Snowball Cookies


So where did these cookies originally come from? They are so amazingly good I guess that several different countries want to label them as their own =). What do you call these cookies? Some of the common names for these delicious balls of pure bliss are, Russian Tea Cakes, Mexican Wedding Cookies, Italian Wedding Cookies, snowdrops, butter balls or more specifically pecan butter balls. The name that I think is most fitting is for them is Snowball Cookies, simply put because they look like little snowballs of course. I can understand where the “wedding” and “tea” labels come from because these seem so dainty and fancy, and they’d pair nicely with a warm cup of tea. You’ll want to sit in your finest chair and enjoy these cookies with you pinkie fingers up, taking the most delicate little nibbles at a time as you gently dab the excess powdered sugar that falls from the cookie onto your well kept lips with a freshly pressed linen napkin…. Nah! You’ll want to just pick up the entire plate of cookies and shove as many as you can fit in your mouth at once =). I absolutely love these cookies and I actually do enjoy savoring each melt in my mouth bite, not in the manor as mentioned above but I think each bite should be enjoyed.
The snowball/tea/wedding cake/cookie doesn’t seem to get the attention it deserves. They are such a classic and maybe it’s their old fashioned notion that has pushed them out of the spotlight and to the back burner. These cookies should most definitely not be forgotten and go unnoticed. They are a simple cookie but they have much to offer. Textural wise they are similar to a shortbread cookie but with more dissolve to them (thanks to the cornstarch I added in this recipe I created). Their shortbread portion isn’t overly sweet which pairs nicely with the generous coating of powdered sugar they are given after baking. You wont find an overabundance of nuts in this recipe just because I don’t like that many nuts in my cookies, but if you do of course you could add in more if you’d like. These cookies are one of my favorites. Easy and simple but delightfully delicious. I love how they also remind me of my Grandma who has passed away because she always made these kind of cookies. She was such a fun and amazing lady. Enjoy!

Snowball Cookies

Yield: 2 1/2 dozen

Snowball Cookies


  • 1 cup butter, softened
  • 2/3 cup powdered sugar
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 3 Tbsp cornstarch
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped Pecans (I just used Pecan cookie chips so I didn't have to do any chopping, just poured them in right from the bag).
  • 1 1/2 - 2 cups powdered sugar, for coating


  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In the bowl of an electric stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, mix butter on medium speed until creamy, about 20 seconds. Blend in 2/3 cup powdered sugar and salt. Mix in vanilla. Sprinkle cornstarch over mixture (just so it doesn't blend into one area) then with mixer set on low speed slowly add in flour and mix just until combine. Stir in Pecans. Scoop dough out 1 Tbsp at a time and roll into a ball, then place balls on Silpat or parchment paper lined baking sheets and bake in preheated oven for 16 - 18 minutes, until bottom edges are lightly golden (these are a cookie that I think are best when they aren't moist in the center so I'd say don't under bake them. These actually are a cookie that are meant to be dry. Dry but a melt in your mouth kind of dry). Remove from oven and allow to cool several minutes then while cookies are still warm, pour 2 cups powdered sugar into a bowl and roll cookies in powdered sugar. Transfer to a wire rack to cool then once cookies are cool, roll in powdered sugar once more, this time to generously coat (I pressed it into the powdered sugar to give it a thick coating. Store cookies in an airtight container.
  • Recipe Source: Cooking Classy


  • Grandbabycakes: I adore how festive these look. Perfect for this holiday season! December 14, 2012 at 12:27pm Reply

    • Jaclyn: Thanks! I hope you have a chance to make them! December 15, 2012 at 1:47pm Reply

  • Joan: Your pictures are always so pretty. December 14, 2012 at 3:43pm Reply

    • Jaclyn: Thanks Joan! December 15, 2012 at 1:47pm Reply

  • Terrie Chang: these are adorable! love the photos December 15, 2012 at 7:13pm Reply

  • angela @ anotherbiteplease: love pecan cookies…and to use pecan cookie chips…love that idea!!!! December 17, 2012 at 5:35am Reply

  • Denise: Where do you buy pecan cookie chips? I have a Walmar Super Store & Krogers in my community. December 20, 2012 at 7:42pm Reply

