Pecan Snowball Cookies are a holiday classic made with basic pantry ingredients and just a few simple steps. These melt-in-your-mouth buttery pecan shortbread cookies are baked to perfection and rolled in powdered sugar.
Pecan Snowball Cookies
A cookie by many names.... Russian Tea Cakes, Mexican Wedding Cookies, Pecan Snowball Cookies.
While no one knows why this little cookie has so many names or how it came from so many cultures, one thing is for certain. Pecan Snowball Cookies have stood the test of time and deserve a place on your holiday cookie tray.
Every bite of these cute little snowball cookies is buttery and melts in your mouth, with just a slight nuttiness from the pecans and a little burst of sweet from the powdered sugar coating.
Pecan Snowball Cookies are easy to make with just basic pantry ingredients and a few simple steps. Kids will love helping to roll the dough into balls and dip into powdered sugar.
What Are Pecan Snowball Cookies?
Pecan snowball cookies are round, buttery cookies with the texture of shortbread with finely chopped pecans in the dough. They are rolled in powdered sugar after baking so that they're white and powdery, like snowballs!
Why is My Dough Crumbly?
The dough will be slightly dry as it's a shortbread-type cookie. If it's too crumbly and not holding shape at all, use warm hands to roll the dough into balls. The warmth will help keep dough together.
Why Did My Snowball Cookies Flatten?
This recipe should not flatten. They should be little balls. If your cookies have flattened, it's likely that you measured the flour or powdered sugar incorrectly as there are no other leavening agents. Double check your measurements.
Do You Have to Use Pecans for Snowball Cookies?
Nope, you can use any nut you want including walnuts, almonds, pistachios, or cashews. Just make sure the nuts are shelled, roasted, and finely chopped. Each nut gives the cookie a different unique flavor. You can even avoid nuts altogether and use the same amount of mini chocolate chips!
Pecan Snowball Cookie Variations
Whether you're looking to up the flavor factor or make them pretty, here are some variations to try!
- Nuts - Try other nuts, as mentioned above, such as walnuts, almonds, pistachios, or cashews.
- Cinnamon - Add about 1 tablespoon cinnamon to the powdered sugar before rolling for a cinnamon-sugar flavor.
- Sprinkles - Mix ½ cup rainbow or festive rainbow sprinkles into the dough. You can use them with the pecans or instead of the pecans.
- Chocolate Chips - Use 1 cup mini chocolate chips instead of pecans for a version the kids will love.
- Mint Chips - Use 1 cup peppermint or mint chips for a holiday festive version.
- Almond Extract - Sometimes I like to add just ¼ teaspoon almond extract to enhance the nutty flavor.
- Eggnog flavor - Add 1 teaspoon nutmeg to the cookie dough, along with ½ teaspoon rum extract.
Storing and Freezing Pecan Snowball Cookies
Cookies can be stored in an airtight container on the counter. Cookies stay fresh covered at room temperature for up to 1 week.
Baked cookies freeze well for up to three months in a freezer bag.
Unbaked cookie dough freezes well also, up to three months. Thaw overnight in the refrigerator then allow to come to room temperature and continue with step 5.
More Cookie Recipes You'll Love
- Peanut Butter Blossoms - these cute cookies feature a soft peanut butter cookie base adorned with a Hershey's kiss.
- Toffee Pretzel Cookies - soft, chewy cookies loaded with crunchy, salty pretzel pieces and sweet toffee bits.
- Gingersnaps - perfectly spiced with ginger and cinnamon with just the right amount of crisp edges and chewy center.
- Classic Snickerdoodles - soft cinnamon-sugar cookies that are a holiday classic and have a special place in my family's heart and our Christmas cookie tray.
- Hot Cocoa Cookies - rich cocoa cookies topped with a gooey melted marshmallow.
Pecan Snowball Cookies Video
Pecan Snowball Cookies
- 1 cup unsalted butter softened
- ½ cup powdered sugar
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
- 2¼ cups all purpose flour
- 1 cup finely chopped pecans
- 1 cup powdered sugar for dusting
- Preheat the oven to 350°F. Line 2 large baking sheets with silicone mats or parchment paper. Set aside.
- In a large mixing bowl, add butter and sugar, and cream until light and fluffy.
- Add salt and vanilla, and mix again to combine.
- Add flour and pecans, and mix until incorporated.
- Roll into one inch balls (about a teaspoon). Place on lined baking sheets about 2 inches apart.
- Bake for 11-13 minutes or until very lightly browned.
- Remove from oven and allow to cool until just cool enough to handle.
- Pour 1 cup powdered sugar. Gently roll cookies in sugar to coat and place on a cooling rack or piece of parchment paper.
- Once completely cooled, roll in powdered sugar once more.
- Storage: Cookies stay fresh covered at room temperature for up to 1 week.
- Freezer Directions: Baked cookies freeze well tightly wrapped for up to 3 months. Unbaked cookie dough will also freeze well for up to 3 months. To bake, thaw overnight in the refrigerator, then allow to come to room temperature and continue with step 5.
Never Miss a Thing!
Join our newsletter to get new recipes, tips, tricks, and tutorials every week!