Snowball Cookies - My Incredible Recipes (2024)

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Melt-in-your-mouth snowball cookies are a decadent holiday must-make cookie that you going to want to make this year. A nut-based cookie that is baked and rolled in powdered sugar so each bite is a sugary sweet cookie. These bite-sized cookies will be a show-stopper when you serve them up!

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What I love about these almond cookies is that are a vintage holiday cookie recipe that has been around for ages. These cookies are one that will bring you right back to your childhood with a single bite.

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Now if you are looking for more holiday cookies to add to a dessert tin for gifting or to serve up with your holiday feast let me help. Try these classic spritz cookies, 4-ingredient shortbread cookies, or Hershey chocolate cookies.

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What exactly are snowball cookies?

Snowball cookies are also called Russian tea cakes, Mexican wedding cookies, or even sometimes called butterballs. These are a delicate and light cookie that is made with chopped nuts, butter, flour, and more. They offer a nutty flavor that melts in your mouth.

I tend to use pecans when making snowball cookies, but you can also use walnuts or almonds. Just ensure the nuts are finely chopped.

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Reasons Why You Will Love Snowball Cookies

  • These cookies are a vintage cookie recipe that has been around for years and years. A classic cookie that kids and adults will both enjoy.
  • Buttery and a crumbly cookie that will melt in your mouth as you bite into these cookies.
  • These snowball cookies offer a rich nutty flavor that then has sweet from the powdered sugar coating.
  • The perfect Christmas or Thanksgiving cookie to whip up and dress up your dessert table with.
  • A great cookie to pack in a cookie box to gift as a homemade gift for loved ones.
  • Easy to make, and minimal ingredients are needed for these cookies.
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Ingredients You Will Need

Butter – Unsalted butter is what you will need for this easy cookie recipe. Now make sure it is real butter that is unsalted. You also want a room temperature butter.

Powdered Sugar – You will use the sugar for the cookie dough as well as roll the cookies in the powder once they are fully baked. Hence the “snow” in the name of the cookies. They look like snowballs.

Vanilla – Reach for vanilla extract to enhance the flavors in these cookies making them perfectly sweet.

Flour – All-purpose flour is used in the recipe. It is the base for the cookies to help give them shape.

Nutmeg – Nutmeg adds a nice depth to the cookies and even more nutty flavor. It will compliment the nuts nicely.

Nuts – Almonds, walnuts, or pecans can be used for this sweet cookie recipe. Just make sure that you finely chop the nuts.

Salt – Salt is going to enhance the flavor of these cookies. Without it, you will find the cookies lack flavor.

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Variations to Cookie Recipe

  • Use an almond extract instead of vanilla and opt for finely chopped almonds. This will give you an almond-flavored snow ball cookie.
  • Use mini chocolate chips to add to the cookie dough for extra studded sweetness.
  • Add in other spices along with the nutmeg. Cinnamon, cloves, or even cardamom will elevate the flavor of these cookies.
  • Reach for instant coffee to add to the cookie dough. This will help to offer a nice coffee-infused flavor.
  • Use orange zest or lemon zest to help add a twist of citrus to the cookie dough. If you want a stronger flavor use extract.
  • Mix in dried cranberries, raisins, or other dried fruit for a twist of flavor.
  • Add a few drops of food coloring to the cookie dough to help create different colored cookies. Red, green, or even a blue color would be gorgeous.
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Pro Tips for Success

Soften Butter

It is important that your butter is softened and not melted. The melted butter will affect the texture of the cookie dough. You want your butter to be soft so when you press your finger onto the stick it leaves an indent.

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Finely Chopped Nuts

Ensure your nuts are finely chopped. You need finely chopped so it is going to mix well in the cookie batter and not leave big pieces of nuts in your bites.

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Creaming Butter and Sugar

Don’t skip creaming the butter and sugar together. I use a stand mixer or hand mixer for this to ensure it gets light and creamy in texture. This step is going to ensure your cookies are light in texture and offer the optimal flavor.

