Classic Snowball Cookies Recipe

When the holidays roll around, there are lots of things to look forward to. Two of the most anticipated things are snow and tasty treats — so why not combine them into one? Sure, recipe developer Kate Shungu's snowball cookies don't contain actual snow, but they sure do look like snowballs! Not only are these sweet, classic cookies reminiscent of fresh snow, but they are an absolute staple for holiday parties and family gatherings. "My Grandma made a version of these cookies for many years," Shungu explains. "To me, they are an essential cookie for my own holiday baking — my family looks forward to them every year. We often have to make several batches in December, because they never last long!"

So, what exactly goes into this snowball cookies recipe? Well, they're similar to wedding cookies, and if you have some flour, powdered sugar, butter, and pecans, then you already have nearly everything you need to whip these cookies together. 

Despite their simplicity, these cookies are a decadent treat, and Shungu can vouch for that fact herself. "These cookies are rich, buttery, and slightly crumbly," she says. "I advise eating these with a napkin in hand so powdered sugar doesn't go flying everywhere!" If you're looking for the perfect cookie recipe to bring to your next holiday celebration, you can rest easy knowing that these snowball cookies will delight all.

Gather the ingredients to make snowball cookies

Without further ado, let's dive right into this festive recipe. As with any recipe, you'll want to make sure you have all of the proper ingredients on hand. Luckily, the grocery list for this one is pretty short, and you'll simply need some butter, powdered sugar, all-purpose flour, vanilla extract, salt, and chopped pecans. Shungu does note that there's some room for flexibility when it comes to the nuts: "You can easily substitute chopped walnuts instead of chopped pecans. Or if you don't like nuts, you can skip the pecans altogether."

Make the cookie dough

Now that you have your ingredients sorted, it's time to get into the baking part. First, preheat your oven to 350 F. Then, place the softened butter into the bowl of a stand mixer, and beat on high until it's creamy. 

Now, turn the mixer off, and add in ½ cup of powdered sugar. Turn the mixer back on to a gentle speed, so powdered sugar doesn't fly everywhere. As the sugar incorporates into the butter, turn the speed up, and beat the ingredients for two to three minutes, until they're light and fluffy.

Add in the vanilla extract and salt, then mix to combine. Next, add in half of the flour, mix it into the other ingredients, and then add in the other half. Mix everything until just combined, as you don't want to overwork your batter. As a final step, pour in your chopped pecans, and gently mix them into your cookie dough.

Shape the cookies, and bake them

Once you've finished making your cookie dough, you can begin to shape the cookies and lay them out onto the baking sheet. First things first: Grab your baking sheet, and place it right beside the bowl of cookie dough. Using a spoon or simply using your hands, grab a glob of cookie dough, and roll it into a ball shape, ensuring that each cookie ball is about an inch big. As you roll, place each finished cookie ball onto the baking sheet, and make sure that you leave about an inch of space in between each cookie.

 After you've filled the baking sheet, pop it into the oven, and bake for 15 to 17 minutes. You'll know the cookies are done baking when they're golden brown on the bottom.

Roll the cookies in powdered sugar

Now that your cookies are done baking, they're ready to get the "snowball" effect! Grab a bowl, and pour in the remaining cup of powdered sugar. Now, grab your freshly baked cookies while they're still warm, and roll each one in the powdered sugar. Once they get their initial coating, you can set the cookies aside to cool. After you've rolled each one, you can repeat the process with the remaining sugar, giving each cookie another layer of snowball-like goodness.

Serve your snowball cookies, and enjoy

Just like that, you've whipped up some holiday magic right in your own kitchen. As soon as you're done rolling the cookies in powdered sugar, you can serve them, and enjoy. "A steaming mug of coffee or tea is the perfect complement to these cookies," Shungu notes.

If you have leftovers, these cookies will hold up well. "The cookies can be stored in an airtight container for up to one week at room temperature," Shungu says. "You can also freeze these cookies for up to one month." These cookies may look like snowballs, but inside, they're warm and soft — perfect for the holidays!

Classic Snowball Cookies Recipe
5 from 159 ratings
If you're looking for the perfect cookie recipe to bring to your next holiday celebration, you can rest easy knowing that these snowball cookies will impress.
Prep Time
Cook Time
snowball cookies on cooling rack
Total time: 25 minutes
  • 1 cup unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 ½ cups powdered sugar, divided
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup finely chopped pecans
  1. Preheat the oven to 350 F.
  2. Place the butter into the bowl of a stand mixer, and beat on high until creamy.
  3. Add ½ cup of powdered sugar in the bowl of a stand mixer. Start the mixer gently, then increase the speed to medium. Beat the butter and sugar for 2 to 3 minutes, or until the mixture is light and fluffy.
  4. Add the vanilla extract and salt. Mix to combine.
  5. Add ½ of the flour, mix to combine, and then add the rest of the flour. Mix just until combined.
  6. Add the pecans, and mix again.
  7. Roll the cookie dough into 24 (1-inch balls), then place them 1 inch apart on a baking sheet.
  8. Bake for 15 to 17 minutes, or until the cookies are golden brown on the bottom.
  9. While the cookies are baking, place the remaining 1 cup of powdered sugar into a medium-sized bowl.
  10. Remove the cookies from the oven. While they are still warm, roll each cookie in the powdered sugar, and set them aside to cool. Roll the cookies in any remaining powdered sugar to form a second coat.
  11. Serve the cookies while warm or at room temperature.
Calories per Serving 165
Total Fat 10.7 g
Saturated Fat 5.1 g
Trans Fat 0.3 g
Cholesterol 20.3 mg
Total Carbohydrates 16.1 g
Dietary Fiber 0.7 g
Total Sugars 7.6 g
Sodium 49.9 mg
Protein 1.5 g
The information shown is Edamam’s estimate based on available ingredients and preparation. It should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist’s advice.
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