SNOWBALL COOKIES RECIPE

Ingredients

  • 1 cup unsalted butter softened
  • 1/2 cup powdered sugar (confectioner’s sugar)
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 cup pecans or walnuts, finely chopped
  • 1 cup powdered sugar for dusting

Preparation

go to homepage

SNOWBALL COOKIES

November 6, 2023 by Beth Pierce 236 Comments

THIS POST MAY CONTAIN AFFILIATE LINKS. PLEASE SEE MY FULL DISCLOSURE POLICY FOR DETAILS. AS AN AMAZON ASSOCIATE I EARN FROM QUALIFYING PURCHASES.

Jump to Recipe·Print Recipe

These classic Snowball Cookies are little balls of buttery shortbread melt-in-your-mouth goodness with a powdered sugar coating. They are quick to fix, delicious, and freeze well. You may even have the ingredients to make them in your house right now. You might know them as Russian Tea Cakes, Italian Wedding cookies, butter balls, and Mexican Wedding Cookies, but in our house, we just call them Snowballs. They are the delectable cookies with a thousand names.

This is my absolute favorite Christmas cookie recipe!  I love them!!!  LOVE THEM!!! These Buttery Pecan Snowball Cookies will melt in your mouth.  They are so easy!  You will find that you have a full batch of cookies ready in under 45 minutes.  How can you beat that!!

These classic Snowball Cookies are little balls of buttery shortbread melt-in-your-mouth goodness with a powdered sugar coating.

HOW TO MAKE SNOWBALL COOKIES

These delectable holiday cookies are so very easy to make.  First, using an electric mixer or stand mixer with the paddle attachment on medium speed, cream the butter and the powdered sugar until light and fluffy! Then turn the mixer to low speed and add the salt, vanilla, flour, and chopped pecans. Using a 1-tablespoon scoop, roll the cookies into balls and place them on a parchment-covered baking sheet with a little space between them. Bake until lightly browned.

How to make snowball cookies

Allow the cookies to cool just enough to handle them. Then gently roll them in the powdered sugar.  Place them on a wire rack to cool. When they are fully cooled, roll in the powdered sugar again.

Using a 1-tablespoon scoop, roll the cookies into balls and place them on a parchment-covered baking sheet with a little space between them.

CAN SNOWBALL COOKIES BE FROZEN?

They can be baked and frozen ahead of time.  Pack the cookies in double Ziploc freezer bags, place them in a sturdy, glad-ware freezer container, and freeze for up to 3 months. Thaw the cookies in the fridge overnight. Once the cookies have thawed, reroll them in powdered sugar. Then, place them in airtight containers, and store them at room temperature for up to 5 days.

The dough can easily be frozen as well in a practice commonly known as flash freezing.  Simply roll the dough and place it on parchment-covered baking sheets. Make sure the dough balls aren’t touching so they don’t freeze to each other.  Place the whole sheet in the freezer until frozen, and then transfer the balls to a freezer bag. Store that bag in a sturdy freezer container.  When you are ready to bake, simply place the cookies on a parchment-covered baking sheet and let them thaw just a tad while the oven preheats.  Frozen cookies may require an additional one to two minutes of baking time.

DO YOU HAVE TO USE PECANS?

Heck no!  You can use English walnuts, black walnuts, almonds, pistachios, and even cashews. Just make sure the nuts are shelled, roasted, and finely chopped.  Each nut gives the cookie a delicious different unique flavor.

You might know these cookies as Russian Tea Cakes, Italian Wedding cookies, butter balls, and Mexican Wedding Cookies, but in our house, we just call them Snowballs.

HELPFUL RECIPE TIPS

  • Use real honest-to-goodness butter so they taste yummy. I personally use Land O Lakes butter for all my cookies.
  • Cream the butter and sugar until light and fluffy
  • Chop the pecans fairly fine. Remember, you can use different nuts.
  • This a thick dough, so roll the cookies with your hands because the warmth of your hands will help shape the cookies.
  • Preheat the oven and load the baking sheet in the middle of the oven.
  • Use parchment paper or silicone baking mats.
  • If you have time, do a test run with one or two cookies.  It really helps to establish baking time.
  • Do not over-bake the cookies. These are a type of shortbread cookies with a crumbly melt-in-your-mouth texture.
  • When measuring your flour, spoon the flour into the measuring cup and level it off with a table knife to keep from adding too much flour.
  • Store the cookies in an airtight container on the counter for up to 5 days. 
These melt in your mouth buttery pecan shortbread cookies are baked to perfection and rolled in powdered sugar.

RECIPE VARIATIONS

  • Roll the dough around an unwrapped chocolate kiss
  • Add 3/4 cup chopped Andes Peppermint Crunch Baking Chips to the cookie dough
  • Add 3/4 cup mini chocolate chips to the cookie dough
  • Mix 1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder at the same time as the butter and powdered sugar. Also, add 3/4 cup mini chocolate chips stirred in at the end to make Chocolate Snowball Cookies
  • Replace the vanilla with lemon juice, add 1-2 tablespoons lemon zest, and use finely chopped sliced almonds instead of the pecans to make Almond Lemon Snowballs.
  • Substitute almonds coarsely ground in a food processor for the pecans and add 1/2 teaspoon of almond extract. 

OTHER COOKIES YOU WILL LOVE!

Potato Chip Cookies
White Chocolate Cranberry Cookies

SNOWBALL COOKIES RECIPE

PRINT RECIPE

★★★★★ 5 from 41 reviews

This snowball cookie recipe is a Christmas tradition and my favorite cookie! These melt-in-your-mouth buttery pecan shortbread cookies are baked to perfection and rolled in powdered sugar.

  • Author: Beth Pierce
  • Prep Time: 15
  • Cook Time: 11
  • Total Time: 26 minutes
  • Yield: 30-36
  • Category: Cookies
  • Method: Bake
  • Cuisine: American

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 cup unsalted butter softened
  • 1/2 cup powdered sugar (confectioner’s sugar)
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 cup pecans or walnuts, finely chopped
  • 1 cup powdered sugar for dusting

Cook Mode Prevent your screen from going dark

INSTRUCTIONS

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees
  2. In a stand mixer, using the paddle attachment on medium speed, cream the butter and powdered sugar. Turn the mixer to low and add the salt, vanilla, flour, and pecans. Roll the dough into one-inch balls using a 1-tablespoon scoop. Place on parchment-covered baking sheets a few inches apart. Bake for 8-10 minutes or until very lightly browned. Do not over-bake
  3. Remove them from the oven and allow them to cool just enough to handle them. Pour 1 cup powdered sugar into a medium bowl. Gently roll the cookies in the powdered sugar. Use a fork to scoop under each cookie and gently shake to remove excess powdered sugar. Place on cooling racks. Once completely cooled, roll in the powdered sugar again.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *