Snowball Cookies

These melt-in-your-mouth Pecan Snowball Cookies are the perfect sweet treat to share during the holidays and year-round! This 6-ingredient cookie recipe requires no chill time and is baked in less than 30 minutes! Makes 32 cookies.

A plate of snowball cookies on a blue countertop

Today’s the day—it’s Freaky Friday Holiday Cookie Exchange! And I’m thrilled to be sharing a recipe from Sandra from The Foodie Affair.

I’ve known Sandra for a while, and I had the toughest time deciding which recipe to make from her site.

I ended up choosing her Mexican Wedding Cookies because they are a holiday season and Christmas Classic. And oh boy, am I glad I did.

Sandra talks more about the history of these cookies and the meaning of the name Mexican Wedding Cookies on her post, so be sure to click over to it to learn more about these traditional cookies that are made all over the world!

What are snowball cookies?

Snowball Cookies are a simple, buttery cookie that are ready in very little time.

They’re also known as Mexican Wedding Cookies, Italian Wedding Cookies, Russian Tea Cakes and Sand Tarts.

No matter what you call them, these melt-in-your-mouth cookies are a total delight.

Why I love this recipe:

These Snowball Cookies simply are a classic Christmas cookie for a reason. They’re hard to stop eating once you start.

The cookies themselves are soft and buttery with little bits of pecan. You might worry that they’re not sweet when reading the recipe, but trust me—they are perfectly balanced because of the sugar coating!

Here are some more things we love:

  • This cookie dough requires no chill time! This means you can mix up the cookie dough and bake it immediately. (It also means you have cookies ready in significantly less time!)
  • They’re perfect for sharing. When I baked my first batch of these, I brought them to my older one’s soccer practice. … There were none left and it’s no surprise why these are favorite cookies for so many people.
  • You can bake them year-round… or enjoy them during the holiday season!

Basically, there’s a LOT to love about these simple, flavorful drop cookies.

More cookie recipes to bake this season: Chocolate Crinkle Cookies | Ginger Rosemary Shortbread Cookies | Dark Chocolate Peanut Butter Blossom Cookies | Christmas Funfetti Cookies | Potato Chip Cookies

Need more baking inspiration? Check out my Cookie Recipe Index for some ideas!

Graphic that says Freaky Friday a good old fashioned blog hop

Let me tell you about Sandra and The Foodie Affair

Sandra and I have run in the same circles for a while now, and I’m so thrilled that I was given her blog to cook from for this collaboration.

She’s wildly talented, encouraging and so kind.

She’s one of those people whose messages bring a smile to my face, and I am so happy to know her. Our chats have varied from lighthearted—about our pets and our Pelotons—to more serious, like social issues and the happenings in the world that we both feel strongly about.

Like me, Sandra is no professional chef, but she sure has fun in the kitchen and brings her own flavors to the table with every recipe she shares.

Sandra finds inspiration when she eats at restaurants, when she sees dishes in magazines and in her mom’s kitchen, too. She launched The Foodie Affair in 2012 to share her love of food and entertaining.

She says, “Some of my posts will be healthy low carb recipes and others will be sinful, but all will be written with the intent to inspire you to be wildly passionate and creative in the kitchen.”

Sandra offers a little bit of everything on her site, which made it challenging to choose just one recipe. But since this is our holiday collaboration, it narrowed down what I could make to sweets!

If you want a sweet treat, Sandra’s Peanut Butter Balls, Chocolate Drizzled Popcorn and Crispy Gingersnap Cookies all sound LOVELY.

If you’re looking for something comforting to make this winter, you should try Lemon Chicken Orzo Soup. Her Green Chile Chicken Enchiladas also sound INCREDIBLE.

So… What Is Freaky Friday?

It’s a blog hop, which is a collaboration between bloggers where everyone involved posts on the same day and links to one another. It’s a fun way to connect with other people who are doing this same work as me, as well as a fun way to introduce our readers to new bloggers.

Michaela from An Affair from the Heart, the lovely lady who founded this quarterly collaboration, secretly assigns everyone another blogger, who we will choose and make a recipe from.

We make their recipe, photograph it as if it were our own, write a post about it with our own personal anecdote and then share our posts on the same Friday.

We hope that this collaboration helps you discover some amazing new recipes, as well as find new bloggers to follow!

