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Buttery Pecan Snowball Cookies Recipe

Pecan Snowball cookies are rich, soft, nutty, airy and full of toasted pecans. These mildly sweet buttery shortbreads are one of the must have Christmas cookie recipe for the holidays.

pecan snowball cookies on a wooden board.

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We are kick starting holiday season with these Pecan wedding cookies. They are also known as Pecan snowball cookies, Russian tea cakes, Mexican wedding cookies, tea cakes or butter balls. They are buttery, festive looking and mildly sweet like these Cardamom cookies, Gluten free thumbprint cookies with almond flour or Almond flour cookies. They are perfect for any holiday cookie exchange or with your coffee for a sweet treat.

What are snowball cookies?

Snowball cookies are made with part butter, part flour, and part confectioners’ sugar. Some recipes contain nuts like pecans. There are no eggs or leavening agents in traditional snowball cookie recipes. Confectioners sugar is used to make the cookie dough as well as coating cooled cookies, which give them a snow ball look. Hence the name!

Pecan Snowball Cookies

Ingredients

Butter – Use good quality unsalted butter if possible

All purpose flour – We used unbleached all purpose flour

Confectioners sugar – Do not use regular granulated sugar.

Pecans – Use toasted pecans. It adds a wonderful nuttiness to the cookie.

Flavorings – Vanilla extract and salt

ingredients needed to make snowball cookies with pecans

Method

These buttery snowballs recipe are very easy to make with powdered sugar- Cream butter, confectioners sugar, vanilla extract and salt, until creamy. Mix in flour and chopped toasted pecans to form a dough. Chill dough for about 30 minutes or until slightly firm.

Pinch pecan balls dough into a tablespoon measure balls, bake at 350 degrees, until the bottom is deep golden brown. Cool for about 5 minutes.

Roll warm cookies in confectioners sugar, cool and roll again.

Pecan cookie dough ball ready to be shaped into balls.

Expert tips

Use room temperature unsalted butter.

Confectioners sugar is the same as powdered sugar found in grocery stores.

Chop the nuts very fine (I prefer processing them in a mini food processor but don’t make them powdery)

Pull the snowballs out of the oven when the bottoms have browned but the tops are still pale in color.

Tossing the snowball cookies in powdered sugar TWICE is key. Toss them once while still warm so that the powdered sugar starts to kind of seep into the cookie. Then a second time once cooled! 

How to toast Pecans?

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Place pecans on a baking sheet. Toast until browned and fragrant, stirring occasionally, about 7 to 10 minutes. 
  3. Remove from oven and let cool completely. Store in a zip lock bag for up to a week.

How to store cookies?

Cookies can be stored in a covered container at room temperature for 4 to 5 days.

Freezing instructions

Baked cookies (without sugar coating) can be frozen for up to 3 months.

Sugar coated cookies are perfect to be frozen – Place them in a baking sheet and freeze until hard, then transfer them to a sealed freezer safe container and freeze for up to 3 months.

To thaw – Remove frozen cookies out of the container and place them on a plate (in a single layer) and let come to room temperature (uncovered). You can roll the cookies in more powdered sugar to give them a fresh look.

Cookie dough can be frozen for up to 3 months. Thaw overnight in refrigerator and then at room temperature to shape into balls.

baked pecan cookies.

Variations

Replace pecans with other type of nuts like chopped raw pistachios, cashews, walnuts, toasted almonds.

Replace butter with ghee.

Mix in mini chocolate chips or chopped chocolate chips to the dough.

How to package them for gift giving during Christmas? I like to place each cookie in a mini cupcake liner, which not makes a pretty presentation, but also is less messy.

More Cookie Recipes:

baked cookie ball in a bowl of confectioners sugar.
pecan wedding cookies on a wooden board

Frequently asked questions

Why do my snowball cookies go flat?

Powdered sugar contains a portion of cornstarch which helps them retain a round shape after baking. So, using regular white granulated sugar might flatten them while baking.

How long do pecan cookies last?

They are good for about a week stored at room temperature or frozen for up to 3 months.

More Holiday Recipes:

pecan cookies with powdered sugar

More Cookies for Holidays:

Yield: 18 Cookies

Buttery Pecan Snowball Cookies Recipe

pecan snowball cookies on a board

Pecan Snowball cookies are rich, soft, nutty, airy and full of toasted pecans. These mildly sweet buttery shortbreads are one of the must have Christmas cookie recipe for the holidays.

Ingredients

Instructions

1. Add butter, 1/4 cup confectioners sugar, vanilla extract and salt into a medium bowl and beat with a hand held electric beater for about 2 minutes or creamy.

2. Add all purpose flour continue beating, until the dough comes together (begin slow and build to medium). Mix in chopped pecans.

3. Cover the bowl tightly with plastic wrap and chill for at least 30 minutes (or up to 2 days). If chilling for more than 30 minutes, let dough sit at room temperature for at least an hour before rolling into balls.

4. Pre heat oven to 350°F (177°C) and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

5. Roll about 1 tablespoon measure dough into a smooth ball and place on the prepared baking sheet, spacing about an inch apart.

6. Bake cookies until golden brown on the bottom edges but barely brown on top, about 17 to 20 minutes.

7. Place baking pan on a wire rack and cool for about 5 minutes. Place remaining confectioners sugar in a shallow bowl, gently roll warm cookies in the confectioners sugar to coat on all sides. Place them on a plate to cool completely.

8. Roll them again in confectioners sugar when cooled (this will ensure that the sugar sticks).

Notes

Chop pecans very fine (I prefer processing them in a mini food processor but don’t make them powdery)

To toast Pecans-

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Place pecans on a baking sheet. Toast until browned and fragrant, stirring occasionally, about 7 to 10 minutes. 
  3. Remove from oven and let cool completely. Store in a zip lock bag for up to a week.


Confectioners sugar is the same as powdered sugar found in grocery stores.

To store - Cookies can be stored in a covered container at room temperature for 4 to 5 days.

Freezing instructions

Baked cookies (without sugar coating) can be frozen for up to 3 months.

Sugar coated cookies are perfect to be frozen – Place them in a baking sheet and freeze until hard, then transfer them to a sealed freezer safe container and freeze for up to 3 months.

To thaw – Remove frozen cookies out of the container and place them on a plate (in a single layer) and let come to room temperature (uncovered). You can roll the cookies in more powdered sugar to give them a fresh look.

Cookie dough can be frozen for up to 3 months. Thaw overnight in refrigerator and then at room temperature to shape into balls.

Nutrition Information:

Yield:

18

Serving Size:

1

Amount Per Serving: Calories: 135Total Fat: 9gSaturated Fat: 4gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 5gCholesterol: 14mgSodium: 15mgCarbohydrates: 12gFiber: 1gSugar: 6gProtein: 1g

I am not a certified dietician or nutritionist. The information is a product of online calculator such as Nutrifox.com, although Kitchen at Hoskins attempts to provide accurate nutritional information, these figures should be considered estimates and not be construed as a guarantee. Varying factors such as product types or brands purchased, produce, and the way ingredients are processed change the nutritional information in any recipe. Furthermore, different online calculators provide different results depending on their fact algorithms. Under no circumstances will Kitchen at Hoskins be responsible for any loss or damage resulting for your reliance on the nutritional information. To obtain the most accurate nutritional information in a given recipe, you should calculate the nutritional information with the actual ingredients used in your recipe, using your preferred nutrition calculator. You are solely responsible for all decisions pertaining to your health and ensuring that any nutritional information provided is accurate.

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