Buttery shortbread cookies filled with pecans and rolled in powdered sugar. These Snowball Cookies are a perfect easy dessert for the holidays!
Have you ever tried snowball cookies? Some people refer to them as Mexican wedding cookies or Russian tea cakes, but I prefer to call them snowball cookies. Plus, they look just like a little snowball!
If you’ve never tried these cookies before, imagine a rich, buttery shortbread cookie that’s studded with chopped pecans and rolled in powdered sugar. And yes, they’re every bit as delicious as they sound.
One thing that I love about snowball cookies is how easy they are to make. You only need 6 ingredients and one bowl to make these cookies and there’s no dough chilling required. You can even swap out the pecans for something else like dried cranberries or even mini chocolate chips!
To make these cookies, you’ll start out with some unsalted butter, powdered sugar, and vanilla extract. If you’re wondering why powdered sugar instead of granulated sugar, it’s because it prevents the cookies from spreading too much. When it comes to snowball cookies, you want the cookies to stay rounded and not flatten out. The amount of powdered sugar in these cookies helps them hold their shape in the oven.
Once you cream together the butter and sugar, you’ll mix in some flour, salt, and chopped pecans. You can feel free to leave out the pecans, but I absolutely love them in these cookies. Or you can swap out the pecans with another nut like chopped walnuts or almonds.
Another important thing with these cookies is to not make them too big, you only want about 1 tablespoon of dough per cookie. I like to use a 1 tablespoon measuring spoon or cookie scoop to measure out the cookie dough.
These cookies need to bake for about 14-15 minutes, just until they look set and the bottoms are lightly browned. You don’t want to underbake these cookies, but you also don’t want to overbake them, so just be sure to keep an eye on how they look in the oven.
Once you take them out of the oven, let the cookies cool for about 5 minutes and roll them in some powdered sugar. Then once they’ve cooled completely, roll the cookies one more time in the powdered sugar to fully cover them.
Watch the video to see how easy it is to make these cookies!
Baking Tips for Snowball Cookies
- When measuring your flour, don’t scoop it out of the container with the measuring cup. Instead, stir the flour around, spoon it into your measuring cup, and level it off with the back of a knife.
- Make sure to measure the cookies correctly. You’ll only need about 1 tablespoon of dough per cookie. A tablespoon cookie scoop or measuring spoon works great!
- Feel free to swap out the chopped pecans for something else like chopped walnuts, mini chocolate chips, or even dried cranberries.
- 1 cup (230 grams) unsalted butter, softened
- 1 and ½ cups (180 grams) powdered sugar, divided
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 2 and ¼ cups (280 grams) all-purpose flour (spooned & leveled)
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- ¾ cup 90 grams chopped pecans
- Preheat oven to 350°F. Line two large baking sheets with parchment paper or silicone baking mats and set aside.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, or in a large mixing bowl using an electric mixer, cream together the butter, ½ cup (60 grams) of powdered sugar (set the remaining 1 cup aside to roll the cookies in), and vanilla extract for 1-2 minutes or until well combined. Mix in the flour and salt until fully combined, stopping to scrape down the sides of the bowl as needed. With the mixer on low speed, mix in the chopped pecans.
- Using a 1-tablespoon cookie scoop (or measuring tablespoon) scoop out the cookie dough, roll into balls, and place on the prepared baking sheets.
- Bake in separate batches at 350°F for 14-15 minutes or until the cookies are set and the bottom is lightly browned.
- Allow cookies to cool slightly for about 5 minutes, then roll each cookie in the remaining 1 cup (120 grams) of powdered sugar while they're still warm. Allow to cool completely and roll all of the cookies one more time in the powdered sugar.
Store cookies in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 5 days.
More Christmas cookie recipes to try!
Christmas Cut-Out Sugar Cookies (no dough chilling!)