These almond snowball cookies are spiced Christmas cookies with a twist: they’re naturally gluten free, made with almond flour and cozy chai spices!
It’s easy to judge a cookie by its appearance. For every good recipe we share, there’s usually several behind-the-scenes failures. And that’s absolutely the case with these chai spice almond snowball cookies! These cookies were months in the making. The challenge: we wanted to create a tasty, gluten-free Christmas cookie with normal sounding ingredients. After a few attempts that were complete bombs, a new idea for chai spiced almond snowball cookies surfaced. After numerous attempts and melted cookies and lots of taste testing and maybe a little cursing (oops!), this recipe came to be. Keep reading for this chai spiced almond snowball cookies recipe.
How to make chai spice almond snowball cookies
What came from all the trial and error is a buttery, rich chai spice cookie that got rave reviews from friends and family alike. The cardamom is the star of the show–I never realized cardamom is what gives chai spice its familiar zing! Try to find some ground cardamom for this recipe. With the leftover cardamom, you may find yourself wanting to add a pinch in all of your baked goods! We’ve used coconut sugar an alternative sweetener that’s still sugary but a bit lower on the glycemic scale; you can feel free to substitute brown or white sugar. This is our first spiced Christmas cookie recipe of the season, and it’s one I know we’ll be making for Christmases to come.
Important: when you’re rolling out the cookies, work quickly to avoid the butter softening, which results in a melted cookie in the oven. We recommend refrigerating half of the dough while rolling out the first half of the cookies.
Almond flour vs almond meal
This chai spice almond snowball cookies are made using almond flour (ground almonds). We like to use almond flour in our naturally gluten free desserts. Some grocery stories carry both almond flour and almond meal. What’s the difference: almond flour and almond meal? Both are made from ground almonds. Almond flour is ground finer and made from blanched almonds, which have no skins. Almond meal is coarser ground, and contains the skins of the almonds. Because the texture of these cookies is dependent on the light and fluffy texture of almond flour, make sure to only use almond flour in this recipe.
Since almond flour can be a little pricey, here’s a coupon for $1 any Bob’s Red Mill brand product. Happy Baking!
Looking for Christmas cookie recipes?
Aside from these chai spiced snowball cookies, here are a few of our favorite Christmas cookie recipes:
- Soft Gingerbread Cookies
- Peppermint Meringues
- Ginger Cookie Ice Cream Sandwiches
- The Best Soft Ginger Molasses Cookies
- Shortbread Cookies with Chocolate Drizzle
- Cherry Quinoa Chocolate Bark
- Narwhal Gingerbread Cutout Cookies
- Healthy Peanut Butter Buckeye Balls
- Gingersnap Sandwich Cookies
- Cranberry Pistachio Chocolate Clusters
- Easy Peppermint Bark
This recipe is…
This Chai Spice Almond Snowball Cookies recipe is gluten free and vegetarian. See the note in the recipe for a vegan variation.Print
These almond snowball cookies are spiced Christmas cookies with a twist: they’re made with almond flour and cozy chai spices!
- 1/4 cup butter, at room temperature
- 3 tablespoons coconut sugar (such as Bob’s Red Mill, or substitute white sugar)
- 1 1/4 cup almond flour (such as Bob’s Red Mill)*
- ¼ cup cornstarch
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1⁄2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1⁄2 teaspoon ground ginger
- 1⁄2 teaspoon ground cloves
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cardamom (no substitutions!)
- 1/8 teaspoon salt
- ¼ cup powdered sugar, for dusting
- In a stand mixer or with a hand mixer, mix together butter and sugar until fully combined. Add the remainder of the ingredients (except for the powdered sugar) and mix again until a cohesive dough forms. Turn out onto plastic wrap and shape into a ball; refrigerate for at least 1 hour.
- Preheat the oven to 350°F (make sure the temperature is true; adjust if your oven runs hotter than normal). Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
- Roll into approximately 20 1-inch balls, pressing together the dough as necessary where it is crumbly. Important: Work quickly to avoid the butter softening, which results in a melted cookie in the oven. We recommend refrigerating half of the dough while rolling out the first half of the cookies.
- Place the cookies onto the baking sheet and bake for 8 minutes, turning the pan halfway through for even baking, until the cookies are light golden brown but still soft. (Be careful not to over bake or the cookies may start to lose their shape.) Remove the cookies from the oven and cool them on the pan for 10 minutes (avoid touching; the cookies will solidify as they cool). Once hardened, transfer to a rack to cool completely.
- When completely cool, place ¼ cup powdered sugar on a plate and roll each ball in the sugar until coated.
*Do not substitute almond meal, which is a different product; use only almond flour here!
For a vegan variation, use 1/4 cup melted, room temperature coconut oil in place of the butter; mix together all ingredients (except powdered sugar) in a bowl with a wooden spoon, then bake at 325°F for 10 minutes. The resulting cookie is not as rich and has a more crumbly texture; you may want to consider adding a bit more sugar in this variation to make up for the lost richness.
Keywords: Almond Flour, Snowball Cookies, Almond Snowball Cookies, Chai Spice Cookies, Christmas Cookies, Gluten Free
This post is sponsored by Bob’s Red Mill. All opinions are our own; we’re huge fans of their products and use them often. Thank you for supporting the sponsors who keep A Couple Cooks in action!
About the Authors
Cookbook Author and writer
Sonja Overhiser is an acclaimed vegetarian cookbook author and cook based in Indianapolis. She’s host of the food podcast Small Bites and founder of the food website A Couple Cooks. Featured from the TODAY Show to Bon Appetit, Sonja seeks to inspire adventurous eating to make the world a better place one bite at a time.
Cookbook Author and photographer
Alex Overhiser is an acclaimed food photographer and author based in Indianapolis. He’s host of the food podcast Small Bites and founder of the food website A Couple Cooks. Featured from the TODAY Show to Bon Appetit, Alex is author of Pretty Simple Cooking, named one of the “best vegetarian cookbooks” by Epicurious.