuts
- ½ cup white chocolate chips
- Additional powdered sugar for rolling the cookies
- Preheat oven to 400°F.
- In a large bowl, cream the ½ cup sugar, and butter using a stand mixer or hand mixer.
- Gradually add the flour and mix until well combined.
- Using a wooden spoon or spatula, stir in the chopped nuts and white chocolate chips.
- Chill dough in the refrigerator until firm.
- Form into balls using about 1 level tablespoon of dough and place on ungreased cookie sheets, preferably lined with parchment.
- Bake for 8-10 minutes, or until barely set, but not browned.
- Cool on the pan for about 5 minutes, then roll the warm cookies in powdered sugar, and place on a rack to cool.
- Once cooled completely, roll in powdered sugar again.
How about some more modern spins on traditional cookies?
And here is the entire #SundaySupper menu of Memorable Holiday Meals and Traditions paired or prepared with Gallo Family Vineyards Apple & Caramel Holiday White Blend and Mixed Berries & Chocolate Red Blend…
- Holiday Crab & Shrimp Scramble by The Wimpy Vegetarian
- Sour Cream Coffee Cake Donuts by Ruffles & Truffles
- Spiced Apple Monkey Bread with White Wine Caramel by Curious Cuisiniere
- Strawberry Goat Cheese Pastry by Family Foodie
Memorable Main Dishes:
- Baked Swiss Cheese Fondue by Shockingly Delicious
- Curried Turkey Salad by Magnolia Days
- Glazed Ham with Red-eye Gravy by Nik Snacks
- Holiday Braised Short Ribs by Kudos Kitchen by Renee
Delightful Desserts and Sweets:
- Berry Chocolate Mocha Mousse Dessert by Flavor Mosaic
- Caramel Apple Turnovers by In The Kitchen With KP
- Chocolate Mousse Cups by That Skinny Chick Can Bake
- Fudgy Chocolate Berry Bundt Cake by Desserts Required
- Italian Wine Doughnut Cookies by Bobbi’s Kozy Kitchen
- Lemon Pound Cake by Peanut Butter and Peppers
- Red Wine Chocolate Cookie Cups by Alida’s Kitchen
- Red Wine Chocolate Truffles by Life Tastes Good
- Vanilla Cupcakes with White Wine Caramel Apple Compote by Feed Me, Seymour
- White Chocolate Macadamia Nut Snowballs by Cupcakes & Kale Chips