    • Jaclyn: Denise – I don’t know if it’s just Fisher brand that makes them (in that specific size) but that’s the brand I always get them in and they always carry them at walmart and some of the local grocery stores. December 21, 2012 at 12:32am Reply

      • Denise: Yes, it is Fisher’s brand. Found them at Walmart this morning. Thank you! :) December 21, 2012 at 9:28am Reply

        • Jaclyn: Your welcome =)! December 21, 2012 at 9:38am Reply

  • Christmas Cookie Gift Boxes « MIXED METHOD: […] Snowball Cookies (My mom sent me that recipe via a text message – its from a magazine, but this recipe from Cooking Classy is a good […] December 22, 2012 at 1:56pm Reply

  • Lisa: My family has made these at Christmas for as long as I can remember. We call the Russian Tea Cookies,and the only difference in the recipe is that we use walnuts instead of pecans.These are my favorite cookies! December 23, 2012 at 8:43am Reply

  • karen: Made these cookies for Christmas, substituting chopped walnuts for the pecans, and they got rave reviews, delish December 23, 2012 at 7:48pm Reply

  • karen: Made these cookies this Christmas, but substituted walnuts in place of the pecans, they were soooo easy and delish, got rave reviews December 23, 2012 at 7:51pm Reply

  • Rita: I’m all out of pecans. Would it be out of the question to use walnuts??? :) December 24, 2012 at 12:26pm Reply

    • Jaclyn: Walnuts would also be delicious! Enjoy! December 24, 2012 at 1:37pm Reply

  • Melody H: Making these tonight for my family. Im excited to see how they come out. Thank you for sharing this recipe! December 25, 2012 at 7:18pm Reply

  • Barbara: I’m making these cookies for Easter. Instead of Snowballs they’ll Bunny Tails. March 30, 2013 at 5:35pm Reply

    • Jaclyn: Very cute idea Barbara! March 30, 2013 at 8:50pm Reply

  • Sarah: Made these today! They were AMAZING, tasted just like the pecan crescents my grandma makes :) June 24, 2013 at 11:09pm Reply

    • Jaclyn: I’m so happy to hear you liked these and that they reminded you of your grandma’s pecan crescents. I love when I make something that reminds me of my grandma :)! Thanks for your comment Sarah! June 26, 2013 at 3:44pm Reply

  • Namda: I am going to try and make these with protein powder in them. Hopefully it doesn’t ruin your awesome recipe.

    Thanks for sharing as always! September 10, 2013 at 11:54am Reply

  • angie pekelder: like to have your recipe November 9, 2013 at 2:12pm Reply

  • Jocelyn: I am allergic to pretty much every nut except for peanuts and cashews, would either of those work in this recipe, do you think? November 19, 2013 at 7:02am Reply

    • Jaclyn: I think the peanuts or cashews should work fine. November 24, 2013 at 1:55pm Reply

    • Jaclyn: I think either peanut or cashews would work great. I hope you love them! November 24, 2013 at 1:55pm Reply

  • Linda had a little Lamb: These snowball cookies look melt in your mouth good. Thanks for the recipe. November 22, 2013 at 8:01pm Reply

  • Shell: Does anyone know if these freeze well? Would love to make them ahead of time for Christmas. Thank you!! November 25, 2013 at 6:30pm Reply

  • Kelli Cox: I made these last year and they were our favorite new cookie for the season- this year they taste just as yummy but didn’t hold their ball shape- any idea why? Also, is it supposed to be TBSP or is it TSP for scooping them out? Mine seem so big!! December 3, 2013 at 6:50am Reply

    • Jaclyn: It could be that the butter was too soft or when measuring the flour it was loosely measured in the cup (if that makes sense). I believe I always use a Tbsp but you could definitely make them smaller. December 15, 2013 at 10:37am Reply

  • Linda: Hi there, these look perfect for Christmas. I would like to make them, but I need to know if they would freeze well? Thanks December 11, 2013 at 3:58pm Reply

    • Jaclyn: I think this is one cookie that would probably freeze quite well since they aren’t super moist. December 20, 2013 at 5:03pm Reply

  • May: What kind of flour did you use? Bleached or non bleached? December 12, 2013 at 1:07am Reply