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Do Not Overmix the Dough

So once you get the dry ingredients in with the wet you want to make sure to not overmix. If you do, it can leave the cookies feeling dense and heavy.

Cookie Scoop

Using a cookie scoop is going to help give you uniform-sized balls. Therefore, this is important for baking and offers a better presentation value.

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Rolling in Powdered Sugar

You want the snowballs to be fully coated in the powdered sugar. Sometimes that means rolling the cookies two times in the powdered sugar. I find you get a thicker coating doing it twice.

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Storing Cookies

Make sure the cookies are fully cooled, and then store them in an airtight container at room temperature. These cookies will be stored for 3-5 days.

Simply freeze any of the cookies you will not eat right away, for up to 4-5 months. Freeze in a freezer bag or airtight container. Then thaw on the counter.

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Can I Make Snowball Cookies Ahead of Time?

Go right ahead and make these cookies a day ahead of time if you would like. Therefore I wouldn’t go more than 24 hours or it could dry the cookies out.

Now you could also freeze the cookies until you are ready for them if you want to make them ahead of time. Just bake, cool, and then freeze for 2-3 months. Thaw a few hours before you are ready to serve.

How Do I Keep Snowball Cookies from Falling Apart?

Since these are delicate cookies you will want to measure them properly and mix them until fully mixed. Then work lightly when rolling into balls. Also, ensure you do not overbake the cookies.

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More Holiday Recipes

  • Little Debbie Christmas Tree Cake Truffles
  • Pumpkin Pie Cheesecake
  • Marshmallow Bars

Snowball Cookies

Course Dessert

Prep Time 25 minutes mins

Cook Time 15 minutes mins

Total Time 40 minutes mins

Servings 30 servings

Snowball Cookies are a vintage holiday cookie that are buttery and studded with finely chopped nuts. Roll these cookies in powdered sugar and taste the flavors of the holiday season. A simple and easy holiday cookie.


  • 1 cup 2 sticks unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 1/2 cups powdered sugar divided
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla bean paste or vanilla extract
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • ¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ cup finely chopped nuts such as pecans, walnuts, or almonds


  • Preheat the oven to 325°F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or a silicone baking mat.

  • In a large mixing bowl, cream together the softened butter and 1/2 cup of powdered sugar until light and fluffy.

  • Mix in the vanilla bean paste until well incorporated. The tiny vanilla bean specks will add a wonderful flavor and visual appeal.

  • Gradually add the flour, ground nutmeg, and salt to the butter mixture. Mix until the dough is just combined.

  • Gently fold in the finely chopped nuts until evenly distributed throughout the dough.

  • Take about 1 tablespoon of dough and roll it into a ball. Place the cookie balls on the prepared baking sheet, spacing them about 1 inch apart.

  • Bake for 15-16 minutes, or until the cookies are set but not browned. They should still be pale in color and can be slightly spongy when touched right out of the oven.

  • Remove the cookies from the oven and let them cool on the baking sheet for about 5 minutes.

  • While the cookies are still warm, roll them in the remaining 1 cup of powdered sugar. This will create the “snowball” effect. Be generous with the sugar for a nice coating.

  • Transfer the coated cookies to a wire rack to cool completely.

  • Re-Coat (Optional): If you want an extra snowy appearance, you can roll the cookies in powdered sugar one more time once they have cooled completely.

  • Once fully cooled and coated, the cookies are ready to be enjoyed!

Did you make this recipe?

Make sure to follow on Pinterest for more recipes!

Snowball Cookies - My Incredible Recipes (2024)


Why did my snowball cookies flatten? ›

Why did my snowball cookies flatten? The cookies will flatten slightly when baked, but they shouldn't flatten completely. If you skipped the chilling time, this may be why they spread. Another reason is if you place the dough on a hot baking sheet; if you have to reuse baking sheets, let them cool first.

What does melted butter do to cookies? ›

Cookies made with melted butter often deflate and become denser when they cool, resulting in a perfectly cooked fudgy center — a similar textural result to brownies that get rapped (aka banged against an oven rack mid-bake to deflate them) or Sarah Kieffer's iconic pan-banging cookies that turn out pleasantly compact.

