Easy Snowball Cookies

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Snowball Cookies are easy to make with just a handful of pantry staples. The addition of pistachios and cranberries give this snowball cookie recipe the perfect amount of holiday flavor.

Cookie lovers why not check out these Christmas Shortbread Cookies, Polish Christmas Cookies and Cranberry Thumbprint Cookies.

Post includes Weight Watchers points.

the finished snowball cookies packaged in red polka dot paper

Snowball Christmas cookies are known by many names: Mexican wedding cookies, Russian tea cakes, butterballs, and snowdrops. But no matter what you call them, snowball cookies are a classic holiday cookie that you will want to make and enjoy many times throughout the season.

What Are Snowball Cookies?

Snowball cookies combine ground nuts with butter, sugar, and flour for a shortbread style cookie that’s delightfully flaky. They are named after the shape and the generous dusting of powdered sugar coating, which is also what makes them a beloved traditional Christmas cookie.

Making these cookies is sooooo easy, and seeing a pile of perfectly rolled snowballs on a plate really symbolizes winter fun. They are perfect for making with the kids on a snow day and simple enough to make for a cookie swap or holiday party. What’s more, you probably already have all of the ingredients in your pantry.

two stacked Christmas snowball cookies with a bite out of the one on top

Why You’ll Love These

  • Make-Ahead – The dough for these cookies can be made several days in advance so you can bake when ready.
  • Perfect for Parties or Cookie Swaps – This recipe is easy to make so it’s perfect for doubling or tripling when you need to make a large number of cookies.
  • Pantry Friendly – There are only 8 ingredients in these Christmas cookies and you probably have all of them in your pantry.

Tools Needed

Ready to learn how to make these delightful snowball Christmas cookies? Gather your ingredients and I will show you..…

How To Make Snowball Cookies

Get the complete ingredients list and instructions from the recipe card below.

  1. Preheat oven to 350F / 176C.
  2. Use a food processor to finely chop the nuts and cranberries and then set them aside.
  3. Combine a half-cup of the powdered sugar, butter, vanilla extract, and salt with an electric mixer.
  4. Add the flour in two batches until combined, then use a spatula to stir in the nuts and cranberries.
  5. Wrap the dough in plastic and refrigerate for 2 hours.
  6. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper and lightly spray with cooking spray.
  7. Form dough into 1-inch balls and place onto cookie sheet at least 1 inch apart. Bake for 10-15 minutes, or until golden.
  8. Allow the cookies to cool for at least 5 minutes, then roll each one in powdered sugar, allow to set another 5 minutes, then coat again.
top down view of a batch of powdered sugar cookies placed on a counter

Expert Recipe Tips

  • Make sure to use room-temperature butter when making the cookies.
  • For best results, when shaping these cookies refrigerate the dough for at least an hour before baking.
  • It may be tempting to make bigger cookies but keep to a 1-tablespoon-sized cookie ball for the best results.
  • Let the cookies cool for at least 5 minutes before coating with powdered sugar.

Delicious Variations

Mexican wedding snowball cookies are melt-in-your-mouth delicious as is, but it can be fun to mix things up and make some of these recipe swaps;

  • Try Different Nuts – This recipe calls for pistachios and almonds but pecans and walnuts are a great option as well.
  • Try Different Fruit – Cranberries are festive but other dried fruits such as raisins, golden raisins, or dried cherries would work as well.
  • Add Chocolate – Mix in some mini chocolate chips or try dipping the finished cookies in a bit of melted chocolate for an extra special treat.
two finished cookies stacked and with a piece removed from the one on top

Meal Prep and Prep Ahead

This Christmas cookie recipe is perfect for prepping ahead.

Prep Ahead – The dough for these cookies will keep well in the fridge for several days. Make a batch ahead of time, store in the fridge, and then bake when ready.

Store – These powdered sugar cookies will keep well in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 5 days.

Freeze – These cookies are just as good from the freezer as they are when they are freshly baked. Follow the handy tips below for how to freeze these.

