Easy Pecan Snowball Cookie Recipe

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This is the very best easy pecan snowball cookie recipe right here. The cookies are light, and buttery, and so simple to make. They’ll become one of your favorite holiday cookies, if they aren’t already.

Pecan snowball cookies sitting in a bowl with a jar of milk sitting next to them.

More than just a Christmas cookie

You may know these as Mexican Wedding Cake Cookies, Russian Tea Cakes, Snowball Cookies, Pecan Snowball Cookies, or Snowdrop Cookies, but they’re all about the same butter-based, nutty, powdered sugary little cookies or little-balls-of-pecan-yumminess, as I like to call them.

This recipe is so simple, you’ll want to make them all year round (*cough, cough* like me).

Process shots of how to make pecan snowball cookies.

Let’s make the cookies

  1. Start by creaming the butter, sea salt, and powdered sugar until the powdered sugar is well incorporated and a dough forms.
  2. Add the vanilla and continue mixing for another minute or so.
Process shots of how to make pecan snowball cookies.
  1. Add the flour slowly while continuing to mix the dough. A dense, crumbly dough will form.
  2. Lastly, fold in the finely chopped pecans. The smaller the pieces the better here.
Process shots of how to make pecan snowball cookies.
  1. Then scoop the cookies out, and place them on a lined cookie sheet to bake. No need to roll these with your hands, unless you really want to. Just scoop ’em and plop ’em.

An important note about the dough

This is a very dry and crumbly dough; this is what we’re looking for. If the dough is too wet, the cookies will spread out during baking.

Process shots of how to make pecan snowball cookies.
  1. After about 10 minutes in the oven at 350 degrees, the cookies will be barely brown on the bottom and ready to come out.
  2. Once they’re completely cool, a quick roll in some powdered sugar will finish them off!

Why this is the very best easy pecan snowball cookie recipe

  • This is a small-batch recipe, so you won’t have an excess of cookies to consume (unless, of course you want to – then see #2).
  • You can easily double the recipe to make an even 4 dozen cookies.
  • There is no rolling ‘required’ for this recipe – just mix, scoop, plop, and bake. However, if you want your cookies to be perfectly round, you can always hand roll them prior to baking them aka the old-fashioned way.
  • The cookies need to be completely cool before rolling them in powdered sugar or the powdered sugar will melt and become sticky.
Cookies covered in powdered sugar sitting on a wire rack with a red and white striped napkin underneath them.

On a personal note…

Let me wrap up this post with a little story about these cookies, because it’s a special one – in honor of my Dad ❤️.

Pecan snowballs were always his very favorite Christmas cookie. He could eat a whole batch on his own (yes, all 18!). And because of that, he was very protective of these cookies when they were around.

I clearly remember the look on his face when I’d go to grab one from the paper plate on the kitchen counter that was covered in wrinkled up, tattered tin foil (because he’d been in and out of them a zillion times already). It was a look like, “hey Tine, are you sure you want to do that?” with a hint of a smile on the corners of his lips.

A closeup of cookies covered in powdered sugar sitting in a white bowl with a jar of milk next to them.

My response was always “yep, Dad, I’m sure!” I’d grab a cookie, maybe even two; one in each hand, and watch him shake his head in disbelief that I, his precious daughter, would steal his Christmas cookies! Chomp, chomp, chomp! I loved it.

It was a running joke in our family that my mom made them ‘just’ for him, but the funny thing was, I would eat just as many as him! It was good times.

So there you go, this is the pecan snowball cookie recipe that has been around my family as long as I can remember. They’re truly the best.

The best easy pecan snowball cookie recipe! The perfect holiday cookie!

Easy Pecan Snowball Cookie Recipe

By: Kristine Underwood
A simple and traditional recipe for rich, buttery, and nutty pecan snowball cookies.
4.75 from 24 votes
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 20 minutes
Course Sweets & Dessert
Cuisine American
Servings 24 cookies
Calories 82 kcal

ingredients
 
 

  • 1/2 cup butter, unsalted
  • 1/2 cup powdered sugar + more for rolling
  • 1 cup flour
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1/4 tsp sea salt
  • 2/3 cup pecans, finely chopped

INSTRUCTIONS

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees and line three baking sheets with parchment paper.
  • In a medium bowl, cream butter, salt, and powdered sugar together with an electric mixer on medium speed for 1-2 minutes, until smooth and creamy.
    1/2 cup butter, unsalted, 1/2 cup powdered sugar + more for rolling, 1/4 tsp sea salt
  • Pour in vanilla and continue mixing for another minute.
    1 tsp vanilla
  • Add flour slowly while continuing to mix. A dense, crumbly dough will form.
    1 cup flour
  • Fold in finely chopped pecans.
    2/3 cup pecans, finely chopped
  • Using a 1.5 TBS cookie scoop, scoop dough and place on a lined baking sheet 2 inches apart or roll into balls using your hands before placing them on the cookie sheet.
  • Bake one pan at a time, in the middle of the oven for 10 minutes, rotating the pan halfway through baking.
  • Let cookies cool on the baking sheet for a minute or two, prior to transferring to a wire rack to cool completely.
  • When cookie are completely cool, generously roll them in powdered sugar.
  • Store cookies in an airtight container for up to 1 week or freeze for up to three months.

