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Snowball Cookies

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close up shot of a bunch of Snowball Cookies
You will be the hero at your cookie exchange this year with these easy snowball cookies. They are a traditional holiday treat that people just seem to love.
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Table of Contents
  1. SNOWBALL COOKIES INGREDIENTS
  2. HOW TO MAKE THIS SNOWBALL COOKIES RECIPE
  3. HOW TO SERVE
  4. STORAGE
  5. MORE RECIPES YOU’LL LOVE
  6. JUMP TO RECIPE

Snowball cookies are a classic holiday cookie made with a soft, buttery filling accented by crunchy pecans and coated in the perfect dusting of powdered sugar. While they are easy to make, they have so much to offer in their flavor and should definitely be on your holiday baking list.

Still searching for a few more cookie recipes to try out for this holiday season? Look no further. These Christmas pinwheel cookies and our soft gingerbread cookies are the ultimate baked goods to add to your list.

close up shot of a bunch of Snowball Cookies

SNOWBALL COOKIES INGREDIENTS

Snowball Cookies raw ingredients that are labeled

You’ll need:

  • 1 cup butter, softened
  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 2½ teaspoons clear vanilla extract
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 1 cup pecans, finely chopped
  • 2 cups powdered sugar, for coating the baked cookies

SUBSTITUTIONS AND ADDITIONS

PECANS: You can swap out the pecans for a different type of nut. Almonds, walnuts, macadamia nuts, or hazelnuts are others that would also work for this classic recipe.

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HOW TO MAKE THIS SNOWBALL COOKIES RECIPE

STEP ONE: Preheat the oven to 350°F.

STEP TWO: Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper.

STEP THREE: In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour and cornstarch. Set aside.

STEP FOUR: Using a stand mixer, or a medium-sized mixing bowl and a handheld mixer, cream the butter on medium-high speed for 3 to 4 minutes or until the butter turns a pale yellow. Using a spatula, scrape down the sides of the bowl.

Snowball Cookies process shot of butter being creamed in a measuring cup

STEP FIVE: Reduce the mixer speed to low. Slowly add the powdered sugar ¼ cup at a time, mixing well until the butter mixture is fluffy. Scrape down the sides of the bowl.

Snowball Cookies process shot of ingredients being whisked together in a measuring cup

STEP SIX: Keeping the electric mixer on low speed, add the vanilla and mix for a few seconds to make sure the vanilla is mixed in well.

STEP SEVEN: Continue to keep the mixer on low speed. Slowly add the flour mixture ½ cup at a time, mixing well after each ½ cup, just until the dry ingredients are incorporated.

STEP EIGHT: Add the finely chopped pecans and mix just until the pecans are evenly mixed into the dough.

PRO TIP:

To chop the pecans quickly, pulse them in the food processor. You want them very finely chopped but not powdery.

Snowball Cookies process shot of finely chopped pecans being added to the dough

STEP NINE: Using a medium-sized bowl, add the extra 2 cups of powdered sugar for rolling the warm cookie balls in. Set aside.

STEP TEN: Using a 1 tablespoon cookie dough scoop or tablespoon, scoop out the dough. Carefully, but tightly, roll the dough in your hands to form a round shape. Place the cookie dough balls 2 inches apart.

PRO TIP:

The cookie balls should be about the size of a large marble.

Snowball Cookies process shot of cookie dough balls scooped onto a sheet pan

STEP ELEVEN: Place snowball dough balls in the refrigerator for 10 minutes, uncovered.

STEP TWELVE: Bake for 10 minutes or until the bottoms are light golden brown.

STEP THIRTEEN: Remove the cookies and allow them to rest for 5 minutes. Carefully transfer the cookie ball to the powdered sugar bowl. Gently roll the warm cookies in the powdered sugar. Transfer the dusted cookies to a tray or wire rack to finish cooling completely. Roll the cookies one more time in the powdered sugar coating to ensure they are completely coated.

PRO TIP:

To make these extra festive, add crushed candy canes to your final coating of powdered sugar.

Snowball Cookies process shot of cookie dough balls being rolled into powdered sugar

HOW TO SERVE

These buttery snowball cookies would be a delightful treat with a warm cup of tea or whipped hot chocolate. This would also be a great cookie to add to all of your holiday cookie trays.

