Snowball Cookies are buttery, rich, and rolled into powdered sugar to resemble actual snowballs. These classic cookies are super easy to make and only require one mixing bowl and a handful of ingredients.
One of my all-time favorite Christmas cookie recipes is what my family refers to as Snowball Cookies, due to their adorable resemblance to actual snowballs. However, these buttery, rich cookies are also known by the name Mexican Wedding Cookies or Russian Tea Cakes and are similar to Italian Wedding Cookies as well.
Whatever you call these cookies, it is their flavor that makes them truly irresistible. They are buttery and slightly crumbly like Classic Shortbread Cookies but stand out due to the addition of crunchy pecans and a sweet dusting of powdered sugar. They are just sweet enough, and incredibly rich and buttery.
These Snowball Cookies are a perfect holiday cookie! Not only because they are melt-in-your-mouth delicious and festive in appearance, but this is one Christmas cookie recipe that is incredibly simple to make, as this recipe only requires one mixing bowl and there is no chilling required! And we all can appreciate a simple cookie recipe during the busy holiday season.
Notes on Ingredients and Substitutions
The ingredients needed for classic snowball cookies are few, which makes this cookie that much more appealing to make during the busy holiday season. Snowball Cookies also happen to be egg-free, making them a great treat for anyone with egg allergies.
- Butter: It is always best to use unsalted butter for baking cookies. This will allow you to control the level of salt in your cookies.
- Powdered Sugar (Confectioners Sugar): Not only are the cookies rolled in powdered sugar, but they are also sweetened with powdered sugar rather than granulated sugar.
- Chopped Pecans: Pecans are a classic addition to classic snowball cookies. However, you can substitute chopped walnuts, pistachios, or almonds in place of the pecans, or omit the nuts completely.
How to Make Snowball Cookies
Before preparing your cookies, be sure to remove your butter from the refrigerator several hours prior to preparing your cookie dough, to allow time for your butter to fully soften. Softened butter is key to a creamy, light batter.
- Place your butter into a large mixing bowl or bowl of a stand mixer and beat on high speed until creamy and light in color. Be patient, this may take a couple of minutes but you really want your butter to be light and fluffy.
- Once the butter is fluffy, add ½ cup of powdered sugar to the butter, along with the vanilla extract and salt. Mix on LOW speed to just incorporate it into the butter. Mixing on low speed to start will prevent the powdered sugar from flying everywhere. Once the sugar has been incorporated into the butter, turn the speed on the mixer to medium, and beat the ingredients for a couple of minutes until it is light and fluffy.
- Add in half the flour, and mix on low speed JUST to incorporate. Once incorporated, add the remaining flour and mix again on low speed to incorporate. Be cautious to not overmix the ingredients, as this can result in a dense cookie.
- Add in the pecans, and use a wooden spoon or spatula to fold the nuts evenly into the dough.
- Scoop out about 1 tablespoon of the cookie dough and gently roll it into a ball. Each cookie dough ball should be about an inch big.
- Place each cookie dough ball onto a cookie sheet, spacing an inch apart.
- Bake the cookies until just golden on the bottom. They will still be pale on the top surface. That is okay–you don’t want to overbake them.
- Allow the cookies to cool for just a couple of minutes.
- While the cookies are still warm, roll each cookie in a bowl of powdered sugar, to coat.
- Allow the cookies to cool fully and then roll them in the powdered sugar AGAIN. This second sugar-coating will give the Snowball Cookies their classic “snow” coating.
- Grab a mug of tea, a homemade latte, or a cup of hot chocolate, and enjoy your buttery delicious Snowball Cookie.
Snowball Cookies can be stored in an airtight container for up to one week at room temperature. You can also opt to freeze your cookies in a freezer-safe bag for up to 1 month. Once defrosted, you may want to re-roll your cookies in powdered sugar.
More Classic Christmas Cookie Recipes
- The Best Cut Out Sugar Cookie Recipe
- Neiman Marcus Cookies
- Shortbread Cookies
- Snickerdoodle Cookies
- Candy Cane Cookies
If you gave this Snowball Cookie Recipe a try, I would love for you to leave a comment and review below.
- Preheat the oven to 350° F.
- In a large mixing bowl or bowl of a stand mixer, cream the butter using a handheld or stand mixer until creamy and light in color.
- Add ½ cup of powdered sugar into the butter and mix on low speed until the sugar is fully incorporated into the batter. Once incorporated, increase the speed to medium, and continue to mix for 2 to 3 minutes, or until the mixture is light and fluffy.
- Add the vanilla extract and salt. Mix on low speed to just combine.
- Add ½ of the flour, mix at low speed to combine, and then add the rest of the flour. Mix again on low speed just until combined.
- Add the pecans to the batter and use a wooden spoon or spatula to just incorporate the nuts evenly into the batter.
- Scoop out about 1 tablespoon of the cookie dough and shape into it a 1-inch ball. Place it onto an ungreased cookie sheet. Repeat the process until the cookie dough is gone, being sure to space the cookies 2-inches apart on the cookie sheet.
- Bake for 12 to 15, or until the cookies are just golden brown on the bottom.
- Once the cookies are baked, remove them from the oven and let them cool for 1-2 minutes.
- Place the remaining cup of powdered sugar into a bowl and roll the warm cookies in the powdered sugar.
- Cool the cookies completely and then roll them again in the remaining powdered sugar.
- Once fully cooled, store the cookies in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 1 week.