Notes

Make sure to read the cookie baking tips to get answers to common questions about baking cookies.

Nutrition

Serving: 1 cookieCalories: 82kcalCarbohydrates: 7gProtein: 1gFat: 6gSaturated Fat: 3gPolyunsaturated Fat: 1gMonounsaturated Fat: 2gTrans Fat: 0.2gCholesterol: 10mgSodium: 55mgPotassium: 18mgFiber: 0.4gSugar: 3gVitamin A: 120IUVitamin C: 0.03mgCalcium: 4mgIron: 0.3mg
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31 Comments

  1. I’ve been looking for a recipe like this forever! Thanks. Love these at Christmas!!!

  2. These are stunning! I never loved these as a kid, but I loved helping my mom make them every Christmas. I am pinning your recipe to share now and make later 🙂 Thanks for the gorgeous recipe!

    1. Thank you so much Traci! I know what you mean; I don’t think I truly appreciated these cookies until I was an adult and now, they’re my favorite. Hope you enjoy them too!

  3. Yum! These would be the perfect treat for a cookie swap. I love a good pecan cookie and these look scrumptious!

    1. Oh my gosh, yes Jenni! These would be perfect for that! Thank you so much! ?

  4. These cookies are so easy to make! I can’t wait to make them for Christmas. And thank you for sharing why these cookies are meaningful for you; I love to cook precisely because it helps me to preserve precious memories.

    1. I couldn’t agree more Daniela, so much history is wrapped up in recipes and techniques. ❤️

  5. What a fantastic cookie recipe! It’s just perfect for the holiday season, I can’t wait to try them. I love the pecans, they’re my favorite nut!

    1. Thanks so much Meeta! I love pecans too, they’re so great in baked goods! Hope you enjoy the cookies!

  6. I love pecans in cookies, especially snowball cookies like these! Pinning!

    1. Same! I could eat them all, they’re so dang good! Thanks so much, Emily! ?

  7. Wow gorgeous! Snowball cookies are my favorite, they’re perfect for tea time!

    1. They are so perfect with tea, Camila! Then it’s acceptable to eat them all year long, right? ?

  8. Rosina M Morrone-Reeves says:

    Kristine,
    Your cookies look like they will melt in your mouth at first bite, your photos are wonderful! My children and grandchildren absolutely love this cookie and you are correct, there are many names for it. Another name is also “Russian Tea Cakes” This was the very first cookie my sister and I attempted to make from our very first Betty Crocker Cookbook from our Home Economics Class in Jr. High School back in the 60’s. It quickly became our most loved cookie to make at Christmas or anytime for years to come! I love the recipe you shared and I am looking forward to trying yours out soon! My sister is coming to visit soon and I am anxious to share this with her too!
    Thank you for sharing your recipe for this timeless cookie!

    1. Hi Rosina! Oh my goodness, thank you so much! I can honestly say that yes, the cookies do melt in your mouth – SO GOOD! I have actually heard the name ‘Russian Tea Cakes’ too, but had completely forgotten about it, thank you for reminding me. I might actually edit this post and add that in there. Such a cute story about your sister too; I remember taking Home Ec also, in fact it was my favorite class, but I never got to make these cookies until I was an adult. I hope you and your sister have some good laughs while baking up a batch of these whenever you’re together, what wonderful memories. Happy baking and thank you so much for taking the time to share your story with me! ?

  9. Shadi Hasanzadenemati says:

    I love snowball cookies, they’re my favorite! These would be awesome with a cup of tea!

    1. Me too Shadi, me too! Someone else suggested these cookies with tea, and I have to say – I agree 100%! #cookiesandteaallyearlong

  10. Love these cookies! Especially during the holidays!!! So glad you shared it!

  11. These look amazing! I’ve eaten these cookies around Christmas but never tried to make my own – maybe this year is the year!

    1. Thank you so much Danielle! Oh you should, they’re so super easy you’ll be shocked! Happy baking! ☺️

  12. Sandie Rabena says:

    Made these tonight and they are DELICIOUS! This recipe will be filed under “Tried and True!” I’ll be making them many more times, I can assure you!

    1. Hi Sandie! Thank you SO SO SO much for stopping by to leave a comment! These are one of my favorite cookies, I’m so glad you loved them too! Happiest holidays! XOXO

  13. Samantha K says:

    Thank you for this recipe! Also was wanting to know how long these stay fresh and how properly store them? I am making homemade candy gifts and want them to taste just like I finished baking them!
    Thank You!

    1. Hey Samantha! You’re so welcome! I missed this comment in the holiday bustle, I’m so sorry! I hope your cookies were fresh and delicious. I usually store them in a super airtight container with only these cookies in it or put them in a Ziplock bag in the freezer.

  14. Delicious! I have never made “snow balls” in all of my years, but I’m the first one to eat them all up if I see them. I just made this recipe (doubled) and they are amazing, not overly buttery, or sweet. Just perfect. Thank you for sharing.

    1. Hey Danielle! Thank you so much! Right? They are so easy and so delicious. I can eat nearly all of these cookies singlehandedly. Happy baking!

    2. Looks delicious, question the flour is it all purpose or self-rising? Thanks

      1. Thank you! All-purpose is perfect. I use the King Arthur unbleached all-purpose flour in most of my recipes. Happy baking!

  15. Thanks, I will be making them for Christmas.
    Brenda