    • Jaclyn: Bleached all-purpose. December 20, 2013 at 5:02pm Reply

  • Christmas Coconut Snowball Cookies | OMG Chocolate Desserts: […] my list. It was something like Lemon Tea Cookies from the My Madison Bistro blog, or the beautiful Snowball Cookies from my favorite Cooking Classy blog. After giving it a thought, the decision was to make the […] December 13, 2013 at 1:31am Reply

  • Shelley: My mother in law rolls the dough in a log and she calls them lady fingers want ever u call them that are delicious. December 16, 2013 at 11:12pm Reply

  • Mary Back: I could NEVER forget these cookies at the holidays. They go perfectly with homemade fudge! And that is a good combo for gifts. Add something salty and, viola, everyone will love you. Thanks for posting! December 20, 2013 at 1:55pm Reply

    • Jaclyn: Agreed :) and you’re welcome Mary! Happy Holidays! December 20, 2013 at 2:45pm Reply

  • Estée Chin: Hi! So I tried making these cookies and some of them seem to flatten! What did I do wrong? December 24, 2013 at 6:36pm Reply

    • Jaclyn: If only some of them did, the dry mixture may just not have been incorporated well enough or the butter may have been too soft (melted). Also, I use the scoop and level method for measuring flour rather than spoon and level, most likely you used the scoop and level method but just in case. Also using a silicone cookie sheet lining is best or parchment paper rather than buttering the sheet as this causes a little more spread. Sorry that happened though!! December 24, 2013 at 8:01pm Reply

  • Laura Fletcher: Can you ommit the nuts out of this recipe? Or substitute for something else. I am allergic to all nuts so wouldn’t be able to make this. April 1, 2014 at 1:12am Reply

    • Jaclyn: It should be fine to just omit them. I hope you love these Laura! April 4, 2014 at 10:11pm Reply

  • Troll Cookies: […] time 15 mins Cook time 18 mins Total time 33 mins   Author: Recipe adapted from Cooking Classy Recipe type: Cookies Serves: 30 […] August 2, 2014 at 4:01am Reply

  • Susan Huff: Can you add spices to this recipe like apple pie spices? November 19, 2014 at 11:15am Reply

    • Jaclyn: Yes definitely! November 19, 2014 at 11:17pm Reply

  • Tricia: These look like so much fun. My grandmother makes something similar to this. I’m going to have to make them this year. Thanks! December 4, 2014 at 12:17pm Reply

  • Katelynn: Have you tried freezing them? I was hoping to freeze some but I’m not sure if they would still be good after. December 6, 2014 at 1:03pm Reply

    • Jaclyn: I haven’t, the only thing I’m not sure about would be how the powdered sugar would thaw out, if it would get that slight dampness? December 8, 2014 at 10:09pm Reply

  • Debby: Just made these with peppermint extract for Christmas. ..oh my so good! Perfect gifting cookie :D December 7, 2014 at 3:40pm Reply

    • Jaclyn: Sounds delicious! December 8, 2014 at 4:43pm Reply

  • Sherri: Do you have to put in the cornstarch? December 10, 2014 at 6:01am Reply

    • Jaclyn: I would definitely recommend it, it gives the cookies that melt in your mouth texture. December 10, 2014 at 5:52pm Reply

  • Heather: Hi! I made these but all of mine flattened. Not totally flat but definitely not balls. Advice? December 12, 2014 at 6:00pm Reply

    • Jaclyn: You can shape them into balls then place on a plates, cover and chill for an hour or two and that should help, you could also add in a few extra tbsp of flour. December 13, 2014 at 12:39am Reply

  • Michelle: I was wondering most recipes of this type of cookies require the flour to be sifted. Does it make a difference if the flour is sifted? December 13, 2014 at 9:47am Reply

    • Jaclyn: If your flour is all clumped up from humidity or something then sifting would be important other than that I don’t really find a need for it unless it’s some light cake like angel food cake or something. December 13, 2014 at 11:15pm Reply

  • Micaela: I just got done making them and they do not taste very good! Can someone tell me why? I ,iterally had to spit it in the garbage December 14, 2014 at 3:53pm Reply

