These snowball cookies are one of those Christmas classics that many consider a must-bake during the holidays. They are made with finely chopped walnuts, flour, butter, and vanilla, then rolled in a dusting of powdered sugar. They are a holiday favorite.
These cookies are always on my “must bake” list during the holidays. They are so buttery and delicious that one might say they just melt in your mouth, but what I think my family likes most about them is that of all the holiday cookies, these really are not overly sweet, even with the dusting of icing sugar.
You’ll love these cookies because:
- The buttery, melt-in-your-mouth texture
- The walnuts or pecan give you a nice nutty flavor
- The cookies are dusted with icing sugar to give them a great snowball look.
- The recipe is done all in one bowl.
- Only 30 minutes of chilling time
- Extremely simple to prepare
What are Snowball Cookies?
Snowball cookies are part butter, part flour, and part powdered sugar, and sometimes they include nuts like pecans or walnuts. The powdered sugar is not only used in the cookie dough but is also used for coating the outside of the cookie, which gives it the snowball look. There are no eggs or leavening agents like baking soda or baking powder.
Ingredients you will need for snowball cookies
These are one of the few cookies I make during the holidays that don’t call for eggs or any leavening agent but are still very delicious.
- Butter adds a shortbread-like, melt-in-your-mouth texture to these cookies. I use unsalted butter to be able to manage the saltiness in your cookie.
- Powdered Sugar Powdered sugar or confectionary sugar is used to sweeten these cookies as well as roll them in powdered sugar after baking for their classic snowball look.
- Vanilla extract For a hint of sweetness and flavor, add pure vanilla or almond extract.
- All-purpose flour When adding the flour, make sure to level off your measuring cup.
- Pecans Chopped pecans add a great nutty flavor, you can also substitute by using chopped walnuts which also are very good.
How to make Snow Ball Cookies
- Beat together the butter and powdered sugar until creamy
- Mix vanilla extract until incorporated
- Add the flour, pecans or walnut until mixed in.
- Chill the dough for 30 minutes, until it is easy to work with.
- Using 1 tbsp make 1-inch balls and place them on a parchment paper-lined cookie sheet I like to use a cookie scoop.
- Bake cookies at 350 F for 10-12 minutes, until lightly golden brown on the bottom.
- Let cool for 5 minutes and then roll in powdered sugar
- Once the cookies are completely cool roll them in powdered sugar a second time.
Instead of using nuts, here are a few suggestions:
- mini chocolate chips
- switch out walnuts for almonds, pecans, hazelnut, or another nut
Snowball Cookie Recipe Tips
- Room temperature butter softened butter will cream together with the powdered sugar much more easily.
- Chop the nuts finely I like to place nuts in a food processor it makes it a little easier but you can chop them up with a knife as well.
The Best Snowball Cookies
- 1 cup un-salted butter
- ½ cup powdered sugar
- 1 tsp pure vanilla
- 2 cup all-purpose flour or cake flour
- 1 cup pecans chopped
- 1 cup powdered sugar
- Using an electric mixer, beat together butter and ½ cup powdered sugar until creamy.
- Add the salt and vanilla (or almond) extract, and beat until incorporated, scraping down the sides of the bowl as needed.
- Add the flour and nuts and beat on low speed until combined, scraping down the sides of the bowl as needed.
- Chill dough in the refrigerator for at least 2 hours and up to 2 days, until easy to handle.
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line baking sheets with parchment paper.
- Roll dough into 1-inch balls and place on prepared baking sheets. Bake for 10-12 minutes, until lightly golden on the bottom.
- Let cool for 5 minutes, then roll warm cookies in powdered sugar. Let cookies cool completely and then roll in powdered sugar a second time