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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This recipe is just right. The only thing I changed was I didn’t have to chill the dough. And I cooked for 11-12 minutes. Perfect cookie. Yum yum
Hands down THE best Snowball Cookie Recipe my husband and I have ever had! I added some chopped walnuts to ours too. Will make these again and again!
I am so happy to hear that!
Im sorry but i couldnt disagrre more! No water OR granulated sugar should ever go into these cookies! They dont need it. They do, however, need 3/4 cup of confectioners sugar and a good pinch of kosher salt! Room temp butter needs no creaming. No need to sift flour! Put all ingredients in bowl (except nuts) and beat together. Dough will be soft and crumbly. Best and only 60 yr old time tested, true BEST recipe. NO need to chill dough! Oh, and store in layers covered in sifted confectioners sugar for freshness.
This is the recipe my mother always made. They are so loved in our family. 🙂
Why is my dough so dry?
That is normal. It’s a harder dough when chilled. Once you roll them and bake they are perfect. Make sure the dough is chilled so they are nice and round
Hello. Can you please tell me if I should use salted or unsalted butter?
Hi… I used salted and they came out great!
Unsalted is better
Do you use salted or unsalted butter
Salted tastes better with this type of cookie and the nuts.
Can you freeze these
You can! You may have to re-roll them in powdered sugar after thawing because the sugar will likely absorb into the cookie. Or you could wait and roll them until you thaw them as well.
Can’t find Recipe at all ,,,how much butter etc
These snowball cookies look totally scrumptious! Putting the recipe on my Christmas cookie list. It has all chances to become a holiday favorite. Can’t wait to give these a try.
Sherri, thank you so much for sharing such a delightful idea and all of your precious tips. I hope the recipe will inspire many of your followers. I’m so glad that I came across your awesome blog a few days ago. I’m your real fan. Keep up the good work!
My aunt used to make these every Christmas when I was young – they were always my favorite!
We will love your Old Fashioned Snowball Cookies, they look awesome! Hope you are having a great weekend and thanks so much for sharing with us at Full Plate Thursday!
These are all-time classic favorites. Thanks for sharing.
These sound and look so perfect for Christmas! Yum! 🙂