I call these Snow Balls, for obvious reasons, because I make them every Christmas. The recipe was originally from Hellenic Cuisine, a 1957 cookbook project from the Ladies Society of Saints Constantine and Helen Greek Orthodox Church in Detroit Michigan. I admit that I have not changed a thing about it, except that I choose to use pecans and the recipe does not specify which type of nut to use. Still I consider it a family recipe since I make it for family. Yes, I must agree, that's quite a stretch.
3/4C softened salted butter
5T powdered sugar for the recipe itself
2t vanilla extract
1C chopped nuts
Cream together the softened butter, sugar and vanilla in an electric mixer, then slowly add the flour (I use unbleached white flour). While the flour is being fully incorporated, you can chop the pecans into small pieces.
Next add the chopped pecans. The longer you mix at high speed, the more the nuts breakdown and the result is a cookie that crumbles very easily. Therefore, if you want a cookie with a firmer texture, lessen the mixing or mix the nuts in by hand. Roll into 3/4"-1" balls and bake on an ungreased cookie sheet at 325 degrees for 25 minutes.
Before the cookies cool completely, dust them in powdered sugar. I find it is handy to dust the plate full after they have been stacked as handling compacts the sugar and it does not look as white when the butter has seeped through to the surface.
Note: This photo indicates a crumbly dough, almost like pie crust. That is how your cookie dough will look until the warmth from your hands during the rolling causes it to smooth out.