Snowball Cookies

filed under: Cookies · Dessert · Food + Drink on December 13, 2020

Snowball Cookies are rich, buttery cookies that are full of chopped pecans and twice rolled in sugar for a powdery coating. For another popular and fun holiday cookie, check out my Sugar Cookies Recipe.

Snowball Cookies

Snowball Cookies, also known as Russian Tea Cakes and Mexican Wedding Cookies (among others), are a classic holiday cookie. But, they are easy enough to make when you are craving a nutty treat. And, they look like little snowballs, which works for me since we get a lot of snow here!

Snowball Cookies - Mexican Wedding Cookies Recipe on Red Plate

Cookie Ingredients

There are few ingredients in this recipe, so you probably have most of them on hand. Make sure you use room temperature butter and finely chopped pecans. You can use a food processor to chop the pecans; or, you can just chop them by hand. Try almonds or walnuts, if you prefer.

Snowball Cookies - Mexican Wedding Cookies Recipe Being Rolled in Confectioners Sugar

How to Make Snowball Cookies

To make the cookies, start by creaming the butter with 1/2 cup of the confectioners’ sugar and vanilla. A handheld mixer works fine for this. With the mixer on low, slowly add the flour, followed by the pecans and salt. Increase the speed to medium to fully incorporate all the ingredients.

Once the dough is ready, use your hands (or a small scoop) to roll the dough into a 1-inch ball. The dough may seem dry at first, but once you start forming it into balls, it should be fine. If the dough is still too dry add a tablespoon of butter. Place each dough ball on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Bake the cookies for 10-12 minutes, or until golden brown.

Remove the baked cookies from the oven and roll them (while still hot) in a bowl with the remaining confectioners’ sugar. Place them back on the lined baking sheets to cool. Once cool, roll the cookies a second time in the confectioners’ sugar. I was able to get 30 cookies out of the recipe.

Snowball Cookies - Mexican Wedding Cookies Recipe on Cooling Rack

How to Store Snowball Cookies

These cookies will last up to 3 days at room temperature, in a sealed container. You can get 2 weeks out of them if stored in the refrigerator. And, if you are good at planning ahead, you can get these made 6 months ahead of time if storing them in the freezer. Remember to label and date the container.

Hand Holding Snowball Cookies - Mexican Wedding Cookies Recipe

Looking for More Holiday Treats?

Sugar Cookie Bars

Red Velvet Peanut Butter Blossoms

Ugly Christmas Sweater Cookies

Sugar Cookie Christmas Wreath

5 from 4 votes
Snowball Cookies
Prep Time
30 mins
Cook Time
12 mins
Total Time
42 mins

Snowball Cookies are rich, buttery cookies that are full of chopped pecans and twice rolled in sugar for a sweet, powdery coating.

Course: Dessert, Snack
Cuisine: American
Keyword: Snowball Cookies
Servings: 30
Calories: 127 kcal
Author: Amanda
  • 1 cup (2 sticks or 227g) butter, room temperature
  • cups (187.5g) confectioners' sugar, divided
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 cups (250g) all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup pecans, finely chopped
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Line baking sheets with parchment paper.

  2. In a large bowl, using a hand mixer, cream the butter with 1/2 cup of the confectioners' sugar and vanilla.

  3. Starting on low speed, add the flour, pecans, and salt. Increase speed to medium until all ingredients are incorporated.

  4. Use your hands to roll the dough into 1-inch balls. Place them on the lined baking sheet, leaving about an inch in between each cookie.

  5. Bake for 10-12 minutes, or until golden brown. (You don't want them too brown.)

  6. Remove cookies from the oven and while still hot, roll each in the remaining cup of confectioners' sugar. Set coated cookies back on the lined baking sheets to cool.

  7. Once cool, roll the snowball cookies in the confectioners' sugar a second time. Store cookies in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 3 days.

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  • Dianne says:

    So good

  • Donna says:

    My favorite Christmas cookie, one year I used ground roasted almonds just to see how it would work…..was as good as pecans !!!! Love em both now.

    Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year !!

  • Jojo says:

    I like your baking style. I loved all of your baked goods. Keep posting yummy goods. Thank you 😊😊

  • Daniel Herberg says:

    This Snowball Cookie recipe I’ve seen and JUST made tonight is called different names. My Mom’s recipe is called Mexican Wedding Cookies. It is the exact same recipe with the exception that we use cake flour (2T baking powder added to a cup measure then filled with flour to finish the cup and sifted three times). The cookies are delicate to the point of crumbly if you aren’t careful handling the first of two powdered sugar dustings (Once fresh out of the oven & the second dusting after they’ve completely cooled.)

  • Joe Lavios says:

    Exactly the recipe I use!! Only down here (South Texas) we call them Sand Tarts, or LADY FINGERS. I make batches of them for gifting. This recipe lends itself for use in various ways. I sometimes incorporate finely chopped cranberries and walnuts.

  • Mary smith says:

    these easy delicate, and yummy holiday cookies are a must, they will be a tradition in our family. Thanks for posting & sharing

  • Jenny li says:

    Is sooo delicious

  • Faith says:

    Love your recipes!!

  • Sharon Hammersley says:

    When making snowball cookies I substituted pecans with mini chocolate chips as I have a grandchild with nut allergy – worked well.

  • Ratna dewi says:

    Love this cookie.l usualy coat it with sugar and milk powder.l don’t use butter but ghee.Children likes it.

  • Alberta Sanchez says:

    I am so excited to find this recipe for the Snowball Cookies. My husband absolutely loves them. Instead of buying them, I will make them for him. I will freeze them so he will have them whenever he wants them. Thank you so much for sharing your talents with everyone.

  • Maureen says:

    These are a favorite at our house,make them several times a year.

  • Beth H says:

    My grandma made these as part of Christmas candy every year, but she would fill the cookies with maraschino cherries, not dried, just drained and patted dry with paper towel, or kitchen towel.

    I have seen others put a few different things in them, Hershey kiss, hazelnut spread, any “mini” candy bar, but more specifically mini Reeses chocolate peanut butter cups. Sometimes have seen them with a little fudge with nuts, mini marshmallows, whatever you like.
    Other things too.
    I love them, so buttery and pretty much melt in your mouth.

  • Katrina says:

    Love them. I grate orange peel or lemon peel to them. Thanks

  • Pamela Eime says:

    The real secret to these cookies is to use Cake Flour instead of regular flour..My mothers secret.

  • Diane says:

    They came out so delicious. I have to admit I love pecans and I used just a bit more pecans in mine. Love, Love, Love the recipe.

  • Monique says:

    Delicious but mine fell apart. What did I do wrong?

    • Amanda Rettke says:

      Sounds like to dough is a bit too dry, which can happen in different parts of the country depending on humidity. You can add the white from 1 egg or an extra tsp of vanilla to add a bit more moisture to the dough.

  • Mary says:

    I would like to try all your recipes, but I try to copy them and most disappear before I can get them all copied down.

    • Amanda Rettke says:

      You could always hit the PRINT button. 🙂

  • Joyce Burghardt says:


  • Sarah says:

    Do you measure the pecans before or after they are finely chopped?

  • Carolyn says:

    This is definitely a 5 star recipe! I used cake and pastry flour as someone suggested and they were beautiful. Not dry, held together and tasted so good!
    My mother made a similar cookie with a whole maraschino cherry inside – called Mexican Wedding Cakes

  • Kayla says:

    I love snow balls.❣️❣️ I have to agree with some family and friends that mine are the best. I will definitely try yours. Thanks for posting! Merry Christmas 🎄 Kay

  • Julie A Austin says:

    Love ALL the cookie recipes!!!

  • Mary Kay says:

    Need the recipe for strawberry cheesecake pound cake

  • Haripriya says:

    I made the cookies for Christmas and it turned out perfectly. Today I made the second batch. It did resemble snowballs.. Thank you for this easy eggless recipe..