Whether you call these snowball cookies, Mexican wedding cookies, Russian tea cakes, or meltaway cookies, they’re always a crowd favorite!
These cookies are known for their powdered sugar-dusted appearance and buttery nut-filled centers. They’re rich and flavorful, have a melt-in-your-mouth texture, and are a must-bake for me every holiday season!
While walnuts are perhaps the most common nut used in these snowball cookies, you can also use walnuts, pistachios, hazelnuts and probably any other nut you’d like. I also have a cherry and almond variation that is delicious and unique.
Ingredients you’ll need
These cookies are so simple! Here’s everything you need to make snowball cookies (full recipe below):
- Unsalted butter
- Granulated sugar
- Vanilla extract
- All-purpose flour
- Finely chopped nuts, like walnuts, pecans, pistachios or hazelnuts
- Powdered sugar
How to make snowball cookies
- Prepare dough. These cookies are made using the creaming method, where you beat the butter and sugar until creamy and fluffy, then add vanilla, and finally the dry ingredients. The dough will seem really dry at first, but will come together to make a crumbly dough that holds together when pressed.
- Portion dough. Scoop into rounded tablespoons (I like to use a medium #40 spring-loaded scoop) and roll into a smooth ball. Place on a parchment-lined sheet pan about 2 inches apart.
- Bake cookies. Bake at 350°F for about 15 minutes until the bottoms are golden brown.
- Roll in powdered sugar, twice. Let cookies sit on the pan until cool enough to touch but still warm, then roll in powdered sugar. Let the cookies cool completely, then roll in powdered sugar once more. These cookies will be messy!
- Enjoy! I know you will.
My best cookie tips
- Butter should be soft enough that a pressed finger will leave an indent, but not soft enough that your finger can press all the way through. If it’s shiny or melty at all, the butter is too warm and your cookies may spread.
- Be sure to measure flour correctly! All of my recipes are tested using the spoon and level method (more info through that link). Too much flour will create a very dry dough that won’t hold together well and cookies will be crumbly.
- Use any kind of nuts you like! I have made these snowball cookies with walnuts, pecans and pistachios and all are delicious. Be sure they are finely chopped.
- These pre-cut parchment sheets are perfect for cookie baking.
- Cookie dough freezes really well. I like to keep a stash in the freezer for fresh-baked cookies on demand.
- These cookies will keep at room temperature for about a week, but are best within a few days of baking.
- If gifting these cookies, see my tips for how to package up cookies for gifts and shipping.
More cookie recipes you’ll love
- Brown Butter Pecan Cookies
- 4-in-1 Shortbread Cookies
- Chocolate Crinkle Cookies
- Caramel Stuffed Chocolate Chip Cookies
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Pistachio Snowball Cookies
- ¼ cup granulated sugar (50 grams)
- ¾ cup unsalted butter , at room temperature (170 grams)
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 ½ cup all-purpose flour (180 grams)
- 1 ½ cup walnuts , very finely chopped (180 grams) (See Notes)
- Pinch of salt
- About 1 cup powdered sugar (113 grams)
- Preheat oven to 350°F. Line a sheet pan with parchment paper or a silicone baking mat.
- 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 3-4 minutes. Add the vanilla extract. Add the flour, nuts and salt, and mix until just combined.
- Shape the dough into rounded tablespoons and place on the prepared baking sheet, about 2 inches apart. Bake until cookies just begin to turn golden brown, about 15 minutes.
- 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.