Bee’s Knees Snowballs

These delicate, melt-in-your-mouth cookies combine fresh lemon zest and orange blossom honey to play off the flavors of the namesake cocktail. They bring back fond memories of when I’d bake holiday cookies as a teenager, a variation of these were called Russian Tea Cakes, and they were (are?) addicting.

Floral orange blossom honey and fresh lemon zest give these powdered sugar–capped cookies from cookbook author Leah Koenig a delicate flavor and citrusy aroma. Their melt-in-your-mouth texture, with a faint nuttiness from the almond flour, makes them the perfect companion for a coupe of chilled Bee’s Knees; or a glass of chilled milk or cup of hot tea. Use a mild honey such as clover or wildflower to allow the bright lemon to shine. Avoid buckwheat honey, which can overpower the cookies’ subtleties.

Bee's Knees Snowballs

  • Servings: 5 dozen
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print


  • 1 cup unsalted butter (8 oz.), at room temperature
  • 1 1/2 cups powdered sugar (about 6 oz.), divided
  • 2 Tbsp. honey (preferably orange blossom)
  • 2 1/2 tsp. grated lemon zest (from 2 lemons)
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 1/4 tsp. kosher salt
  • 1/2 cup almond flour (about 1 3/4 oz.)
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour (about 8 1/2 oz.)
  • Edible gold luster dust (optional)


  1. Preheat oven to 350°F with racks in upper third and lower third positions. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper, and set aside.
  2. Combine butter, 1/2 cup powdered sugar, honey, lemon zest, vanilla, and salt in bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Beat on medium speed until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes. Reduce mixer speed to low; add almond flour, and beat until combined, about 30 seconds. Add all-purpose flour in 2 additions, beating on low speed and stopping to scrape down sides of bowl as needed, until dough comes together, about 45 seconds total.
  3. Using a 1 1/2-inch (1-tablespoon) cookie scoop, scoop out cookies, and arrange at least 1 inch apart on prepared baking sheets. Bake in preheated oven until light golden, 12 to 15 minutes, rotating baking sheets between top and bottom racks after 7 minutes of baking time. Remove from oven. Transfer cookies to a wire rack, and let cool completely, about 30 minutes.
  4. Place remaining 1 cup powdered sugar in a shallow bowl. Roll cooled cookies in sugar until fully coated. Sprinkle with edible gold luster dust, if desired.


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