Your #1 Online Baking Destination!

Christmas Snowball Cookies - The only cookie recipe you need this holiday season..

Classic Snowball Cookies

Save Recipe

My classic Snowball Cookies recipe combines ground pecans, rich butter and powder sugar to create a holiday cookie you’ll want to make all year round!

Hi Bold Bakers!

Ok, Snowball Cookies are hands down without a doubt one of my favorite cookies! Also known as Mexican Wedding Cookies, these are one of my favorite holiday cookies as they look so festive and taste even better!

What is a snowball cookie?

Snowball cookies are an unusual combination of ground pecans, lots of butter, flour and a bit of sugar. The cookies themselves are not that sweet but are extremely rich from the butter and the nutty pecans. The combination of this almost savory interior with the sweet exterior of powdered sugar is just plain heavenly!

[If you like pecans you’ll love my No-Bake Pecan Pie Truffles which are just like a mini bite of pie covered in rich chocolate!]

How to grind pecans

The cookies feature ground pecans, giving them a crumbly texture and toasty flavor through out. If you’ve never baked with ground nuts before you’ll love this. I grind up my pecans in a food processor then add them to the rest of the ingredients. This insures each cookie is even in texture and full of that pecan flavor. You can mix this dough up in one bowl using a hand mixer or just a large whisk.

Why are they called snowball cookies?

After the dough comes together you form them into perfect little snowball shapes. These bake for just a short 12 minutes before they are bathed in a generous amount of powdered sugar while still warm. The warmth of the cookies heats the sugar coating them with a lovely layer of sweetness and it does not stop there. After completely cooling these little snowballs get second dip in powdered sugar. This is what makes the flavor of these cookies so over the top and of course what makes them look like little snowballs!

Holiday cookies recipe, easy snowball cookie recipe, easy desserts , easy christmas cookie recipes , mexican wedding cookie recipe, snowball cookie recipe, best desserts, best ever desserts, best ever holiday cookies recipe, affordable recipes, cheap recipes, cheap desserts, simple recipes, simple desserts, quick recipes, Healthy meals, Healthy recipes, How to make, How to bake, baking recieps, recipes for kids, baking with kids, baking with children, kid friendly recipes, child friendly recipes, christmas biscuit recipes

Get more Holiday Cookies and baking tips and tricks at my Holiday Baking Headquarters page.

Be sure to check out some of my other favorite holiday treats!

Gemma's Holiday Baking Headquarters Banner

Follow Bigger Bolder Baking on Pinterest for more Holiday Baking ideas!

4.11 from 19 votes
Christmas Snowball Cookies - The only cookie recipe you need this holiday season..
Snowball Cookies
Prep Time
20 mins
Cook Time
14 mins
Total Time
34 mins

My classic Snowball Cookies combine ground pecans, rich butter and powder sugar to create a holiday cookie you'll want to make all year round!

Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Servings: 25 -30 Cookies
  • 1 cup (8oz/250g) butter, room temperature
  • 5 tablespoons sugar
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 2 cups (10oz/300g) all purpose flour
  • 2 cups (8oz/240g) pecans (ground or very finely chopped)
  • cups (6oz/180g) confectioners’ sugar
  1. Using a large whisk or and electric mixer cream together butter and sugar. Beat in the vanilla and salt.
  2. Gradually add flour beating after each addition. Stir in the nuts; mix until fully incorporated.
  3. Divide dough in half and refrigerate in plastic food wrap for approximately 45 minutes.
  4. Meanwhile, arrange oven rack in middle of oven and preheat to 35oºF (180oC) and line two baking sheets with parchment paper, set aside.
  5. Place confectioners’ sugar in a small bowl, set aside.
  6. After chilling roll the dough between palms of hands to achieve a small rounded ball 1 inch ball.
  7. Place dough balls 1½ inches apart on prepared baking sheets.
  8. Bake in preheated oven until the cookies are just beginning to brown for 14 minutes. Do not overbake. The underside of the cookies should be only lightly browned. And the cookies should not crack.
  9. Cool cookies on baking sheets for approximately 5 minutes. Remove cookies from baking sheets using a metal cookie spatula. While cookies are still warm, gently roll them in the confectioners’ sugar.
  10. Place the sugar-coated cookies on wire racks to cool completely. Once cooled roll cookies in the confectioners’ sugar for a second time.
  11. Store in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 5 days.



3 Images
Submit Your Photos
Christine Rhodes
Teresa Elisabeth
Katherine Cowgill by Teren Oddo Oct. 2015

Meet Gemma

Hi Bold Bakers! I’m Gemma Stafford, a professional chef originally from Ireland, and I’m passionate about sharing my years of experience to show you how to make game-changing baking recipes with over-the-top results! Join more than 1 Million other Bold Bakers in the community for new video recipes every week!

