The Best Snowball Cookies Recipe (2024)

Published: · Modified: by Sherri · This post may contain affiliate links · 48 Comments

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These easy Snowball Cookies are an old fashioned, buttery shortbread cookie with pecans that are dipped in powdered sugar. They’re an elegant treat to enjoy any time of the year and to add to your Holiday season baking!

Some people know these cookies as Italian wedding cookies, Mexican wedding cookies, and even Russian Tea cookies. I grew up calling Pecan Balls. However you may know them, they are melt-in-your-mouth yumminess that everyone loves.

Pecan balls were one of my Grandma’s specialties and are truly one of my fondest childhood Christmas traditions and are, by far, my favorite cookies. We made these cookies and these Oreo Balls every year and it’s so great creating the same memories with my own children.

The Best Snowball Cookies Recipe (1)

These pecan cookie balls are the best simple and delicious treat that comes together quickly and the dough freezes well. It’s hard to beat cookies shaped like little snowballs right?! They are pure decadence.

Ingredients Needed

Butter – a cup of unsalted butter to give that classic, buttery shortbread flavor

Sugar – just a tad of white sugar gets mixed into the dough

Water – a small amount of water to moisten the dough

Vanilla extract – To give it the cookies flavor

All purpose flour – I have also used Bob’s Red Mill One-to-one flour

Pecans – chopped finely in a food processor or with a hand held chopper

Confectioners’ Sugar – to roll and coat the baked cookies in

Tips and Variations

Make them with no nuts if you’d like.

Used chopped walnuts, almonds, or any type of nut you’d like to use.

Add ⅓ cup of mini chocolate chips if desired.

Add ½ cup cocoa powder for a chocolate version.

Chop nut in a food processor or with a hand held chopper.

Add 1 teaspoon of almond extract in place of 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract if desired.

How to Make These Butter Ball Cookies

Preheat oven to 325 ° F

Place the butter and sugar in a large bowl and cream with an electric mixer on medium speed. You can also use your stand mixer with the paddle attachment as well

Add in the water and vanilla extract and mix until combined.

Then add flour and mix on low speed until flour is just mixed in, making sure to scape down the sides of the bowl..

Add the chopped nuts and gently stir to combine.

Chill in the refrigerator for 2 hours

Using a cookie scoop, scoop dough into your hand and roll the dough into 1-inch balls and place on an ungreased baking sheet.

Bake for 20 minutes until golden brown.

After baking, transfer to a wire rack and cool for 5-10 minutes.

Place the confectioners’ sugar in a shallow bowl or plastic bag. Roll each baked cookie ball in the powdered sugar while they are still a little warm. Then place them on a sheet of parchment paper .

Roll in the powdered sugar again for a second time after they have completely cooled to generous coat the outside of the cookies.

How to Store?

Store in an airtight container for up to 5-6 days.

Can snowball cookie dough be frozen?

Yes, you can place the cookie dough in a freezer bag and freezer for up to one month. The entire ball of dough can be frozen or roll the cookie balls and then freeze them. Thaw in the refrigerator or at room temperature prior to baking.

Freeze snowball cookies after baking as well. Once they have thawed completely, roll them in powdered sugar again to freshen them up.

The Best Snowball Cookies Recipe (2)

Try these other easy Holiday treats too:

Chocolate Crinkle Cookies

Easy Peppermint Bark

Raspberry Pecan Pinwheel Cookies

Easy Oreo Balls Recipe

Classic Snickerdoodle Cookies

The Best Snowball Cookies Recipe (3)

Old Fashioned Snowball Cookies

These easy Snowball Cookies are a buttery shortbread cookie with pecans that will literally melt in your mouth

5 from 51 votes

Print Pin Rate

Course: Dessert

Cuisine: American

Prep Time: 15 minutes minutes

Cook Time: 20 minutes minutes

Chill dough: 2 hours hours

Total Time: 35 minutes minutes

Servings: 48

Calories: 81kcal

Author: Sherri Hagymas


  • 1 cup butter salted 2 sticks, softened
  • ½ cup sugar
  • 2 teaspoon water optional
  • 2 teaspoon vanilla
  • 2 cups all purpose flour sifted
  • 1 cup pecans chopped
  • ½ cup confectioners Sugar


  • Preheat oven to 325 ° F

  • Place the butter and sugar in a large bowl and cream with an electric mixer. You can also use a stand mixer.

  • Add in the vanilla extract and water and mix until combined.

  • Then add flour and mix thoroughly.

  • Add the chopped nuts and gently stir to combine.

  • Chill in the refrigerator for 2 hours

  • Roll the chilled dough into 1 inch balls and place on an ungreased cookie sheet.

  • Bake for 20 minutes.

  • After baking, transfer to a wire rack and cool for 5-10 minutes.

  • Then roll in confectioner's sugar.


Used chopped walnuts, almonds, or any type of nut you’d like to use.

Add ⅓ cup of mini chocolate chips if desired.

Add ½ cup cocoa powder for a chocolate version.

Add 1 teaspoon of almond extract in place of 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract if desired.


Chop nuts in a food processor or with a hand held chopper.

Make them with no nuts if you’d like.

Dough is very dense after adding flour.

Keeping the dough cool is important to the cookies staying nice and round.

Place the dough back in the refrigerator between batches.


