Baking Perfect Snowball Cookies

Snowball Cookies, also known as Russian Tea Cakes or Mexican Wedding Cookies, are a delightful confection that captures the essence of winter wonderlands and festive joy. These melt-in-your-mouth treats, with their tender, buttery texture and dusting of powdery sugar, resemble little snowballs, making them a perfect addition to holiday dessert tables, cookie exchanges, or as a sweet accompaniment to your afternoon tea. The simplicity of the ingredients belies the richness of the flavor, with nuts adding a subtle crunch and depth to each bite. Whether you’re continuing a cherished baking tradition or discovering these cookies for the first time, Snowball Cookies are sure to enchant with their elegant appearance and exquisite taste.



The tradition of baking Snowball Cookies in our family started many years ago, inspired by a beloved recipe from a tattered old cookbook. Each holiday season, the kitchen would become a bustling workshop where generations gathered, each person with a role in the cookie-making process. The anticipation built as the cookies were rolled, baked, and finally emerged from the oven, ready to be gently tossed in a cloud of powdered sugar.

The moment the cookies were deemed cool enough to eat was always met with eager hands and smiling faces. Over cups of hot cocoa and stories of holidays past, we’d savor the buttery, nutty flavors, each bite a reminder of the warmth and love that filled the room. These Snowball Cookies became more than just a treat; they were a symbol of togetherness and joy, a cherished part of our holiday tradition that I looked forward to passing down through the generations.

Why You’ll Love Snowball Cookies

  • Delightfully Festive: Their snowy appearance and rich flavor make them a holiday favorite.
  • Simple Elegance: Easy to make with just a few ingredients, yet sophisticated enough to impress.
  • Versatile: Can be customized with different types of nuts or flavorings to suit your taste.
  • Perfect for Gifting: Their durability and charming look make them ideal for gifting to friends and loved ones.

Ingredients Notes For Snowball Cookies

  • Butter: The base of the cookie dough, providing richness and a melt-in-your-mouth texture.
  • Powdered Sugar: Used both in the dough and for coating the baked cookies, giving them their signature snowy look.
  • Flour: Forms the structure of the cookies, creating a tender crumb.
  • Nuts: Finely chopped nuts like pecans, walnuts, or almonds add crunch and flavor. Toasting them beforehand can enhance their taste.
  • Vanilla Extract: Adds depth and a hint of sweetness to the dough.

Recipe Steps

  1. Cream Butter and Sugar: Beat together butter and powdered sugar until light and fluffy.
  2. Mix in Vanilla: Add vanilla extract for flavor.
  3. Combine Dry Ingredients: Gradually mix in the flour and chopped nuts until the dough comes together.
  4. Shape the Cookies: Roll the dough into small balls and place them on a baking sheet.
  5. Bake: Cook until the cookies are just set but not browned, to keep their delicate texture.
  6. Coat with Sugar: While still warm, roll the cookies in powdered sugar, then let them cool and coat them once more for a thick snowy layer.

Storage Options

  • Room Temperature: Store in an airtight container, separated by wax paper, for up to a week.
  • Freeze: Freeze the unbaked dough or baked cookies for longer storage. Thaw and dust with fresh powdered sugar before serving if frozen after baking.




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Baking Perfect Snowball Cookies


  • Unsalted butter: 1 cup (2 sticks), softened
  • Vanilla extract: 1 teaspoon
  • Chopped nuts: 3/4 cup (pecans, walnuts, or almonds are popular choices)
  • All-purpose flour: 2 1/4 cups
  • Salt: 1/4 teaspoon
  • Powdered sugar: 1/2 cup (for the dough) + 1 cup (for coating)


  1. Preheat the Oven and Prepare Baking Sheets:
    • Preheat your oven to 350°F (175°C). Line baking sheets with parchment paper or a silicone baking mat.
  2. Mix the Dough:
    • In a large mixing bowl, cream together the softened butter and 1/2 cup powdered sugar until smooth and fluffy. Stir in the vanilla extract.
    • Gradually mix in the all-purpose flour and salt until the dough comes together. Fold in the chopped nuts until evenly distributed.
  3. Shape the Cookies:
    • Take small pieces of dough and roll them into 1-inch balls. Place the dough balls on the prepared baking sheets, spaced about an inch apart.
  4. Bake:
    • Bake in the preheated oven for 10 to 12 minutes, or until the cookies are set but not yet browned.
  5. Coat with Powdered Sugar:
    • Allow the cookies to cool slightly on the baking sheet for about 5 minutes. While they’re still warm, roll them in the 1 cup of powdered sugar. Place them on a wire rack to cool completely.
    • Once cooled, roll the cookies in powdered sugar again for a generous coating.
  • Author: Maria

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