STORAGE

IN THE FRIDGE: Store the coated and cooled cookies in an airtight container for 5 to 7 days. They can be placed in the fridge or stored on the countertop at room temperature.

IN THE FREEZER: You can freeze baked pecan snowball cookies for up to 3 months. Thaw to room temperature before serving. You can also freeze uncooked dough balls and bake them from frozen, adding an additional 1 minute to the instructions above.

close up shot of a bunch of Snowball Cookies


Everyone will love these traditional snowball cookies. These favorite cookies are a delicious holiday treat that people just seem to love. Share them at a cookie exchange or add to your Christmas Eve treats for Santa.

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

Are these cookies known by any other name?

This snowball cookie recipe is sometimes also known as Italian wedding cookies, Russian tea cakes, or Mexican wedding cookies

Can I freeze these cookies?

The baked or unbaked cookies can be frozen for up to three months in an airtight container.

Do I have to add the nuts to this recipe?

You could leave out the nuts and you would still have a buttery and delicious holiday cookie.

MORE RECIPES YOU’LL LOVE

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Snowball Cookies

5 from 2 votes
You will be the hero at your cookie exchange this year with these easy snowball cookies. They are a traditional holiday treat that people just seem to love.
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 12 minutes
Total Time 42 minutes
Servings 40 cookies

Ingredients
  

  • 1 cup butter softened
  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • teaspoons clear vanilla
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 1 cup pecans finely chopped
  • 2 cups powdered sugar for coating the baked cookies

Instructions
 

  • Preheat the oven to 350°F.
  • Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper.
  • In a medium-sized mixing bowl, whisk together the flour and cornstarch. Set aside.
  • Using a stand mixer, or a medium size mixing bowl and a handheld electric mixer, cream the butter on medium-high speed for 3 to 4 minutes or until the butter turns a pale yellow. Using a spatula, scrape down the sides of the bowl.
  • Reduce the mixer speed to low. Slowly add the powdered sugar a ¼ cup at a time, mixing well until the butter mixture is fluffy. Scrape down the sides of the bowl.
  • Keeping the mixer on low speed, add the vanilla and mix for a few seconds to make sure the vanilla is mixed in well.
  • Continue to keep the mixer on low speed. Slowly add the flour mixture a ½ cup at a time, mixing well after each ½ cup just until the flour is incorporated.
  • Add the finely chopped pecans and mix just until the pecans are evenly mixed into the dough.
  • Using a medium size bowl, add the extra 2 cups of powdered sugar for rolling the warm cookie balls in, and set aside.
  • Using a 1 tablespoon cookie dough scoop or a tablespoon, scoop out the dough. Carefully but tightly, press and roll the dough in your hands to form the rounded cookie ball. The cookie balls should be about the size of a large marble. Place the cookie dough balls 2 inches apart.
  • Place snowball dough balls in the refrigerator for 10 minutes, uncovered to chill.
  • Bake for 10 minutes or until the bottoms are light golden brown.
  • Remove the cookies and allow them to rest a few minutes until they are easy to handle. Carefully transfer the cookie ball to the powdered sugar bowl. Gently roll the cookies in the  powdered sugar. Best to use a fork to move them around in the powdered sugar so the heat from your fingers doesn’t start melting the sugar and making it mushy. Transfer the dusted cookies to a tray to finish cooling completely for a few minutes. Roll the cookies one more time in the powdered sugar to ensure they are completely coated. Store the coated and cooled cookies in an airtight container.

Notes

TIP: To chop the pecans quickly, pulse them in the food processor. You want them very finely chopped but not powdery.
TIP: The cookie balls should be about the size of a large marble.
TIP: To make these extra festive, add crushed candy canes to your final coating of powdered sugar.

Nutrition

Sodium: 41mg | Calcium: 4mg | Vitamin C: 1mg | Vitamin A: 143IU | Sugar: 9g | Fiber: 1g | Potassium: 18mg | Cholesterol: 12mg | Calories: 117kcal | Saturated Fat: 3g | Fat: 6g | Protein: 1g | Carbohydrates: 14g | Iron: 1mg
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