Snowball Cookies are melt-in-your-mouth tender and buttery, filled with finely chopped pecans and covered with a blizzard of confectioners’ sugar.
How about a sweet treat to enjoy with your favorite cuppa or mug of hot cocoa?
These Snowball Cookies are an oldie but a goodie and favorite cookie to enjoy or share,
especially around the holidays.
You might know these cookies by other names such as Mexican Wedding Cookies,
Vanilla Snowballs, Russian Teacakes, or just plain Wedding Cookies.
What I love about these cookies is that they’re buttery and not overly sweet,
like a shortbread cookie. . . melt-in-your-mouth tender and crumbly!
You can find several recipe variations of these Snowball Cookies around. The recipe
I prefer uses two cups of finely chopped pecans, but I’ve also made these cookies
with walnuts, as well as with half walnuts and half pecans.
The one ingredient all versions of this recipe have in common is a
blizzard of confectioners’ or powdered sugar. . . hence the name ‘snowballs’!
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Here are the ingredients you’ll need:
❄️ 2 cups pecans, finely chopped
❄️ 2 cups *all-purpose flour (*to make these cookies gluten-free substitute King Arthur Gluten-Free Measure for Measure Flour)
❄️ 1/4 teaspoon salt
❄️ 1 cup unsalted butter, softened, (2 sticks)
❄️ 1/4 cup granulated sugar
❄️ 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
❄️ 1 teaspoon almond extract
❄️ 1 cup confectioners’ sugar, divided
The secret ingredient in this recipe is the almond extract that adds just a little something extra!
*Note: Pecans are naturally gluten-free but may come in contact with gluten during processing,
so if you’re on a strict gluten-free diet, make sure your nuts are certified gluten-free.
Preheat oven to 325°F. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.
Mix finely chopped pecans with flour and salt; set aside.
If using the food processor to chop your pecans, pulse until finely chopped, but not pulverized.
Optional step: Bump up the pecan flavor by toasting pecans in dry pan or on a baking sheet
in oven for 6- 8 minutes, or until pecans become fragrant. Remove from pan and
allow pecans to cool completely before proceeding with recipe and adding them to butter.
Cream butter and granulated sugar with mixer in medium bowl, 2 minutes or until lightened and fluffy.
Scrape down sides of the bowl and beat in vanilla and almond extracts.
Reduce speed to low; add nut /flour mixture. Beat until dough is combined.
Working with 1 tablespoon dough, shape dough into 1-inch balls.
Place 1-inch apart, onto parchment-lined baking sheets.
Tip: Use a cookie scoop to make uniform size balls.
Bake 16-18 minutes until they feel set on top and some start to barely brown
around the edges; do not over bake.
Let cookies cool on cookie sheet 5 minutes; transfer to cooling rack to cool completely.
Place 1/2 cup confectioners’ sugar into shallow bowl; roll cooled cookies in sugar to coat.
Store in airtight container.
Re-roll cookies in remaining confectioners’ sugar just before
serving so thoroughly coated and snowy white.
Note: Some recipes for snowball or wedding cookies call for rolling them in
confectioners’ sugar while cookies are still warm, but I find
this makes a sticky mess! Confectioners’ sugar will adhere to cookies when cool
and rolling them in sugar twice ensures they are well-coated.
Melt-in-Your-Mouth Snowball Cookies
- 2 cups pecans finely chopped
- 2 cups all-purpose flour or make gluten-free by using King Arthur Gluten-Free Measure for Measure Flour
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1 cup unsalted butter softened, (2 sticks)
- 1/4 cup granulated sugar
- 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 1 teaspoon almond extract
- 1 cup confectioners' sugar divided
- Preheat oven to 325°F. Line baking sheets with parchment paper.
- Mix finely chopped pecans with flour and salt; set aside.
- Cream butter and granulated sugar in medium bowl with mixer, 2 minutes, or until lightened and fluffy.
- Scrape down sides of the bowl and beat in vanilla and almond extracts.
- Reduce speed to low; add nut / flour mixture. Beat until dough is combined.
- Working with 1 tablespoon dough, roll dough into 1-inch balls. Place, 1 inch apart, onto parchment-lined baking sheets.
- Bake 16-18 minutes until they feel set on top and some start to barely brown around the edges; do not over bake.
- Let cookies cool on cookie sheet 5 minutes; transfer to cooling rack to cool completely.
- Place 1/2 cup confectioners' sugar into shallow bowl; roll cooled cookies in sugar to coat.
- Store in airtight container.
- Re-roll cookies in remaining 1/2 cup confectioners' sugar just before serving so thoroughly coated and snowy white.
- The addition of almond extract adds a flavor boost and a special ‘little something extra’!
- Use a tablespoon cookie scoop for uniform cookies.
- Some recipes call for rolling in confectioners' sugar while cookies are still warm. I find this makes a sticky mess. Confectioners' sugar will adhere to cookies when cool and rolling them in sugar twice ensures they are well-coated.
- If using the food processor to chop your pecans, pulse until finely chopped but not pulverized.
- Optional step: Bump up the nutty pecan flavor by toasting pecans in dry pan or on a baking sheet in oven for 6- 8 minutes, or until pecans become fragrant. Remove from pan and allow pecans to cool completely before proceeding with recipe and adding them to butter.
- Substitute walnuts for pecans or use half walnuts, half pecans in recipe.
- Make gluten-free by substituting King Arthur Gluten-Free Measure for Measure Flour
❄️ Snowman mug / Ridgefield Home, HomeGoods, several years ago
❄️ Cable knit plate / Michaels, several years ago
Looking for a no-bake snowball cookie?
You might also like No-Bake Coconut Orange Snowballs.
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I make these every Christmas and they never fail to please. They are the perfect accompaniment to coffee or hot tea.
Yes, yes, yes! Pinned. I like your notes on this recipe. I just polished off the orange snowballs, lol (I did share, though).
My mouth is watering. Love these!
I’ve made these nearly every year since I found the recipe nearly 6 decades ago –under the name “Greek Meatballs.” Why that name I have no idea! I’ve called them that ever since. They’re so good!!
I love these! Thanks for the recipe. Clara ❤️
H, my goodness! These cookies look delicious.
You had me at almond extract Mary, that makes everything so good! What a perfect winter nibble, I wish I had one now!
I haven’t made these in years, but reading your post with these wonderful details and photos makes me think I need to put on my apron and bake. Looking forward to teatime next Tuesday! My snowpeople would like these!
I make these for my youngest son a lot, they are his favorite cookie and he prefers to call them Russian Tea Cakes. I also make them for a great friend of mine. They are both so stingy when given they do not share, LOL.
Don’t your cookies look perfect with your snowman mug?? I love these cookies and didn’t bake any this year, Mary. I started making them in the 1970’s from my Betty Crocker cookbook. I have never put almond extract in mine, but I will next time because I’m crazy about that flavor. Thank you for your inspiration! ⛄️
Thank You for the recipe. My Mom made these all the time, and I lost her recipe. Yours is the closest to hers that I remember…Cold and rainy this weekend, perfect time to bake……
This is my absolute favorite cookie! Like the idea of the almond extract will try that soon, hehe! I still want to try the orange coconut type, that sounds very delish too. Thank you Mary.
These were my childhood treats 6 decades ago, thanks for the great memories, haven’t made them in ages and I can still taste them on my tongue 😊😋🙏
I agree with every part of Rita C’s comment. And your photos are lovely, as always!
This post brings back memories. Mexican Wedding Cookies were my favorite when I was a child, and one of my friend’s moms baked them often. Pinned the recipe. Thanks for posting!