Traditional Christmas snowball cookies get a festive and delicious makeover with pistachios. Recipe developed in partnership with Go Bold with Butter.

Pistachio Snowball Cookies

I am late to the game on these cookies. I think growing up I always assumed that since they looked so uninteresting, they must not taste good.


Whether you know them as snowballs, Mexican wedding cookies, or Russian tea cakes, these buttery mounds of toasted nuts rolled in sugar are a must for every holiday season.

Pistachio Snowball Cookies
Pistachio Snowball Cookies

In this recipe developed for Go Bold with Butter, I decided to give the traditional cookie a twist, and so I swapped out pistachios for the pecans. And I absolutely loved the subtle change in flavor and little hint of seasonal color.

View the recipe for Pistachio Snowball Cookies on the Go Bold with Butter website

Just make sure you have a plan when you bake these cookies— gift plates for the neighbors, or a holiday party, or something— because otherwise before you know what’s happened the cookies will be gone and all you’ll be left with is powdered sugar on your shirt (if you’re like me).

Pistachio Snowball Cookies

How to finely chop nuts

Originally I put the pistachios in a food processor for easy chopping. Only, some nuts were reduced to dust before others were chopped at all. It worked, but wasn’t ideal. I found the best way is to use a sharp knife and large cutting board and get chopping!

Pistachio Snowball Cookies

Pistachio Snowball Cookies
A holiday cookie favorite with a pistachio twist!
Yield: 18 cookies
  • ¼ cup (50 grams) granulated sugar
  • ¾ cup (170 grams) unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1½ cup (180 grams) all-purpose flour
  • 1½ cup (180 grams) pistachios, very finely chopped
  • Pinch of salt
  • Powdered sugar
  1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. Line a sheet pan with parchment paper or a silicone baking mat.
  2. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, or in a bowl with a hand mixer, beat the butter and sugar together on medium high speed until creamy and pale in color, about 4-5 minutes. Add the vanilla extract. Add the flour, pistachios and salt, and mix until just combined.
  3. Shape the dough into rounded tablespoons and place on the prepared baking sheet, about 1 inch apart. Bake until cookies just begin to turn golden brown, about 15 minutes.
  4. Let sit on the pan until cool enough to touch but still warm, then roll in powdered sugar. Let cool completely and then roll in powdered sugar again.
  5. Note: If you use salted pistachios, omit the salt in the cookies.

Disclosure: This recipe was developed in partnership with Go Bold With Butter. I am a paid contributor to their website. All opinions are my own, as always. Thank you for supporting partnerships with brands I believe in.

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6 Responses to Pistachio Snowball Cookies

  1. Believe me or not but I had never heard of these cookies before! I actually think they look sooo cute and definitely resemble snowballs, which makes them a perfect Holiday treat!

    xo, Elisa

  2. Yum! I can almost taste the sugarcoating on my lips!

  3. Ross Workman says:

    Made Mexican Wedding Cake cookies two days ago and like you, had powdered sugar all over my shirt. Pistachios instead of the the traditional pecans sound scrumptious. Merry Christmas Annalise!

  4. Erin R. says:

    Ooh, I like the proportions in your recipe! I just figured out how to make Mexican wedding cookies a couple of months ago (with the almonds) but never thought of using pistachios. I like that yours have a greater ratio of nuts and less butter. I’ll have to give these a bash. Thanks!

  5. Erika Beth says:

    I made these yesterday for Christmas. I found the dough was rather hard to shape into mounds, but I stuck with it and they turned out rather nice.

  6. Patricia Boe says:

    I have to say out of all my holiday baking so far, this recipe is by far my masterpiece. Thank you for sharing it, it is fabulous!

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