Have you made a recipe? Share photos on my website or across social media with the hashtag #boldbaker.

And don't miss my NEW Bold Baking recipes and tips. Sign up for my weekly email newsletter.


Write a Comment and Review

  1. Elisa on December 11, 2018 at 7:40 am

    Good morning…..I only have ground pecans……I know that you use whole 2 cups of whole pecans and then grind them….can you please let me know what is the quantity that it makes once you grind them…..thanks….anxious to make these…how long will them keep in an airtight tin….

    • Gemma Stafford on December 11, 2018 at 10:39 am

      This will totally work, great question!

    • Gwen on December 21, 2018 at 10:07 pm

      Similar question…I have ground pecans…how many cups would I need for this recipe…roughly

      • Gemma Stafford on December 23, 2018 at 3:35 pm

        hum, I actually 100% don’t know but I’m guessing around 1 1/2 cups. The best way is to weight the pecans in grams or ounces.

        Hope this helps,

  2. Mary on December 10, 2018 at 5:03 pm

    Yes toasting the pecans frist is good

    • Gemma Stafford on December 11, 2018 at 5:17 pm

      I love the flavor the toasted nuts add. Enjoy!

  3. LadyIreland on December 10, 2018 at 12:31 pm

    LOVE LOVE LOVE these cookies. When I was little-eons ago-they sold them as wedding cookies and they had mini chocolate chips in them. My Grandmother made them and called them Russian Tea Cakes so the recipe has been proven through the test of time. I make them with macadamia nuts and mini chocolate chips. Thanks Gemma for this recipe and all the loving memories that come with it.

    • Gemma Stafford on December 11, 2018 at 2:52 pm

      I’m delighted to hear that, that sounds lovely! Enjoy!

  4. Wilma on December 10, 2018 at 9:58 am

    Can I use ground hazelnuts instead as that is what I can get in Germany?
    Thank you

    • Gemma Stafford on December 11, 2018 at 12:58 pm

      Yes, that would be super yummy!

  5. Cindy Rhodes on December 9, 2018 at 5:06 pm

    Can these be frozen?

    • Gemma Stafford on December 9, 2018 at 8:08 pm

      They can Cindy. It probably best to freeze the raw cookie then bake it off when you want them.


      • Cindy Rhodes on December 9, 2018 at 8:44 pm

        OK – Thanks Gemma – I love your website!

    • Catahoula on December 18, 2018 at 9:43 pm

      They freeze really well. I usually make more than I need, because they are so yummy, and I always have some to put in the freezer. That way, any time you’d like a sweet treat, it’s as close as your freezer. This recipe has been in my family for many, many years except only 4 tablespoons of sugar instead of 5.. Thanks Gemma and Merry Christmas!

  6. Samantha García on December 9, 2018 at 2:16 pm

    Hi Gemma!

    I loveeee these cookies, are of my fav.
    My mother-in-law makes them for Xmas season, though she never truly wanted to share her recipe, she toasts the pecans just until they become aromatic in a frying pan and then she chops or grind them. You should try it! It enhaces the nutty flavour and the smell is awesome!! So yummy!
    So this Christmas, I will try this recipe and enjoy these cookies, I trust in your recipes blindly!! They are just perfect! 🙂

    Best regards,

    • Gemma Stafford on December 10, 2018 at 3:18 am

      Hi Samantha,
      Yes, and that is indeed a great way to enhance the flavor of nuts, I do this too. you can pop them in the oven too, on a flat tray, 180C/350F for 8 – 10 minutes, but watch them, it is a fast process.
      Good for you, and your mother in law knows a thing or two!
      Gemma 🙂

  7. Zuly_28 on November 5, 2018 at 6:14 pm

    Hi. I am soo exited to try this recipe. I have a question.. can I make the dough and keep it in the fridge?

    • Gemma Stafford on November 6, 2018 at 3:23 am

      Hi there,
      If you mean the unbaked dough, then yes! that will work well for you.
      I hope you like this recipe,
      Gemma 🙂

  8. kemala hayati on June 15, 2018 at 1:43 am

    can i make it without walnut? will it still melt in mouth?

