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No Christmas cookie tray is complete without some decadent Snowball Cookies. Rich, moist, and buttery, they melt in your mouth and are super easy to make.
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These Snowball Cookies are always a holiday favorite around here! They’re sort of like shortbread cookies that literally melt in your mouth, with a creamy yet crumbly texture. We love piling them on our cookie trays that we take around to friends and neighbors at Christmastime, and we always keep some on hand to pair with hot chocolate, piping apple cider or any other favorite warm beverage. They’re simple to make and beautiful holiday cookies that nobody can resist!
Ingredients in this Snowball Cookie Recipe
These cookies, also known as Mexican wedding cookies or Russian tea cakes, can be whipped up in no time and with very few ingredients. Here’s all you need:
- Butter – one cup, or two cubes of unsalted butter. Make sure it’s at room temperature.
- Powdered sugar – You’ll need about a cup and a half of light, sifted confectioners’ sugar, divided.
- Vanilla – one teaspoon vanilla extract
- All purpose flour – two and a quarter cups, sifted
- Salt – one quarter teaspoon
- Pecans – These are optional, but add a delicious texture and flavor to the cookie. I like to use ¾ cup finely chopped pecans.
Additions or Substitutions for Snowball Cookies
- Swap the pecans for chopped walnuts, almonds or pistachios, cashews, any kind of nut you like. Not a fan of nuts? Leave them out altogether.
- Add mini-chocolate chips
- For a deeper flavor, use half vanilla extract and half almond extract.
- Drizzle melted chocolate or any other melt-in colors you like over the top of the cookies.
Mixing the Dough
- Use a stand mixer with a paddle attachment or a hand-held electric mixer to combine butter, half the powdered sugar and the vanilla together.
- Use a separate bowl to stir the flour and salt together, then slowly add to the butter mixture, stirring at medium speed.
- Mix the nuts in last.
- Make sure to chill the dough in the freezer for at least one hour. This will make the dough easier to scoop into perfect ball shapes.
How to Get the Perfect Snowball Shaped Cookie
- Use a standard size cookie scoop to make these cookies. This will help keep them the same size as you roll them into your hands into a perfect ball for baking.
- You can make them smaller by using a one-inch cookie scoop to make perfect 1-inch balls.
- No need to push these cookies down at all; their shape will not spread, and will remain a perfect ball shape even after baking.
- Use a silicone mat or a cookie sheet layered with parchment paper to avoid sticking.
- Cool on a wire rack before transferring to your serving plate.
Keep any leftover cookies in an airtight container at room temperature for three to five days. They’ll stay nice and fresh for guests or kids who need a little after school snack. If it looks like the powdered sugar has melted into the cookies, you can gently re-roll them before serving again.
These snowball cookies are a perfect recipe to make ahead of time and freeze until you need them. Make sure they’re completely cooled before placing in freezer bags or a freezer container to prevent them from sticking. Thaw by setting them out on the counter in their container. You can make these cookies up to two months ahead and store until needed.
Frequently Asked Questions
If you find your snowball cookies are coming out flat, check your oven temperature. If it’s too low, the cookies could be spreading out more. You want to make sure your butter is room temperature but not too melted because that can also lead to flat cookies.
All you need for these Snowballs is butter, powdered sugar, vanilla, finely chopped nuts, flour and salt. That’s it!
Yes, because of the butter, powdered sugar and flour, these cookies have a soft, yet slightly crumbly texture that literally melt in your mouth.
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More Tasty Holiday Treats to Try
The holidays are the greatest time to grab an apron, some flour and butter and start baking. Christmas cookies are so much fun to make with your children and to share with your friends, family and neighbors. Try some of our very favorite treasured recipes this holiday season!
- Chocolate Dipped Pretzel Rods
- See’s Fudge Recipe
- Homemade Almond Joys
- Homemade Caramels
- English Toffee
- Chocolate Covered Cherries
- Crockpot Peanut Clusters
- Cinnamon Almonds
How to Make Snowball Cookies
- Mix butter, ½ cup powdered sugar and vanilla thoroughly.
- In a separate bowl, stir flour and salt together.
- Blend into butter mixture.
- If you are adding nuts, mix them in. Chill dough for 1 hour. Preheat oven to 400.
- Roll dough in 1" balls. Place on parchment lined ungreased baking sheet.
- Bake for 10-12 minutes until set, but not brown.
- While warm, roll in bowl with 1 cup powdered sugar. Allow cookies to completely cool.
- Roll again in powdered sugar.
- Serve and enjoy!
- These cookies do not spread during baking. They keep their shape. No need to push them down prior to baking.
- You must do the first roll while the cookies are warm. They will be slightly sticky after the first roll in powdered sugar.
- The cookies must be completely cooled to roll them for a second time in powdered sugar.
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