Snowball Cookies are one of those Christmas classics that many consider to be a must-bake during the holidays. Buttery and nutty with an airy, melt-in-your-mouth texture like a whipped shortbread, snowball cookies always remind me a little of cotton candy.
These Italian cookies are always popular throughout the winter. Serve them with coffee, tea, hot chocolate or homemade eggnog for a perfect pairing!
What are Snowball Cookies?
Snowball cookies are round, bite-sized butter cookies with chopped nuts. They are rolled in powdered sugar to give them a snowy whiteness.
A couple things that set this cookie recipe apart from others include the absence of egg and the use of powdered instead of granulated sugar in the dough. The result is a light, crumbly cookie that dissolves almost the second it hits your tongue.
How to Make Snowball Cookies
This is a delicious cookie that comes together with simple staple ingredients you probably already have on hand. Nothing could be easier!
- Cream butter and powdered sugar, then add in dry ingredients (per recipe below).
- Form into bite-sized balls and bake.
- Roll in powdered sugar while still warm.
- Cool completely, then roll again.
Snowball cookies are a tad messy to eat, but in the best possible way! A little dusting of powdered sugar all over everyone just adds more sweetness to the season!
Nuts: I prefer walnuts but pecans or other chopped nuts work well too.
Flavoring: For an Italian flair, consider flavoring the dough by adding a teaspoon of anise extract.
Fun Add-Ins: Try adding mini-chocolate chips, shredded coconut, or even crushed peppermint candy canes for a fun festive twist.
How Long Do Snowball Cookies Last?
Snowball cookies last for at least four days in the pantry, stored in the paper bag, and up to two weeks in the fridge, tightly covered or in a zippered bag.
They will even keep in the freezer for up to six months. These are the ideal make-ahead cookie! To freeze, store in containers because they will remain fragile when frozen. This is a cookie that you won’t want to crumble before serving!
More Christmas Favorites
- Perfect Gingerbread Cookies – with the perfect touch of ginger!
- Favorite Toffee Recipe – great for gifts
- Snickerdoodle Cookies – ready in under 30 minutes
- Best Sugar Cookie Recipe – perfect for decorating!
- Homemade Eggnog Cookies – soft & chewy
- Hershey Kiss Cookies – double chocolate
- 2 ¼ cups flour
- ¾ cup walnuts finely chopped
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 1 cup butter unsalted, softened
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- ½ cup powdered sugar plus extra for dusting
- Preheat oven to 400°F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
- Combine flour, walnuts and salt in a small bowl. Set aside.
- Beat butter, vanilla, and powdered sugar with a mixer until creamy.
- Turn the mixer to low and add flour mixture until combined.
- Form dough into 1" balls and place on prepared pan.
- Bake 8-10 minutes or until bottom edges of cookies are lightly browned.
- Cool a few minutes until you're able to handle the cookes. Roll in powdered sugar and place on a rack to cool completely.
Nutrition information provided is an estimate and will vary based on cooking methods and brands of ingredients used.
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This is a very good recipe. I made the cookies for Christmas and they were to die for!! The cookie is so buttery with the slight crunch from the nuts with just the perfect amount of sweetness.
I made these, and they are good, but they are a bit too dry. any suggestions?
Oh no Sheri! Did you measure your flour by using a spoon to fill the measuring cup (this method)?
I found these to be so very dry – to the point of not being to shape (same experience as others) after following the recipe exactly. I then added more butter – another 1/2 cup and about another 1 tsp of vanilla extract. Thereafter I was finally was able to form a crumbly ball that held through baking. The ratios are off and unfortunately there is very little flavor in the finished product. Not sure how a classic cookie could go so wrong.
This year is the first year that my spouse’s family is coming over for holidays so I’ve been trying out new things to impress and this recipe is a hit! I made two batches. The first time was as written and it’s perfect the way it is! The second time I didn’t have walnuts so I used pecans and 1\2 teaspoon vanilla extract and 1 teaspoon maple extract… They were amazeballs. tips I noticed: SIFT YOUR FLOUR and my first batch browned way too much on the bottom so the second time I just put another cookie sheet under them. Thanks so much for the recipe!
Would be 5 stars but just too much salt in the recipe as written for me; I’d suggest 1/4 teaspoon if you use regular table salt like I did. The dough is very crumbly and I couldn’t roll it into a ball successfully, but I had an easy time with a small cookie scoop right onto the pan and the cookies were perfect when baked.
They are perfect and delicious. I made some with vanilla extract and some with almond extract. The almond extract ones are my favorite. And I use pecans.
Omg! I’ve never made these so I did 1/2 of the 1X recipe above as a test. Absolutely incredible. Opted for the dash of anise. Keep in mind not to over bake, they make look like they have more time to go but they don’t. Just take them out let them set up for a minute and you’ll see. WOW!
These have been on our Christmas cookie menu for years under the name Swedish Heirloom cookies. I think they are also called Mexican Wedding cookies. I make them with chopped, lightly toasted almonds. and I bake them at 325 for about 12 minutes.
I lost my old recipe of this, the problem people are having is that on my old recipe it said sifted flour then you measure your portion for recipe. Sifted `flour makes a big difference in this recipe, your batter is not so dried out in order to form balls.
This is a great tip Candice, thank you for sharing!
Delicate and delicious! Easy recipe!
this is the worst cookie I’ve ever made. I made and cooked 2 batched. the first was terrible didn’t hold together and had no taste. so the second batch I added an egg and almond extract. they were better but still not worth the effort
Very tasty and not overly sweet. Perfect as crust for lush pies. I accidentally flattened my cookies, but they still came out delish.
I followed the recipe exactly, even used knife to smooth out each dry ingredient and still my dough turned out very dry. It would not form into a ball. Had to add more butter (1/4 stick more) to the dry crumbly dough before it held together. I don’t know if there was too much flour or not enough butter. Once cooked, they tasted fine.