Snowball Cookies

Snowball cookies, also affectionately known as Russian tea cakes or Mexican wedding cookies, have nestled into the heart of festive baking traditions worldwide.

These delightful morsels, characterized by their melt-in-your-mouth texture and generously dusted with powdered sugar, create a snowy appearance that is appealing to the eye and irresistibly tempting.

Originating from various cultural backgrounds, the recipe for snowball cookies has traversed continents, adapting and evolving yet remaining a constant symbol of warmth and celebration.

The magic of these cookies lies in their simple buttery flavor and capacity to evoke memories of family gatherings and joyous seasonal festivities.

Whether you’re a novice baker or a seasoned pastry chef, the inclusivity and straightforwardness of baking snowball cookies make them a beloved project for all ages.

The anticipation of that first powdery bite ushers in the holiday spirit, making snowball cookies a timeless treasure in the world of sweet treats.

Ingredients For Snowball Cookies Recipe

Do you want to create attractive snowball cookies?

So, before going to the steps to develop them, let’s explore the meanings of these cakes.

Snowball cookies are a delectable confection that epitomizes the joy and nostalgia of holiday baking.

These small, round cookies are made from a simple dough comprising butter, flour, sugar, and nuts – typically walnuts, pecans, or almonds – which creates a rich, buttery base with a delightful nutty undertone.

The essence of crafting snowball cookies lies in the seamless fusion of premium ingredients, each contributing significantly to the distinctive flavor and texture that define this delectable treat.

1. Unsalted butter: Unsalted butter is the heart of the recipe, providing a rich, creamy base that melts the cookie delectively in your mouth.

2. Powdered sugar: It is not just an outer coating but also integrated into the dough, balancing the richness of the butter and imparting a subtle sweetness that complements the nutty undertones.

3. Vanilla: Vanilla extract is a quintessential flavor enhancer, lending a warm, aromatic depth that elevates the overall taste of the cookies.

4. All-purpose flour: All-purpose flour is the structural backbone, ensuring the cookies maintain their form while keeping the texture light and crumbly.

5. Chopped pecans: Chopped pecans, walnuts, or almonds introduce a crunchy texture and earthy flavor that contrasts beautifully with the cookie’s sweet profile.

6. Salt: A pinch of salt is the magic ingredient that sharpens and balances the flavors, making each bite of the Snowball Cookie a perfect symphony of taste.

Together, these ingredients merge to create a cookie that is not just a treat to the palate but a cherished memory of holiday festivities.

How To Make Snowball Cookies?

The initial stage in crafting the enchanting and festive snowball cookies, cherished favorites during the holiday season, involves gathering these essential ingredients.

Step 1: Preparing Your Baking Station

Start by setting your oven’s temperature to 350°F (175°C) to ensure it’s at the perfect warmth when your cookies are ready to go in.

Then, take your baking sheets and line them with parchment paper.

This trick helps prevent your cookies from sticking and makes your cleanup process a breeze.

Step 2: Creating The Base

In a spacious bowl, begin by taking the softened unsalted butter and blending it with ½ cup of powdered sugar.

You’re aiming for a mixture that’s both smooth and creamy, a perfect base for your cookies.

Now, enhance the flavor by mixing the vanilla extract thoroughly.

Step 3: Sifting and Combining

Grab another bowl to sift together the all-purpose flour and a pinch of salt.

This breaks up any clumps and ensures an even distribution of salt throughout your flour. 

Once sifted, gradually introduce the flour mixture to your creamy base.

Go slow, stir constantly, and watch as they blend into a cohesive dough.

Step 4: Incorporating The Nuts 

Now, it’s time for the nuts.

Whether you’ve chosen walnuts, pecans, or almonds, make sure they’re finely chopped.

Gently fold these into your dough until you find them evenly spread out, offering a nutty surprise in every bite.

Step 5: Shaping Your Delights

With your dough ready, it’s time to shape.

Whether you prefer using your hands or a small cookie scoop, form the dough into 1-inch balls and arrange them neatly on your lined baking sheets. 

Leave a bit of space between each cookie to allow for spreading.

Pop them in the oven for 12 to 15 minutes or until you notice a beautiful golden hue on their bottoms.

