Snowball Cookies

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Snowball Cookies are buttery shortbread cookies with nuts (such as pecans or walnuts) and then rolled in powdered sugar. Snowballs Cookies are also known as Mexican Wedding Cookies or Russian Tea Cakes, but we also called them butterballs.

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A small pink dish with gold polka dots is filled with Mexican Wedding Cookies

Do you call them Snowballs Cookies, Butter Balls, Russian Tea Cakes or Mexican Wedding Cookies? We always called them Snowballs or Butter balls. Either way this is a holiday staple for us. 

There’s nothing like a mouthful of powdered sugar that makes you cough as you take a big bite of these. Am I right?

Snowball Cookies are buttery shortbread cookies, stuffed with chopped nuts and rolled in powdered sugar. This classic Christmas cookie is one I grew up with.

A stack of 3 Snowball Cookies, 2 of them have bites taken out of them

These cookies are a perfect recipe to make ahead of time for your holiday cookie baskets. This is the ONLY way I can tackle Christmas cookies

I don’t think I’ve actually made these cookies for myself in my adult life and I have no idea why. They’re one of my favorite Christmas cookies and they’re SO EASY to make. 

When was the last time you made these? 

A small pink dish with gold polka dots is filled with Snowball Cookies

There’s probably hundreds of these recipes on the web and they’re all so similar. I have no idea the origins of the recipe my grandmother got this from, it’s probably from an old Betty Crocker or Better Homes and Gardens cookbook.

I just love the idea of passing on these recipes to my future family, and keeping the tradition alive.

A vintage recipe card for Butterball (Snowball) Cookies

Only 6 simple ingredients for these cookies

  • Softened butter: it’s easier to incorporate into the flour
  • Sifted flour: First sift, then measure
  • Sifted confectionary sugar: First sift, then measure
  • Vanilla extract: only the good stuff
  • A pinch of salt
  • Nuts: You can use walnuts or pecans but personally I like walnuts myself.
  • Additional powder sugar for rolling

A hand rolling a Snowball Cookie in powdered sugar

How to make Snowball Cookies

  • Start with softened butter and combine with sifted confectionary sugar and vanilla extract, mixing until well combined.
  • Then mix in the sifted flour and salt and mix until the dough starts to form.
  • Finally add the chopped nuts.
  • Roll into balls about 1-1 1/2 tablespoon size and place at least 1 inch apart on a baking mat lined with parchment paper or a silicone baking mat.

A close up of a baked snowball cookie before it's been baked

  • Bake at 400° F for 8-10 minutes. Remove from the oven and allow them to cool completely.
  • Make sure the cookies are completely cooled prior to rolling them in powdered sugar.

A close up of a baked snowball cookie before it's been rolled in powdered sugar

Can you freeze Snowball Cookies?

Yes! These are great make ahead cookies that can be frozen. Store them in an airtight container, and I suggest layering a pieces of parchment or wax paper between the layers.

Once thawed you can give them a fresh coating of powdered sugar if desired. I recommend thawing them on a cookie sheet to avoid any extra condensation.

How to store Snowball Cookies?

These are best stored (or frozen) in an airtight container with a layer of parchment paper or wax paper between the layers. 

What can I use besides nuts?

Mini Chocolate chips are a great alternative or you can simply omit the nuts. 

Do I have to sift the dry ingredients?

Yes, it’s recommend that you sift then measure because this makes the flour much lighter and easier to incorporate into the other ingredients.  If you don’t have a sifter, a fine mesh sieve works great. 

A stack of 3 Snowball Cookies rolled in powdered sugar

More Christmas Cookie Recipes

 

 

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A small pink dish with gold polka dots is filled with Mexican Wedding Cookies

Snowball Cookies

  • Author: Beyond Frosting
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 10 minutes
  • Total Time: 25 minutes
  • Yield: 3-4 dozen

Description

Snowball Cookies are buttery shortbread cookies with nuts (such as pecans or walnuts) and then rolled in powdered sugar.

Ingredients

  • 1 cup unsalted butter, softened
  • 1/2 cup sifted powdered sugar
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 2 1/4 cup sifted all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 cups chopped nuts (walnuts or pecans)

Instructions

  1. Soften the butter to room temperature or microwave for 15-20 seconds until softened but not melted. Sift and measure the confectionary sugar and flour.
  2. Combine the butter, confectionary sugar and vanilla extract and mix until well combined.
  3. Then add in the sifted flour and salt and mix until a dough starts to form. Finally add the chopped nuts and mix until well combined.
  4. Roll into balls about 1-1 1/2 tablespoon size and place at least 1 inch apart on a baking mat lined with parchment paper or a silicone baking mat.
  5. Bake at 400° F for 8-10 minutes. Remove from the oven and allow them to cool completely.
  6. Make sure the cookies are completely cooled, then roll them in powdered sugar.
Nutrition Information:
1 Cookie
96
1.7g
17.1mg
6.8g
3.3g
8g
.4g
1.2g
13.6mg
  • Category: Cookies

Keywords: Snowball Cookies, Butterball cookies, Mexican Wedding Cookies

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