How long can you keep cookies in the freezer? ›

Bakery or homemade cookies can be stored at room temperature two to three weeks or two months in the refrigerator. Cookies retain their quality when stored in the freezer for eight to 12 months.

Can I freeze Christmas cookies? ›

Slice-and-bake, cut outs, drop, bar, and some shaped cookies (thumbprints) freeze well. Avoid delicate cookies like tuiles, Florentines, meringues, and any sort of wafer cookie. Pre-baked cookies can be frozen for up to six months.

How do you fix cookies that didn't flatten? ›

Unfortunately, you can't fix the problem after the fact if you've baked a cookie recipe and the cookies didn't spread out enough as they baked. The edges have set and there's no going back. If they taste good nonetheless, you can still eat and enjoy them, or chop them up and add them to a batch of cookie ice cream.

How do you fix flat cookies? ›

If your cookies come out of the oven looking flat, you may not have adequately chilled the dough before baking. Chilling times may vary depending on the cookie you're making, but you should typically chill cookie dough in the refrigerator for at least two hours before you pop it in the oven.

Should I use baking soda or baking powder in cookies? ›

Baking soda is typically used for chewy cookies, while baking powder is generally used for light and airy cookies. Since baking powder is comprised of a number of ingredients (baking soda, cream of tartar, cornstarch, etc.), using it instead of pure baking soda will affect the taste of your cookies.

Can you freeze cookies in Ziploc bags? ›

After baking, allow cookies to cool completely. Place them in a single layer on a parchment-lined baking sheet to freeze them, then store them in a freezer-safe zip-top storage bag labeled with the name and date. Squeeze out extra air and place flat in the freezer. To save space, you can flat-stack freezer bags.

Which cookies last the longest? ›

Dry cookies, like shortbread cookies, gingersnaps, and Danish butter cookies, will stay fresher for longer because they have very little moisture. Dry cookies become stale when they suck up moisture from the air - causing them to become soft and lose their snap.

How do bakeries keep cookies fresh? ›

To extend the shelf life of products, many bakers use specially formulated enzymes for preservation. These naturally occurring protein compounds can keep baked goods soft while preventing crumbling and staling.

What cookies should you not freeze? ›

Do not freeze frosted, glazed or drizzled cookies because they can become too moist under the frosting, glaze or drizzle. Thaw the cookies in the plastic food container at room temperature. Remove from container any cookies that should be crisp when thawed.

How long can you freeze cookies in Ziploc bags? ›

Air in the freezer will cause the flavor and texture of the cookies to break down faster. Properly stored in an airtight container or bag, cookies can last in the freezer for up to six months.

What is the best container to freeze cookies in? ›

Place baked cookies in sealable plastic containers designed for the freezer. Freeze cookies for up to one year. Don't use themed tins (say, for Christmas cookies). Transfer cookies to such containers once you've removed them from the freezer.

Why did my cookies come out completely flat? ›

The Problem: Your Oven Is Too Hot

If your cookies repeatedly turn out flat, no matter the recipe, chances are your oven is too hot.

Why are my cookies suddenly flat? ›

The oven is too hot

General temperature variations, as well as hot spots, can cause the cookies to become flat. Overly hot ovens can melt the butter in your cookies before the other ingredients have firmed up. This causes the entire dough ball to spread.

Why did my cookies turn out flat and crispy? ›

Flour adds fluff and texture to the cookies. Adding too little flour can cause cookies to be flat, greasy, and crispy. Most recipes assume you'll use all-purpose, but if you want a lighter, crumblier cookie texture, choose one with a lower protein content such as cake-and-pastry flour.

Why are my cookies rising and not spreading? ›

Your cookies won't properly spread if your oven temperature is too high; the edges of your cookies will cook faster than the middle before they have a chance to spread properly. To avoid this issue altogether, always double-check the temperature setting on your oven before beginning any cookie-making sessions.

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