Snowball cookies, also known as Russian tea cakes, are a classic Christmas cookie that is loved by people of all ages. They are buttery, nutty, and melt-in-your-mouth delicious. They get their name from their powdered sugar coating which gives them a white, snowy appearance, making them perfect for the holiday season.
If you haven’t tried Snowball cookies, you’re missing out. These budget-friendly, holiday cookies have a buttery, nutty, melt-in-your-mouth deliciousness that is hard to resist. They are an easy cookie for beginner bakers and will quickly become a Christmas tradition for your family.
I love putting these in my Christmas cookie trays because they bake up quick and are cheap. Everyone always goes straight for these iconic cookies that get a space alongside my Swedish Heirloom Cookies, Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies, and my Soft and Chewy Cinnamon Cookies.
Why I Love Snowball Cookies
After your first bite, it will be clear how much there is to love about these cookies.
- They are fun to make with kids. Snowball cookies are a great activity to do with kids during the holidays. Kids love rolling the dough into balls and coating them in powdered sugar.
- They are a make-ahead cookie. Snowball cookies can be baked and stored in an airtight container for up to 3 days. This makes them a convenient cookie to have on hand for holiday gatherings.
- They are affordable to make. Snowball cookies are a budget-friendly cookie to make. They require only a few simple ingredients that are readily available at most grocery stores.
How to Make Snowball Cookies
Snowball cookies are a delicious and easy-to-make treat that is perfect for any occasion. Here are the steps involved in baking these buttery cookies. Find the printable recipe below.
- Cream together the butter, powdered sugar, and vanilla extract. This will create a light and fluffy mixture.
- Add the flour, pecans, and salt to the butter mixture and mix until just combined. Be careful not to overmix, as this can make the cookies tough.
- Shape the dough into 1-inch balls and place them on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Space the cookies about 2 inches apart so that they have room to spread.
- Bake the cookies in a preheated oven at 350 degrees Fahrenheit for 12-15 minutes, or until they are golden brown.
- While the cookies are still warm, roll them in powdered sugar. This will give them a classic snowball appearance.
- Let the cookies cool completely on a wire rack before rolling them in powdered sugar again. This will help to ensure that the sugar sticks to the cookies.
How to Store Snowball Cookies
Completely cooled snowball cookies can be stored in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 3 days. If you want to store them for longer, you can freeze them for up to 2 months.
To store snowball cookies at room temperature, place them in a single layer in an airtight container. If you need to stack the cookies, place a piece of parchment paper between each layer to prevent them from sticking together.
To freeze snowball cookies, place them in a single layer on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Freeze for 2-3 hours, or until the cookies are solid. Once frozen, transfer the cookies to a freezer-safe bag or container.
To thaw snowball cookies, place them in the refrigerator overnight. Once thawed, the cookies can be rolled in powdered sugar again and enjoyed.
Snowball Cookie Tips:
- For extra nutty flavor, toast the pecans or walnuts before chopping them.
- If you want to make the cookies ahead of time, you can bake them and let them cool completely. Then, store them in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 3 days. Roll the cookies in the powdered sugar just before serving.
- To make the cookies extra festive, you can add a pinch of red or green food coloring to the dough before baking.
Snowball Cookie Variations:
- For chocolate snowball cookies, add 1/2 cup of unsweetened cocoa powder to the dough.
- For lemon snowball cookies, add 1 teaspoon of lemon zest and 1/2 teaspoon of lemon extract to the dough.
- For almond snowball cookies, add 1 teaspoon of almond extract to the dough.
More Christmas Cookies to Try
- oven adjusted to the center rack position
- Large Baking Sheet
- parchment paper
- meauring cups & spoons
- cookie scooper
- 1 cup unsalted butter room temperature *highly important step
- ½ cup powdered sugar
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 cup Finely chopped pecans *can also use walnuts
- 1 cup powdered sugar *for rolling the warm cookies
- In a stand mixer, beat butter and powdered sugar until creamed.
- Add the salt and vanilla extract scraping down the sides of the bowl if needed.
- Add chopped nuts and flour and beat on low until combined.
- Scrape down dough and add it to plastic wrap. Cover completely and chill for at least 2 hours in the refridgerator.
- Line baking sheet(s) with parchment paper and preheat the oven to 350℉.
- Using a teaspoon sized cookie scooper, roll out dough into tiny, one inch balls.
- Bake for 10-12 minutes or until lighty browned and firm to the touch.
- Allow cookies to cool for 10 minutes before rolling them in powdered sugar; repeat the baking process.