Serving: 1ball | Calories: 81kcal | Carbohydrates: 7g | Fat: 5g | Saturated Fat: 2g | Cholesterol: 10mg | Sodium: 33mg | Potassium: 16mg | Sugar: 3g | Vitamin A: 120IU | Calcium: 4mg | Iron: 0.3mg

Nutritional Disclosure

Nutritional facts are estimates and are provided as a courtesy to the reader. Please utilize your own brand nutritional values to double check against our estimates. Nutritional values are calculated via a third party. Changing ingredients, amounts or cooking technique will alter the estimated nutritional calculations.

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The Best Snowball Cookies Recipe (2024)


Why do my snowball cookies go flat? ›

Snowball cookies should not flatten. Since they do not contain a leavening agent, the main factor to check is that the dough is chilled before baking.

How long can you store snowball cookies? ›

How Long Do Pecan Snowball Cookies Last? Store cooled cookies in an airtight container at room temperature for up to five days. Freeze for up to three months for longer storage.

How do you get powdered sugar to stick to cookies? ›

How Do You Make the Confectioners' Sugar Stick? After the cookies bake, roll each one in confectioners' sugar. The trick to the stick (ha!) is to roll them twice. Give the cookies their first coating when they are slightly warm.

How do you store powdered sugar cookies? ›

Airtight Containers

Ensuring optimal freshness and preventing staleness of your royal icing sugar cookies is crucial for their enjoyment. This can be achieved by storing them in airtight containers. To keep those intricate designs intact, layer spacious containers with parchment paper.

How do you make cookies flatten more? ›

Cookie baking temperature and time

Higher temperatures promote faster spread, while lower temperatures result in slower spread. Additionally, longer baking times can encourage more spread. Experiment with different temperatures and baking times to find the perfect balance for achieving your desired cookie.

How do you make cookies fluffy and not flat? ›

Try using baking powder instead of baking soda. Baking soda encourages spreading while baking powder puffs the cookies up. If your recipe calls for 1 teaspoon of baking soda, you would use 3 to 4 teaspoons of baking powder.

Can you freeze cookies that are rolled in powdered sugar? ›

You can freeze filled cookies, such as thumbprint cookies and cookies that are coated in powdered sugar, such as Mexican wedding cookies either after they are baked or freeze the cookie dough. If you're freezing the baked cookies, wait to fill them or roll in powdered sugar until you're ready to serve.

Does freezing cookies keep them fresh? ›

Freezing is the best way to store cookies long term. Freezing a freshly baked cookie preserves that fresh flavor and texture so you can enjoy it any time. For best results, let your cookies cool completely, and then freeze right away. You'll need to make sure the cookies are well wrapped and protected from air.

Does freezing cookies make them last longer? ›

Wait for the cookies to cool completely, then transfer them to a reusable freezer-safe bag or container lined with wax or parchment paper. I like to place them in a single layer to avoid any cookies breaking. Cookies will keep well for up to 2 months. Once ready to eat, simply thaw out at room temperature and enjoy.

Is it better to roll sugar cookies on flour or powdered sugar? ›

Be sure your dough is well-chilled and re-chill your scraps after they get warm before cutting into more shapes. This will help the cut-out cookies hold their shapes. Use Powdered Sugar. I strongly suggest you use powdered sugar instead of flour for rolling out the sugar cookie dough.

Is it better to use powdered sugar or granulated sugar in sugar cookies? ›

Granulated sugar also helps tenderize batters and binds with water to keep baked goods moist. Powdered sugar in cookie dough will give you chewier cookies (if there's egg in the recipe).

What happens if you use powdered sugar instead of granulated in cookies? ›

All levels of powdered sugar grind can be used interchangeably with each other in cookie recipes. But take note: powdered sugar is not to be substituted for granulated sugar or brown sugar, since the added cornstarch in powdered sugar changes cookie chemistry and texture.

What type of container is ideal for storing cookies? ›

Keep Your Cookies In An Airtight Container

Containers that are airtight are perfect for storing cookies because they keep moisture away. Containers like ceramic cookie jars may look beautiful, but they are often not airtight and can make your cookies go stale in a hurry.

Why does my powdered sugar taste weird? ›

Why does my powdered sugar taste chalky? Some people notice the corn starch anti-clumping agent that's been added to the sugar as an anti-caking agent. Some brands have more or less corn starch. If it's noticeable to you, you could add some homemade powdered sugar to balance out the flavor.

What happens if you don't refrigerate sugar cookies? ›

When left at room temperature, undecorated sugar cookies can last about a week. You can also decide to refrigerate them. In this case, the cookies will last about two weeks. Keep in mind though that they can start going stale after about a week.

Why do my cookies deflate when they cool? ›

As they cool, the liquified sugars cool and harden, producing crisp bottoms and edges, and the air inside cools, causing the cookie to deflate slightly.

Why do cookies flatten as they cool? ›

You Used Too Much Sugar

Like butter, sugar helps cookies spread in the oven because it liquifies when heated. Too much sugar and not enough flour could lead to flat cookies. If your cookie recipe calls for a high ratio of white sugar, it's likely that your cookies will turn out flat.

Does too much baking soda make cookies flat? ›

too much egg relative to other ingredients can lead to a cakey cookie and cause the edges to spread out more. too much baking soda raises the pH of the dough and this can disrupt the gluten network, leading to thinner cookies with less structure.

What causes cookies not to go flat? ›

Too Much Flour

This may seem counterintuitive—after all, isn't flour a key ingredient in baking? Yes, but if you add too much flour, your cookies won't spread as they bake. Too much flour causes the dough to become dry and crumbly, which prevents it from flattening out during baking.


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