Holiday Baking: Walnut Balls

Balls...that taste like walnuts
Balls…that taste like walnuts

Tis the season to get your baking on. Over the last few weeks in December we’ve been sharing recipes from local bakers to help spur your holiday baking both here on WindsorEats and each week on CTV Windsor on Arms Eats with Windsor Eats.

This is definitely my favourite time of the year. Growing up, my mom always had a list of cookies to make for the season. As kids, we would gather around the table and watch her roll out dough.

Walnut Balls, pre roll.
Walnut Balls, pre roll.

A Christmas season would not pass without having traditional baked goods like Sicilian cuccidata or biscotti. Then, of course, there are the classics: chocolate chip, sugar cookies, peanut butter.

She makes an abundance and variety of cookies, filling container after container and storing them in the freezer. My mom was never without a tray of assorted cookies. We always had people visiting and my mom always had a tray of cookies.

Don't these look scrumptious?
Don’t these look scrumptious?

Over the years, she’s actually added to her cookie collection. Recipes from friends or magazines get added to her recipe notebook, which is bursting with carefully cut out articles and hand written notes. It is falling apart at the seams and is held together by a rubber band. It’s beautiful and no matter how many times I’ve seen it, I love looking through it.

Nowadays our niece and nephew have taken our place around the table and watch their Nonna work her magic.

Almost best to have milk with cookies.
Almost best to have milk with cookies.

One of our favourites and a very easy one to make, are Walnut Balls. Now I’m not sure where the original recipe came from, but I do recall my sister discovering it when we were young and asking our mom to make them. Since then they’ve been a staple in our holiday baking repertoire.

Walnut Balls

The ingredients
The ingredients


  • 1 lb butter, softened (2 cups)
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 tsp vanilla
  • 2 cups ground walnuts
  • 3 2/3 cups flour
  • 2 cups fruit sugar



  1. Preheat oven to 325F.
  2. Cream butter.
  3. Add white sugar and vanilla and incorporate into the mix.
  4. Add ground walnuts. Mix well.
  5. Add flour. Mix well.
  6. Using a teaspoon, take a small scoop of dough and roll in the palm of your hand. Place on an ungreased baking sheet lined with parchment paper.
  7. Because we do not add baking soda, these cookies do not rise so they can be placed relatively close together on the baking sheet.
  8. Bake for 30 minutes or until light brown.
  9. While the cookies are still warm, roll in fruit sugar. The fruit sugar doesn’t dissolve like white sugar would. These cookies are light, crispy and freeze well.


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