    • Gemma Stafford on June 15, 2018 at 2:21 am

      Hi Kemala,
      I did not use walnuts in these cookies, it was pecans!
      This is a really basic shortbread type butter cookie, and it will bake without the nuts.
      The sugar I use in this recipe is granulated/caster/fine sugar.
      I hope you like this recipe,
      Gemma 😉

  9. Maria Dora on May 8, 2018 at 9:19 am

    These cookies are dangerously good. They melt in your mouth. Once I start eating I simply cannot stop. And all my friends who have tasted them loved them. I use walnuts instead of pecans, and they are still fantastic. Thank you for this awesome recipe!♥️

    • Gemma Stafford on May 9, 2018 at 2:09 pm

      Thank you Maria, it is great to have this very kind review of this recipe, I appreciate it,
      Gemma 🙂

  10. NinaR on December 20, 2017 at 10:54 pm

    Hi Gemma
    So glad I found your site, thank you for all the work you do!
    I have made a similar cookie here in sunny South Africa with this variation: Instead of adding nuts to the mixture, insert half a block of whole-nut chocolate in the middle of the cookie when rolling the dough into balls. I only dip them in powdered sugar once else it all becomes too sweet. It is a delicious surprise when biting into it to find the melted chocolate with a nut in the middle 🙂
    Anyway, just a thought, and thanks once again for an excellent site!

    • Gemma Stafford on December 21, 2017 at 10:09 am

      Just one word, WOW!
      Thank you for this lovely tip, other Bold Bakers will be delighted with this,
      Gemma 😉

  11. Christine Rhodes on December 20, 2017 at 6:05 am

    These cookies were so easy to make and came out absolutely perfect!!

    • Gemma Stafford on December 22, 2017 at 1:14 pm

      Yea! I am really happy to har this, you did a great job,
      Gemma 🙂

  12. Tammy Baumbaugh on December 13, 2017 at 3:29 pm

    Hi Gemma,
    Silly question but when you say 2 cups of ground pecans…do you measure the whole pecans first or do you grind them and then measure 2 cups??


    • Gemma Stafford on December 13, 2017 at 7:48 pm

      Good question, Tammy. Measure 2 cups of pecans and the grind them 🙂

      I hope you like these because they are my favorite cookies.


  13. Asha Jose on December 13, 2017 at 6:32 am

    Hi Gemma!
    This recipe looks interesting and easy and I will try it. However, pecans are unavailable where I live. What would you suggest instead whenever a recipe calls for it? The nuts available easily here are walnuts, almonds, cashew, peanuts, pistachio, and hazelnuts if I am lucky…. You will have to choose from these 😋😀
    Thank you. Merry Christmas to you and your team.
    Asha Jose

    • Gemma Stafford on December 13, 2017 at 5:38 pm

      Hi Asha,

      so commonly used in these cookies are also walnuts. Just make sure they are toasted before you use them to make sure you get that lovely toasty flavor in your cookie.


      • Asha Jose on December 13, 2017 at 9:01 pm

        Thank you very much for the reply. I’m sure gonna try these out.
        I have tried your cinnamon rolls, your crazy cookie dough, and some more recipes. They turned out lovely.
        Thank you for all these lovely recipes

        • Gemma Stafford on December 14, 2017 at 6:16 am

          Hi Asha,
          Good! do let us know how you get on. Thank you for your very kind words, it is good to have you with us,
          Gemma 🙂

  14. shugi on December 9, 2017 at 3:58 am

    These cookies literally do melt in your mouth. I shared them with my friends and they loved how light and delicious they were. So easy to whip up too!! Thanks Gemma <3

    • Gemma Stafford on December 9, 2017 at 12:23 pm

      right?? And the sugar kind of creates a shell that holds them together. I couldn’t tell you how many I ate.

      Glad you liked them,

  15. Mommy bhebot on December 5, 2017 at 6:03 am

    Apologized Zamboanga City Philippines

  16. Mommy bhebot on December 5, 2017 at 5:58 am

    Blessed day Chef Gemma, I love how you made your bread and pastries. I like to try one. I would like to know the shelf life of snowball, for I am sending it to Zamboanga City, about 3 days travel time. Thank you and God bless you.

    • Gemma Stafford on December 6, 2017 at 5:09 am

      Hi there,
      Thank you for your kind blessings.
      Really there is no reason not to do this, the important thing is to pack them carefully, in an airtight box, using cupcake liners perhaps to hold them in place. you could also inter leaf the pack with baking paper, or food quality tissue. Pack carefully and all should be well. Happy Christmas to you and your family in the Philippines,
      Gemma 😉

      • Hazel on November 12, 2018 at 10:38 pm

        Hi Gemma – just love your recipes (not to mention listening to your lovely accent on the videos). In Australia we have icing sugar which is plain powdered sugar, also icing mixture which contains cornflour- is it best to use the pure sugar?