Step 6: The Sugar Coat

Once baked, allow your cookies a moment to cool.

They should still be warm when you first roll them in powdered sugar. 

This initial coat sinks into the cookies, giving them a sweet depth.

After they’ve cooled off completely, give them another roll in the sugar to achieve that classic, snowy look.

Step 7: Time To Savor

Your snowball cookies are now ready for the spotlight.

Serve them fresh and bask in their buttery, nutty goodness, or refer to our storage tips to savor them fresh for days to come.

Tips To Have Snowball Cookies Perfect

Snowball cookies capture the spirit of holiday warmth and indulgence.

To attain the flawless texture, flavor, and appearance that elevate these delights to festive favorites, here are a few useful tips:

1. Chill the dough: Before shaping your cookies, chill the dough for at least 30 minutes. This step prevents the cookies from spreading too much during baking, ensuring they maintain their iconic round shape.

2. Uniform Size: Use a small cookie scoop or measuring spoon to ensure all your cookies are the same size. This not only makes them more aesthetically pleasing but also guarantees even baking.

3. Don’t Overwork the Dough: Mix the dough until the ingredients are incorporated. Over-mixing can lead to tough cookies, as it develops the gluten in the flour.

4. Use High-Quality Ingredients: The simplicity of snowball cookies means each ingredient shines through. High-quality butter, pure vanilla extract, and fresh nuts will enhance flavor.

5. Sift the Powdered Sugar: For the snowiest appearance, sift your powdered sugar before rolling the cookies. This ensures a fine, even coating without any lumps.

6. Cool on a Wire Rack: After the initial sugar coating, transfer the cookies to a wire rack to cool completely before the final sugar roll. This prevents the cookies from becoming soggy and allows the sugar to adhere better.

7. Adjust Nut Sizes: Finely chop the nuts to ensure they are distributed evenly throughout the dough, contributing to the overall texture without overwhelming each bite.

By adhering to these suggestions, you’ll craft snowball cookies that taste delicious and encapsulate the magnificence and festivity of the holiday season.


In conclusion, snowball cookies are a quintessential treat that captures the essence of the holiday season, bringing warmth and joy to every table they grace.

These cookies embody the spirit of festive indulgence through their melt-in-your-mouth texture, rich flavor, and snowy powdered sugar exterior.

Whether sticking to the traditional recipe or exploring variations like Chocolate Snowballs or Chai Spice Snowballs, there’s a version of this beloved treat for every palate.

The tips ensure that anyone can achieve the perfect batch of snowball cookies, making them a dessert and a cherished holiday tradition.

snowball cookies

Snowball Cookies

Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 45 minutes
Servings 36


  • 1 cup of unsalted butter at room temperature
  • ¼ teaspoon of salt
  • 1 teaspoon of pure vanilla extract
  • ½ cup of powdered sugar, plus more for rolling
  • 2¼ cups of all-purpose flour


  • Preheat your oven to 350°F (175°C). Line your baking sheets with parchment paper for easy cleanup.
  • In a large bowl, beat the softened unsalted butter and ½ cup of powdered sugar until smooth and creamy. Stir in the vanilla extract.
  • Whisk together the all-purpose flour and salt in a separate bowl. Gradually add the butter mixture to the flour mixture, stirring until combined.
  • Fold the coarsely chopped nuts into the dough until they're evenly distributed.
  • Using your hands or a small cookie scoop, form the dough into 1-inch balls and place them on the prepared baking sheets. Bake for 12 to 15 minutes, or until the bottoms are gently brown.
  • Let the cookies cool slightly, then add powdered sugar while still warm. After they've cooled completely, roll them in sugar once again for a snowy effect.
  • Your snowball cookies are now ready to be enjoyed. Serve immediately or follow the storage tips to keep them fresh.
Keyword snowball cookies

Chef Chip Roman is one of the most exciting and talented chefs in Philadelphia. He has his own catering business, Charles Roman Catering, as well as Roman Restaurant Group which includes Blackfish, Mica, and Ela. He graduated from Drexel University in 2002 with a degree in business and culinary arts. Chip Roman is a classically trained chef who has worked in some of the most prestigious kitchens and chefs in Philadelphia, including Le Bec Fin’s George Perrier and Marc Vetri’s Vetri.

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