These easy Snowball Cookies are an old fashioned, buttery shortbread cookie with pecans that are dipped in powdered sugar. They’re an elegant treat to enjoy any time of the year and to add to your Holiday season baking!
Some people know these cookies as Italian wedding cookies, Mexican wedding cookies, and even Russian Tea cookies. I grew up calling Pecan Balls. However you may know them, they are melt-in-your-mouth yumminess that everyone loves.
Pecan balls were one of my Grandma’s specialties and are truly one of my fondest childhood Christmas traditions and are, by far, my favorite cookies. We made these cookies and these Oreo Balls every year and it’s so great creating the same memories with my own children.
These pecan cookie balls are the best simple and delicious treat that comes together quickly and the dough freezes well. It’s hard to beat cookies shaped like little snowballs right?! They are pure decadence.
Butter – a cup of unsalted butter to give that classic, buttery shortbread flavor
Sugar – just a tad of white sugar gets mixed into the dough
Water – a small amount of water to moisten the dough
Vanilla extract – To give it the cookies flavor
All purpose flour – I have also used Bob’s Red Mill One-to-one flour
Pecans – chopped finely in a food processor or with a hand held chopper
Confectioners’ Sugar – to roll and coat the baked cookies in
Tips and Variations
Make them with no nuts if you’d like.
Used chopped walnuts, almonds, or any type of nut you’d like to use.
Add ⅓ cup of mini chocolate chips if desired.
Add ½ cup cocoa powder for a chocolate version.
Chop nut in a food processor or with a hand held chopper.
Add 1 teaspoon of almond extract in place of 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract if desired.
How to Make These Butter Ball Cookies
Preheat oven to 325 ° F
Place the butter and sugar in a large bowl and cream with an electric mixer on medium speed. You can also use your stand mixer with the paddle attachment as well
Add in the water and vanilla extract and mix until combined.
Then add flour and mix on low speed until flour is just mixed in, making sure to scape down the sides of the bowl..
Add the chopped nuts and gently stir to combine.
Chill in the refrigerator for 2 hours
Using a cookie scoop, scoop dough into your hand and roll the dough into 1-inch balls and place on an ungreased baking sheet.
Bake for 20 minutes until golden brown.
After baking, transfer to a wire rack and cool for 5-10 minutes.
Place the confectioners’ sugar in a shallow bowl or plastic bag. Roll each baked cookie ball in the powdered sugar while they are still a little warm. Then place them on a sheet of parchment paper .
Roll in the powdered sugar again for a second time after they have completely cooled to generous coat the outside of the cookies.
Store in an airtight container for up to 5-6 days.
Yes, you can place the cookie dough in a freezer bag and freezer for up to one month. The entire ball of dough can be frozen or roll the cookie balls and then freeze them. Thaw in the refrigerator or at room temperature prior to baking.
Freeze snowball cookies after baking as well. Once they have thawed completely, roll them in powdered sugar again to freshen them up.
Try these other easy Holiday treats too:
Raspberry Pecan Pinwheel Cookies
Old Fashioned Snowball Cookies
- 1 cup butter 2 sticks, softened
- ½ cup sugar
- 2 teaspoon water
- 2 teaspoon vanilla
- 2 cups all purpose flour sifted
- 1 cup pecans chopped
- ½ cup confectioners Sugar
- Preheat oven to 325 ° F
- Place the butter and sugar in a large bowl and cream with an electric mixer. You can also use a stand mixer.
- Add in the water and vanilla extract and mix until combined.
- Then add flour and mix thoroughly.
- Add the chopped nuts and gently stir to combine.
- Chill in the refrigerator for 2 hours
- Roll the chilled dough into 1 inch balls and place on an ungreased cookie sheet.
- Bake for 20 minutes.
- After baking, transfer to a wire rack and cool for 5-10 minutes.
- Then roll in confectioner's sugar.
Nutritional facts are estimates and are provided as a courtesy to the reader. Please utilize your own brand nutritional values to double check against our estimates. Nutritional values are calculated via a third party. Changing ingredients, amounts or cooking technique will alter the estimated nutritional calculations.
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These look delicious! Can’t wait to try them!
Good grief, I love these!!
These sound delicious. Thanks for sharing on Found & Foraged. We look forward to seeing you again next Saturday.
Thanks for sharing at the party. I didn’t get to make these over the holiday & they are one of our favs can’t wait to try your recipe! Pinned….
Love this recipe! Thanks for sharing at the Thursday Favorite Things Blog Hop at Katherine’s Corner – I’ll be back to see what you come up with this week ;o) Nina @ Vintage Mama’s Cottage
I love your Old Fashioned Snowball Cookies! Thanks so much for starting 2015 with Full Plate Thursday and have a great week.
Happy New Year!
Yum, yum, yum! Thank you for swinging by Snickerdoodle Sunday!! Hope you’ll come back later this week with your latest makes & bakes!
Sarah (Sadie Seasongoods)
This looks so good that my mouth is watering! Pinned and tweeted. We appreciate you taking the time to stop by our party. We love partying with you! I hope to see you on Monday at 7 pm. Happy Sunday! Lou Lou Girls
Happy to have the recipe! I love those cookies and haven’t had them in forever!
Yum! Thanks for the recipe and linking up to Scraptastic Saturdays.
Those look yummy! Keeping the recipe for next year. Those are perfect for the Holidays.
Jennie @ The Diary of a Real Housewife
I love these cookies! I have never made them myself though. I will have to give your recipe a try! I’d love if you would stop by and share on my linkup.
Sarah @ Sarah's Kitchen
They look great!
We have always loved these… but I haven’t made them for several years… I need to do that again. 🙂
Oh I could see my kids having a ton of fun with these! Especially the rolling in powdered sugar part. Thanks for sharing with us on Weekend Bites
Jessy @ The Life Jolie
Thank you for posting this- These are one of my favorite cookies to eat, but I’ve never actually made them before and keep forgetting to find a recipe.
Melissa @ My Recent Favorite books
These sound delicious!
These look fantastic – Thanks for linking up to Pin Worthy Wednesday, I have pinned your post to the Pin Worthy Wednesday Pinterest Board
My mom used to make these every Christmas. These were my dad’s favorites!! I saw this at Someday Crafts 🙂
Wow, I’ve always made these cookies with ground walnuts before. Never even thought to make them with pecans though I LOVE pecans. Thanks for the recipe! Thanks for sharing at Tip Me Tuesday. 🙂