What do you get when you mix a favorite Christmas cookie dessert recipe with peppermint extract? Peppermint Snowball Cookies! This recipe is perfect for the holiday season and will quickly become your new go-to. You can make them for any occasion or just because, but I guarantee that they’ll be a hit. It’s hard to resist the sweet crunch of these cookies that have a hint of peppermint flavor in every bite.
Whether you call them crescent cookies, Swedish cookies, Mexican Wedding Cookies, Russian Tea Cakes, or Snowball cookies— these buttery balls of sweet goodness melt-in-your-mouth and are a holiday cookie favorite. The best part is they are relatively inexpensive to make, and you can use peppermint candies that are available year-round.
I love making snowball cookies because they are super easy! You don’t even have to chill the dough which is huge if you are low on time! Plus, they are made with pantry staples. Each batch makes roughly 21 cookies which will go quickly because they are *that* good!
What are Snowball Cookies?
Snowball cookies are typically made of a handful of ingredients which include flour, sugar, butter, vanilla extract, and salt. However, they taste amazing with adds-ins like crushed walnuts, pecans, pistachios, or even maraschino cherries. In this case we even added in pure peppermint extract and crushed peppermint. Once they are baked, they are rolled in confectionary sugar to make a “snowball” appearance. When it comes to flavor and texture, they have a melt-in-your-mouth, soft, buttery flavor.
How to Make Snowball Cookies
Snowball cookies are probably the easiest type of cookie to make. Adding peppermint crushed candies and extract to them is just as easy and provides a subtle flavor and crunch to these melt-in-your-mouth cookies.
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
- In a stand mixer, mix the butter and sugar. Add in the extracts, and slowly add the flour.
- Once the dough comes together, pluck off tablespoon-sized dough balls.
- Add them to a parchment-lined baking sheet and bake for 12-13 minutes.
- Once they are out of the oven, roll them in powdered sugar once, and again when they are cooled to make the “snowball” appearance. Enjoy!
How to Prevent Snowball Cookies from Flattening
It is totally normal for snowball cookies to flatten a bit when baking. They should have a dome shaped top and a flatter bottom which is okay. However, they are pretty finicky cookies if you do not get things just right. Here are some tips to prevent your snowball cookies from flattening into little pancakes.
- Use room temperature butter that is just soft to the touch (about 1 hour on the counter), but not melted. Melted or butter that is too hot will cause the cookies to spread.
- Measure the flour & sugar appropriately. Too little flour, or too much sugar will cause these cookies to flatten. Be sure to level the dry ingredients to ensure they are measured properly.
- Preheat the oven and be sure the rack is adjusted to the center position. I used a lighter colored baking pan when baking.
- While these cookies normally do not need to have their dough chilled, sometimes our homes get hot. Naturally, this dough has a nonstick, playdough-like texture. If your dough is overly sticky, refrigerate the dough for one hour to chill the dough and prevent your cookies from spreading.
The Best Way to Crush Peppermint Candies
Crushed peppermint can make an excellent topping, or addition to holiday baked goods like these cookies. However, it can be tricky getting the peppermint crushed just right. Unfortunately, crushed peppermint chunks can becomes sticky and bind to one another creating a blob of peppermint that will be stickier than superglue. But, through trial and error, I have some good tips to get crushed peppermint.
- First, put your peppermints or candy canes in the freezer for 30 minutes to make them more brittle. This will also help prevent them from becoming sticky when crushed.
- Add mints or peppermints to a sealable zippered plastic freezer bag. Place the sealed bag over on kitchen towel on a wooden cutting board. The towel will help muffle the sound the hammer, rolling pin, or meat tenderizer will create when you gently smash the bag of candy.
- Gently hammer, smash, or roll over the candies to crush them into smaller pieces, but not total dust.
- Take the mixture out of the bag and store it in an airtight container in a cool, dry place with a tiny bit of cornstarch to prevent the chunks from sticking together. For every 1/2 cup of crushed candy, add a teaspoon of cornstarch to the mixture.
Freezing Snowball Cookies
These cookies go super fast, but if you want to get a head start on baking your peppermint snowball cookies the good news is you can freeze them after they are baked.
Once your snowball cookies have baked, and cooled, ((do not add powdered sugar to them)) place them on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper or wax paper. Place the baking sheet in the freezer and freeze until solid (overnight is best). Remove the cookies from the tray and store in large, airtight freezer bags for up to 3 months.
When you want to enjoy them, allow them to thaw in the refrigerator and then roll them in powdered sugar/crushed peppermint before serving.
More Christmas Cookie Recipes
The holiday season is all about the Christmas cookies! Here are a few of our favorite tried and tested recipes for the best cookies of the season.
- Flourless Chocolate Peppermint Cookies
- Chewy Christmas Chocolate Chip Cookies
- Chewy Reese’s Chocolate Chip Cookies
- Pistachio Meltaway Cookies
- Chocolate Peppermint Cake Mix Cookies
Peppermint Snowball Cookies
- Large Baking Sheet
- Stand mixer fitted with paddle attachment
- oven (adjusted to the center rack position)
- cutting board
- kitchen towel
- rolling pin or rubber mallet (to crush candy canes)
- 1 cup unsalted butter room temperature
- ½ cup confectionary sugar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- ½ teaspoon peppermint extract
- 2¼ cups all-purpose flour
- ¼ cup crushed peppermint candies
- ¾ cup confectionary sugar
- 1 tablespoon crushed peppermint candies
- Preheat the oven to 350° degrees F. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper. Fit your stand mixer with the paddle attachment.
- In a stand mixer, mix the butter and sugar. Add in the extracts, and slowly add the flour, and the crushed peppermint. Once the dough comes together, remove it from the stand mixer.
- Pluck off tablespoon-sized dough balls. of cookie dough and roll them in your hands to form a ball. Add each ball to the parchment-lined baking sheet about 2 inches apart.
- Bake cookie balls for 12-13 minutes. Once they are out of the oven, allow them to cool for 5 minutes before rolling them in powdered sugar. Then, repeat the process and roll them in powdered sugar and the crushed candy cane to make the "snowball" appearance. Enjoy!