Traditional melt in your mouth snowball cookies are made fun with a tasty twist! These butter balls contain pistachio chunks and maraschino cherries for a delicious and fun twist on a classic.
Whether you call these snowball, Swedish, crescent, butterball, or Mexican Wedding cookies these are amazing! These cookies melt in your mouth, and I’m not kidding! One soft and tasty bite and you will be HOOKED!
What Makes this Recipe a Keeper
Sure, you could bake up a batch of regular snowball cookies, but the nuts and chopped cherries in these cookies transform them into a festive treat.
- Easy to Make- These cookies do not require any special equipment to make! Just a mixing bowl and spoon is all you need to combine the dough. Once your butter is softened, these will take an hour from start to finish.
- Delicious flavor- If you love the flavor combo of cherry almond, you will love these cookies! The dough is so fragrant smelling when mixing, and during baking.
- Simple Ingredients- Even if you do not have or like pistachios, you can substitute in any chopped nuts you might have on-hand. This recipe does not require any fancy ingredients, and are fairly quick.
Ingredients for Cherry Pistachio Snowball Cookies
You will need some simple ingredients you might have in your pantry. Cake flour, granulated sugar, powdered sugar, almond, and vanilla extract, and unsalted butter are the staples. Maraschino cherries, and chopped pistachios are also folded in at the end.
How to Make Cherry Pistachio Snowballs
You can easily make these Cherry Pistachio Snowballs right at home. Gather all your ingredients and supplies. You do not need to preheat your oven right away since you need to chill this dough.
Step 1- Add you flour, granulated sugar, butter, and extracts to a large mixing bowl. Mix until dough is combined and thick. You can use a stand mixer if you want, but it is not required.
Step 2- Fold in the nuts and drained, and patted dry chopped cherries.
Step 3- Cover dough and refrigerate to chill for 30 minutes.
Step 4- At the 25 minute mark of chilling your dough, preheat the oven to 325 degrees Fahrenheit.
Step 5- Scoop out tablespoon-sized dough balls and place them 1-2″ apart on a large, parchment-lined baking sheet.
Step 6- Bake for 18-22 minutes or until bottoms of the cookies are golden brown. Mine were done at the 18-minute mark.
Step 7- Remove cookies from oven, and allow them to cool for 10 minutes before rolling them in powdered sugar.
Step 8- Enjoy the fruits of you labor!
Substitutions for Cherry Snowball Cookies
Nuts- IF you do not like or have pistachios on-hand, you can use any unsalted nut you might have on-hand.
Extracts– IF you do not have almond extract use a full teaspoon of vanilla extract. Additionally, if you do not have vanilla extract, use a full teaspoon of almond extract.
I do not recommend using dry cherries for this recipe. They do not taste as good at all.
Nuts- If you do not have unsalted pistachios, you can use salted. My tip is to rinse the salted nuts under cool water. Pat them dry with a paper towel before chopping them–works like a charm.
Cherries- You will need to have your maraschino cherries as dry as possible. Drain the liquid from the jar, and then add the cherries to a colander. Using a paper towel, press the cherries into the colander to strain any excess liquid. You want them to be moist, but not soaking wet.
Dough- These cookies form best when the butter is room temperature, and the dough is chilled. Also, by using parchment paper you help the cookies bake nicely to a slightly golden brown perfection.
Storing these cookies
To store these cookies, allow them to fully cool or the powdered sugar will feel wet. Once cooled, store any leftovers loosely in an airtight container.
To freeze these cookies from baking, simple bake according to the directions, and then allow them to cool before freezing them on a lined baking sheet in a single layer.
Before serving, allow them to thaw and then roll them in powdered sugar. These keep up to 3 months in the freezer when properly stored in an airtight container.
More Christmas Cookies
Cherry Pistachio Snowball Cookies
- Large Baking Sheet
- tablespoon cookie scooper
- parchment paper
- large mixing bowl
- Wooden Spoon
- 2 cups cake flour *you can also use all-purpose flour
- 1 cup unsalted butter *equals 2 sticks, softened to room temperature
- ¼ cup granulated sugar
- ½ teaspoon almond extract
- ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
- ½ cup maraschino cherries drained, and chopped
- ½ cup unsalted pistachios chopped
- ¾ cup powdered sugar For rolling
- Remove liquid from a 12-ounce jar of maraschino cherries. Add cherries to a colander, and cover them with paper towels. Press them to remove all liquid. Excess liquid will ruin the dough. They should be moist, but not soaking wet.
- Add flour, unsalted butter, granulated sugar, and extract to a mixing bowl. Mix until combined.
- Fold in cherries and nuts, and mix to combine.
- Cover bowl with plastic wrap or a cover and place it in the fridge to chill the dough for 30 minutes.
- Preheat oven to 325°F. Line a large baking tray with parchment paper.
- Use a tablespoon-sized cookie scoop, form tablespoon-sized dough balls. These cookies generally do not spread so you only need about 2 inches space between cookies.
- Bake cookies for 18-22 minutes or until cookies feel firm with slightly golden brown bottoms. These cookies are not supposed to be crunchy, but are soft-baked low, and slow.
- Once cookies have baked, add them 1-2 at a time to a shallow dish filled with the powdered sugar. Roll balls to cover them with sugar.
- Once cookies are coated in sugar, enjoy them! Store any leftovers in an airtight container once fully cooled.