        • Gemma Stafford on November 13, 2018 at 2:12 am

          Hi Hazel,
          I hardly ever look to see which one I have. The cornstarch, and sometimes arrowroot, are there to keep the sugar free flowing. It has the advantage of stabilizing things it is added to. If you do not have issues with cornflour then I would say it does not really matter which one you use.
          Thank you for your kind words and for being here with us,
          Gemma 🙂

  17. Charita on December 5, 2017 at 2:43 am

    Hello gemma. This cookies are so adorable and cute

    • Gemma Stafford on December 6, 2017 at 5:28 am

      Thank you Charita, this is a traditional recipe in Mexico! Lovely things come from that part of the world,
      Gemma 🙂

  18. Manu on December 4, 2017 at 7:27 pm

    Is there any difference between confectioners sugar and powdered sugar??
    And what do you mean by sugar? Crystal sugar or powdered one???

    • Gemma Stafford on December 4, 2017 at 9:16 pm

      Nope no difference between confectioners and powdered.

      When I say sugar I mean regular white granulate sugar, not powdered.

      Hope I cleared it up 🙂

  19. Karen Kilpatrick on December 4, 2017 at 6:48 pm

    Hi Gemma
    I have made these cookies before and they are oh so good. However you’ve got to give them a try with the addition of mini chocolate chips. Makes them over the top in my book. Happy holidays to you and Kevin.

    • Gemma Stafford on December 5, 2017 at 1:38 am

      Karen, you are really BOLD!
      Haha! yes, I can see how that would rock these up, I am charmed by this little cookie, and they look so good too!
      Happy Christmas to you too, Kevin and I are working hard up to Christmas, so we can take a few days off, looking forward to it now!
      Gemma 🙂

      • Karen Kilpatrick on December 5, 2017 at 12:08 pm

        Just a thought but if you make your own icing sugar….would it be possible to color the sugar beforehand thereby having colored icing sugar? Thought of making the snowball cookies different colors. Am I crazy or will it work? How would you color the sugar?

        • Gemma Stafford on December 6, 2017 at 4:38 am

          Hi Karen,
          You can certainly color crystalized sugar! A touch of a good quality gel or paste should do this. I think you could then process this into icing sugar, as it would not be too wet. I am not sure how it would work with icing sugar as it dissolves so easily.
          Your nut ideas are a little nutty! but good, lol.
          Gemma 🙂

  20. LadyStephanieofWalseyManor on December 4, 2017 at 4:07 pm

    Looking forward to making these. ☺

    • Gemma Stafford on December 4, 2017 at 9:17 pm

      I was surprised how good these guys turned out. I ate loads 🙂

  21. Mila on December 4, 2017 at 2:30 pm

    Hi Gemma, these are very simular to Greek xmas cookies, we brush them with rose water before we roll them in the icing sugar 😊

    • Gemma Stafford on December 5, 2017 at 2:05 am

      Hi Mila,
      Thank you for adding this great idea to this post! It is wonderful to get input from our international Bold Bakers.
      Gemma 🙂

  22. Cleo Taylor on December 4, 2017 at 12:24 pm

    You can use almonds, hazelnuts, and walnuts in this cookie also if you do not have access to pecans. Although I think the pecan version is my favorite. My husband would say almonds, and my daughter would say hazelnuts.

    • Gemma Stafford on December 4, 2017 at 9:23 pm

      so feel free to use any of those cookies you mentioned however I would petition for pecans because it gives them an amazing maple flavor.

      Gemma 🙂

    • Karen Kilpatrick on December 5, 2017 at 12:10 pm

      Cashews are also a treat as are crushed macadamia nuts. Am I the only one getting hungry?

  23. Rachel on December 4, 2017 at 11:20 am

    Hi Gemma. These look insane! Are they kind of like shortbread? Can I use grounds almonds instead of pecans?

    • Gemma Stafford on December 4, 2017 at 9:19 pm

      Yes you can use ground almonds but if you can use pecans do because it gives them a maple flavor.

      They are like the softest cookies you will ever have. You just have to try them 🙂

      • Karen Kilpatrick on December 5, 2017 at 12:12 pm

        How about crushed cashews or macadamia nuts? Am I the only one getting hungry?

  24. Terry Gomez-Rivera on December 4, 2017 at 9:59 am

    Hi there!!

    I can’t seem to find the YouTube video on this? Can you help me. I’m on my IPhone 6
    Love all your recipes!!!

    • Gemma Stafford on December 4, 2017 at 9:24 pm

      Hi Terry,

      There actually isn’t one for these cookies. I just made these guys for the website. Some of my xmas content is just a recipe and no video.

      Hope this helps,

      • Maria on December 22, 2017 at 3:07 pm

        does this call for unsalted or salted butter

        • Gemma Stafford on December 23, 2017 at 8:32 pm

          Hi Maria,

          I use salted butter for all of my baking. AND I also add in salt to the recipe. It makes your baked good taste better and never over salty.

          Happy Baking!

Write a Comment and Review

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Pin It on Pinterest

Share This