For previous Freaky Friday exchanges, I’ve made a lot of things. Here are a few desserts I’ve baked throughout the years:

See all of our 2022 Freaky Friday Holiday Cookie Exchange Recipes

Hosted by – An Affair from the Heart
  1. An Affair from the Heart – Scotcheroo Pinwheels
  2. Best Cookie Recipes – Christmas Magic Bars
  3. Family Around the Table – Snickerdoodle Bars
  4. Feast + West – Lemon Drop Cookies
  5. The Foodie Affair – Christmas Oreo Balls
  6. Fresh April Flours – Hot Cocoa Cookies
  7. Hostess at Heart – Chocolate Bark
  8. Kathryn’s Kitchen Blog – Cookies and Cream Cookie Recipe
  9. Life Currents – Almond Meltaways Cookies
  10. Sue Bee Homemaker – Italian Lemon Ricotta Cookies 
  11. Take Two Tapas – Avalanche Cookies 
  12. The Wimpy Vegetarian – Easy Christmas Butter Cookies
Ingredients to make snowball cookies on a blue countertop with a white tea towel

What you’ll need to make this recipe:

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Let’s talk ingredients!

In addition to the tools above, you’re going to need some ingredients to make this recipe, too! Chances are, you might already have some of them in your fridge or pantry. Scroll down to the recipe card for the full measurements and instructions.

Here’s what you’ll need:

  • Unsalted butter—this is the fat, and it’s important. I like to use unsalted butter in baking recipes so I can control the amount of salt added. Be sure to set it out the butter 30-45 minutes before you plan to mix the cookie dough so it blends easily.
  • Powdered sugar—also known as confectioners sugar. We’ll need this for the cookie dough, as well as the coating. You may sift yours if there are chunks in it.
  • Vanilla extractif you can afford it, the real deal kind is where it’s at! It adds depth of flavor to the cookie dough and also makes the other ingredients sing.
  • All–purpose flour— we keep unbleached AP flour at our house, but you can use the regular kind, too.
  • Kosher salt—I like to use a medium grain kosher salt here. You could also use a similar size of sea salt, too.
  • Nuts—Sandra’s recipe calls for pecans or walnuts. She also specifies that you can skip the nuts if you have an allergy and that the cookies are still delicious. I used pecans because I love pecans.
Collage showing how to make batter for snowball cookies

Preheat your oven to 300°F. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper, and set aside.

This is important to get these two things done first because these cookies do not need to chill and will bake immediately after you put the dough together.

Cream the butter and sugar together. This will take a few moments. I like to do this in a large bowl with a hand mixer at medium speed. You could also do this in a stand mixer with a paddle attachment.

Add the vanilla and flour. Mix to combine. It will smell amazing!

Fold in the chopped nuts with a rubber spatula, stirring until just combined.

Please note that the dough will be very soft.

Collage showing how to make and bake snowball cookies

Scoop the cookies onto the prepared baking sheet with a 1-tablespoon cookie scoop. Give the dough balls a little space between each one. They should not spread much.

Bake for 18-19 minutes or until a light golden brown.

Let cool for about five minutes.

When you can handle with your fingers, roll the warm cookies in the extra powdered sugar. I pour the powdered sugar into a medium bowl and use a fork to help me with this step and rolled each cookie individually since you need to be gentle. This will give you the classic snowball look!

Let cool completely on a wire rack before serving and enjoying!

A fork holds a snowball cookie over a bowl of powdered sugar

Erin’s Easy Entertaining Tips

There’s nothing like homemade cookies for the holidays… or any kind of gathering, especially ones that involve kids.

I love these buttery Snowball Cookies because they’re fun to bake—solo or with kids—and also fun to share!

Here are some tips and tricks to making the best Christmas Snowball Cookies for any type of gathering: 

  • Bake the cookies in advance. These cookies are delicious at room temperature, so you can make them 1-2 days early.
  • Double or triple the recipe for a crowd, especially if you’re expecting a lot of people who adore cookies. You can always send friends home with extra cookies if you don’t want them in your house. This is also great for a cookie tray at a cookie swap party and perfect to have on hand for snacking at a cookie decorating party.
  • Learn how to Freeze Cookie Dough and freeze the cookie dough 1-2 weeks in advance, then bake them fresh just before guests arrive.
A round cooling rack with Mexican wedding cookies on top

Frequently Asked Questions

What are snowball cookies made of?

This cookie recipe is made of butter, powdered sugar, vanilla extract, flour, salt and nuts.

Why did my snowball cookies flatten?

If your cookies flattened, your butter might have been too warm when you mixed the cookies. These cookies should hold their shape in the oven.

How do you make powdered sugar stick to cookies?

We toss the cookies in the powdered sugar after they cool slightly so that it can stick! 