  • After the cookies have cooled, place them into freezer bags so they aren’t touching each other.
  • Remove as much air as possible, seal the bags and freeze.
  • Thaw the cookies overnight in the fridge then let them come to room temperature.
  • Give them a fresh coating of powdered sugar before serving.
  • Use your frozen cookies within 4 to 6 weeks.
close up view of one snowball cookie with a bite removed

FAQs

How Do I Chop The Nuts?

It’s important to use well-ground nuts in this recipe. Large chunks of nuts may prevent these cookies from holding their shape. The best way to finely chop the nuts for this recipe is in a food processor. Simply add the nuts to the bowl and pulse until you have achieved a texture similar to a fine meal.

Can I Make These Cookies into Other Shapes?

While we still recommend that you keep these cookies fairly small, the balls can be flattened with a juice glass before they are baked to create a more traditional cookie shape.

Why Did the Powdered Sugar Disappear After I Rolled the Cookies?

If you roll the cookies in the powdered sugar while they are still hot, the powdered sugar will melt into the cookies. If it seems that the powdery dusting has disappeared, you can give them another coating of sugar after they cool.

Christmas snowball cookies on a counter with two that are broken in half

More Christmas Recipes

Weight Watchers Points

There are 6 Blue Plan SmartPoints in one serving of this.

the finished snowball cookies recipe

Thank you for reading my powdered sugar cookie recipe post. And please come visit again as I continue to slice, dice, and dream up affordable Air Fryer recipes, Instant Pot Recipes, Southern Recipes, and more. Thanks for supporting Recipes from a Pantry, food blog.

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the finished snowball cookies packaged in red polka dot paper
Print Recipe
5 from 3 votes

Snowball Cookies

This beloved Christmas Cookie recipe is easy to make with a handful of pantry staples.
Prep Time15 minutes
Cook Time15 minutes
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American, Western
Servings: 24
Calories: 130kcal
Author: Bintu Hardy

Ingredients

  • ½ cup powdered sugar
  • ¾ cup butter softened
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 2 cups flour
  • 3 tablespoons pistachios finely chopped
  • 3 tablespoons dried cranberries finely chopped
  • 1 cup powdered sugar for rolling

Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 350F / 176C.
  • Use a food processor to finely chop the nuts and cranberries and then set them aside.
  • Combine a half-cup of the powdered sugar, butter, vanilla extract, and salt with an electric mixer.
  • Add the flour in two batches until combined, then use a spatula to stir in the nuts and cranberries.
  • Wrap the dough in plastic and refrigerate for 2 hours.
  • Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper and lightly spray with cooking spray.
  • Form dough into 1-inch balls and place onto cookie sheet at least 1 inch apart. Bake for 10-15 minutes, or until golden.
  • Allow the cookies to cool for at least 5 minutes, then roll each one in powdered sugar, allow to set another 5 minutes, then coat again.
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Notes

  • Prefer to have chicken you can slice instead of shred? Then cook for a shorter amount of time.
  • Be sure to always check the internal temperature of your chicken with a meat thermometer. When the temperature reaches 165F / 74C, the chicken is cooked and safe to eat.
  • You can use chipotle paste instead of chipotle pepper flakes.
  • When reheating your Slow Cooker Enchiladas, you may want to add some extra enchilada sauce to help prevent the chicken from drying out. 
  • Slow Cookers and crockpots can cook at different temperatures. Check your make, model and consult the manual for recommended cooking times. 

Nutrition

Calories: 130kcal | Carbohydrates: 17g | Protein: 1g | Fat: 6g | Saturated Fat: 4g | Cholesterol: 15mg | Sodium: 100mg | Potassium: 22mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 9g | Vitamin A: 181IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 4mg | Iron: 1mg

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Recipe Rating




6 Comments

  1. 5 stars
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  2. 5 stars
    These are such a holiday classic! Can you even say you did a cookie exchange without adding these delicious ones?

  3. These snowball cookies look perfectly crumbly and delicious. Love that pistachio and cranberry combination, perfect for Christmas.