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

Snowball Cookies

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Hi Bold Bakers!

Ok, Snowball Cookies are hands down without a doubt one of my favorite cookies! For those of you who have never made or eaten these that may come as a surprise to you but it’s true. Snowball Cookies, also known as Mexican Wedding Cookies, are a holiday must in my house and soon to be in yours, too!

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 nutty from the pecans. The combination of this almost savory interior with the sweet exterior of powdered sugar is just plain heavenly!

I love to grind up my pecans in a food processor then add them to the rest of the ingredients. This insures each bit 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.

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, a super sweet and thick outside layer with a pecan spiked buttery interior. If you’ve never made these before, now is the time. If you want to be bold this holiday season I highly recommend these delicious festive cookies!

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

4.8 from 4 reviews
Snowball Cookies
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Serves: 25-30
  • 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)
  • 1½ 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.


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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!

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  1. 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.


  2. 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 🙂

  3. 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,

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

    Apologized Zamboanga City Philippines

  5. 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 😉

  6. 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 🙂

  7. 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 🙂

  8. 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 🙂

  9. 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 🙂

  10. 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 🙂

  11. 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?

  12. 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?

  13. 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,

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