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Snowball Cookies are bite sized cookies filled with pecans or walnuts and are covered with powdered sugar making them irresistible and addictive at the same time. They are the perfect holiday treat or cookie swap gift. Make a dozen, wrap them up in cellophane, tie with a bow and you’ve got the perfect little gift to give!
A few years ago we had a friend from high school and his wife over for dinner and they brought these cookies that I absolutely loved. She told me that they were called Mexican Wedding cookies but unfortunately I never got the recipe. Thanks to Pinterest, I was able to tweak a few recipes into a cookie my family loves!
Funny enough, after 11 years of marriage (and over half of my life spent with him) I never knew my husband liked these! So funny how you keep learning things, even if they are silly, so many years later! Guess these cookies will be added to our Christmas cookie recipe book!
Frequently Asked Questions
What are snowball cookies made of?
Snowball cookies are made of only a few ingredients; room temperature butter, sugar, vanilla extract, kosher salt, flour, pecans or walnuts and confectioner’s sugar.
What else are snowball cookies called?
I’ve come to find out that there are many names for snowball cookies. Some call them Mexican Wedding cookies or cakes while some refer to them as Tea Cakes or Russian Tea Cakes. I’ve even heard them called Butterballs and Melt-Aways.
What do my snowball cookies go flat?
If your snowball cookies come out of the oven flat, or flatten once they cool, it is due to a couple of issues. 1. The butter – flour ratio is incorrect. If you use too much or too little butter or flour, you’re cookies can turn out flat. 2. Using melted butter verses softened, room temperature butter.
Do you use pecans or walnuts for snowball cookies?
You can use either pecans or walnuts when making snowball cookies! Some recipes call for walnuts while some call for pecans. I made two batches to compare; one with walnuts and one with pecans. I personally prefer the snowball cookies with pecans!
How long can you store snowball cookies?
Snowball cookies can be left out for up to 2-3 days before becoming too dry. It is best to store them in an air-tight container, of which they can be stored for up to 1 week. In my house, these cookies don’t even make it 10 whole minutes after being coated in confectioner’s sugar!
Snowball Cookies are also really durable and great for packaging! Pack them up in a cute cellophane bag, some cute ribbon and an ornament and give them as gifts to your friends and neighbors!
Can I freeze snowball cookies?
I’ve read that snowball cookies can be stored in the freezer, however, I have personally never given this a try. Many people claim you can stop them in a sealed container for up to 6 months. When removing the snowball cookies from the freezer, allow them to thaw completely before eating.
Why are my snowball cookies falling apart?
If you are certain that you used the correct amount of ingredients, then likely the issue is that you did not mix your butter enough with the flour. It will almost seem like you are over mixing
How to make the best snowball cookies?
I have made these cookies so many times now that I feel I can really give some guidance when making them. I have had some epic fails – where my cookies completely fell apart and crumbled. And I’ve made some that were just perfect, that they didn’t even make it to the storage container!
- ONLY use room temperature, softened butter. I have tried to nuke my butter in the microwave several times and every single time my cookies end up not turning out. However, when I use room temperature, softened butter, they turn out fantastic every single time!
- Use a hand held electric mixer instead of a stand mixer (like a KitchenAid). As much as I love my stand mixer, it is unable to mix the same way that an electric hand mixer is. When using a hand mixer, you are in complete control of where and what needs to be mixed. My stand mixer tends to clump all of my ingredients together rather than really crumbling them up like I can when I use my hand mixer.
- Test your cookie dough by using your hands to form a dough ball. If it does not form easily, like Playdough, then you have added too much flour.
- Don’t skip putting your cookie dough in the refrigerator. I know this tip stinks…especially because I’m always looking for shortcuts, but this really does help keep everything together by making sure the butter is cold before being baked.
- If you like you’re cookies a little on the “raw/more gooey side”, then take them out of the oven about 30-45 seconds earlier than my suggested bake time of 8 minutes.
- Two rounds of confectioner’s sugar coating!
These cookies disappeared as soon as they were powdered by some sneaky little hands!
Let me show you how I made them!
Here’s the recipe, enjoy!
Melting Snowball Cookies aka Mexican Wedding Cookies
- 1 c unsalted butter, room temperature **make sure your butter is room temperature!!
- 5 tbs granulated sugar
- 2 tsp pure vanilla extract
- 1/4 tsp kosher salt
- 2 c all-purpose flour
- 2 c finely chopped walnuts or pecans
- 1 1/2 c confectioner's sugar for dusting cookies
- preheat oven to 350°F
- add room temperature butter to mixing bowl
- beat butter with electric hand mixer
- add sugar to butter in mixing bowl
- beat butter and sugar together with electric hand mixer
- add vanilla extract
- add kosher salt
- mix with electric hand mixer
- add flour **do not add all at once, add 1/4 cup at a time and incorporate. Make sure that the dough does not become too thick/dry/breaks apart. You may only end up using 1 3/4c flour if your dough seems to be very dry
- place pecans or walnuts in a food processor and chop
- add nuts to cookie dough mixture and stir with a spatula to incorporate
- Wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate for 45 minutes
- Remove dough from refrigerator. Shape dough into 1" balls and place on baking sheet
- Bake for 8-12 minutes at 350°
- Working quickly, once cookies are cool enough to handle, but still very warm, carefully toss them in a bowl of confectioners sugar **Note: When cookies are still hot/warm they will be very likely to break apart. Be extra careful while handling them.
- Set snowball cookies on cooling rack to cool before adding second coat of Confection's sugar
- Once the cookies are completely cooled, carefully toss them again in the confectioners sugar.
Cookie Swap and Gift Giving!
Snowball cookies make the perfect gifts for teachers and neighbors! Pack the cookies into a tin can, cellophane bag or these cute boxes!
Wishing you all a happy baking season and …
Merry Christmas & Happy Holidays!