A blue plate of snowball cookies with one cookie with a bite taken out of it

Quick tips and tricks for making the best Snowball Cookies

  • Preheat the oven. This is a simple step, but if yours is like mine, it takes a while to heat up. You want it to be warm before you put the cookies in.
  • Use a cookie scoop. Not only will it make life easier (and your hands less messy), but your cookies will be a more uniform size.
  • Switch out the nuts. If you don’t like pecans, feel free to use walnuts. You could also use hazelnuts or peanuts if you want to do something different!
  • How to store: Store in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 5 days. If layering, place parchment paper between the layers.
  • How to freeze: Dollop the cookie dough onto a parchment or wax paper-lined baking sheet. Freeze in the freezer until solid, then transfer to an airtight freezer-safe container.
A plate of snowball cookies on a blue countertop
Yield: 32 (1T) cookies

Pecan Snowball Cookies

Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 18 minutes
Total Time: 28 minutes

These melt-in-your-mouth Pecan Snowball Cookies are the perfect sweet treat to share during the holidays and year-round! This 6-ingredient cookie recipe requires no chill time and is baked in less than 30 minutes!

Ingredients

  • 1 cup unsalted butter, softened (226g)
  • ¼ cup powdered sugar (32g)
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour (240g)
  • ¼ teaspoon kosher salt (1g)
  • 1 cup chopped pecans (125g)*
  • 1 ½ cups powdered sugar for coating cookies, sifted (188g)

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 300°F. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper, and set aside.
  2. Whip the butter and sugar together in a large bowl with a hand mixer at medium speed until creamy. This will take a few moments.
  3. Add the vanilla and flour. Mix to combine.
  4. Fold in chopped nuts with a rubber spatula, stirring until just combined. The dough will be very soft.
  5. Scoop the cookies onto the prepared baking sheets with a 1-tablespoon cookie scoop. Give the cookies a little space between each one.
  6. Bake for 18-19 minutes or until a light golden brown.
  7. Let cool for about five minutes.
  8. When you can handle with your fingers, roll each warm cookie in extra powdered sugar. I used a fork to help me with this step.
  9. Let cool completely before serving and enjoying!

Notes

This recipe originally appeared on The Foodie Affair and republished here as a part of the Freaky Friday collaboration. I added weight measurements.

*You may also use chopped walnuts, if desired. I chose pecans because I love them. You may also omit the nuts. Sandra says that the texture will change, but these cookies may be made nut free.

How to store: Store in an airtight food storage container at room temperature for up to 5 days. If layering, place parchment paper between the layers.

How to freeze: Dollop the cookie dough onto a parchment or wax paper-lined baking sheet. Freeze in the freezer until solid, then transfer to an airtight freezer-safe container.

Nutrition Information:

Yield:

32

Serving Size:

1

Amount Per Serving: Calories: 132Total Fat: 9gSaturated Fat: 4gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 4gCholesterol: 15mgSodium: 14mgCarbohydrates: 13gFiber: 1gSugar: 6gProtein: 1g

Nutrition facts are an estimate and not guaranteed to be accurate.

How much did you love this recipe?

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20 Comments

  1. Erin, I love these!! They are just the epitome of Christmas cookies and totally complete a good holiday tray! Wishing you and your family a marvelous holiday season! xo

    1. Thank you so much, Michaela! These really are such the epitome of a Christmas cookie that are perfection on a tray. I hope you and yours have a lovely holiday season, too!

  2. These cookies are a classic and yours look amazing! I love how you only need a few simple ingredients and these will be the perfect addition to any cookie platter!

    1. Thanks so much, Kathryn! They are such a classic! I agree with you: I love the simplicity of the ingredients and how these cookies go well with basically anything!

  3. You are the sweetest! Thank you for the kind words. You make me so proud when I see that you’re not afraid to speak your truth. About the cookies…whatever we call them, they’re fabulous and should be on every cookie tray! Hearts, and hugs

    1. Sandra! YOU are the sweetest, and your words bring tears to my eyes. I am so grateful for this group that introduced me to you and your friendship and was honored to bake from your blog. I agree with you about these cookies: no matter what we call them, they’re perfect for any cookie tray any time of the year! Thank you for sharing your family’s recipe and letting me share it here, too!

  4. I just loved these cookies! They reminded me of a recipe that my mother made and disappeared. I’m glad to have this one in my holiday cookie arsenal.

    1. Aww, I love that your mom made cookies like these, Julie! They’re so good and so comforting. I’m glad you could have a taste of these this holiday season and that you’ll spread some cheer with these!

  5. The video makes this recipe so simple and easy to make. With great instructions in the recipe too. Love a good classic cookie.

  6. I recently went to a party where the them was snow, and these cookies were served. Yours looks waaaaaay better! I can’t wait to try them!

    1. Hey, thanks! I love that you discovered these at a party! I hope you enjoy mine and that they taste as scrumptious as the ones that you had at the party!

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