    • Jaclyn: One of the ingredients could have been outdated but other than that not sure. My family loves these cookies! December 14, 2014 at 6:31pm Reply

    • ruth: It could be that your nuts were rancid. December 22, 2014 at 4:42pm Reply

  • Barbara Gini: I just made a batch of these and they are delicious! They held their shape and have a great ‘melt in your mouth’ texture. I’m not the greatest baker, but I am very happy with the results. I was looking for something simple to make for teacher’s gifts. My daughter keeps coming into the kitchen to steal a few. She loves them! I dont have a mixer, so I used a hand mixer. It was a littke awkward, but worked. They came out fantastic. This recipe will go in my ‘keeper’ file. Thanks so much for posting it! December 14, 2014 at 8:01pm Reply

    • Jaclyn: I’m so glad they were enjoyed Barbara :)! December 15, 2014 at 8:43am Reply

  • Jordan: Hi! This sounds wonderful however, i can’t cook with any kind of nut. What would be a good substitution?? December 17, 2014 at 7:32am Reply

    • Jaclyn: You could just omit them, but I would make sure your dough is well chilled so the don’t spread more without the nuts. I hope you love them! December 18, 2014 at 12:07pm Reply

  • Amy: Absolutely delish! Doubled the recipe for a Christmas cookie exchange. :) December 19, 2014 at 12:18pm Reply

  • K: I don’t have cornstarch will corn syrup work instead or any other options? Want to make them tonight. Thank you! December 19, 2014 at 5:49pm Reply

    • Jaclyn: You could add more flour if you can’t find cornstarch (equal parts), they’ll have a slightly different texture and you may want to chill the dough also, but they should still be delicious. December 21, 2014 at 7:20pm Reply

  • Mia: Making these now… hope they turn out okay since I didn’t have a paddle attachment for my electric mixer! December 20, 2014 at 1:38pm Reply

  • Wendy: Do I use salted or unsalted butter? December 21, 2014 at 3:48pm Reply

    • Jaclyn: I’d recommend either unsalted or one salted and one unsalted. December 21, 2014 at 7:04pm Reply

  • Sara Matthiesen: Great cookies!

    However, it would have helped me to have the instructions broken up a bit. The long paragraph format gets confusing. For relatively simple instructions, I had to reread a number of times to make sure I was doing it right.

    Numbers or bullet points are easier to follow. December 22, 2014 at 11:05am Reply

  • Lisa: My mom always made these at Christmas but she used chocolate chips instead of nuts. I make them now and use the mini chocolate chips. December 22, 2014 at 2:21pm Reply

  • ccsb: I don’t have a stand mixer, only a hand mixture. Do you think I would still get the same result? These cookies look very delicious. December 23, 2014 at 7:06am Reply

    • Jaclyn: What I normally suggest is to use the hand mixer to blend until the dough starts to get heavy, then I’d mix in the rest of the flour with a spoon by hand and just make sure it’s fully incorporated. I hope you love them! December 24, 2014 at 5:00pm Reply

  • Leah: After tasting a sample of the first batch, I decided to add a bit of almond extract to the second. I much preferred the cookies with a hint of almond flavor.

    This recipe is fantastic, though, because it’s the only one I’ve found that gets the texture just right. It’s hard to find the happy medium between just dry enough to be a true snowball cookie and way too dry to be tasty. This one gets it perfect. Thanks. December 23, 2014 at 8:27am Reply

    • Jaclyn: Love the addition of almond extract, it’s one of my favorite baking ingredients! I’ll have to try that next. December 23, 2014 at 3:21pm Reply

  • Margie: love these cookies. Any trick I could have used to make them round. The bottoms were flat. December 23, 2014 at 9:53am Reply

    • Jaclyn: You can chill the dough for about an hour and that should help a lot if they spread. December 23, 2014 at 3:20pm Reply

  • Lisa: Jaclyn, I’ve decided ladt minute to make these tonite. The only nut I have in the house is slivered almonds. How would that be if I chopped them up? December 23, 2014 at 7:29pm Reply

    • Jaclyn: They should work great, I actually just used almonds in a lemon version I just made of these and they worked perfect. Pretty much any nut would work in these. I hope you love them! December 24, 2014 at 4:56pm Reply

  • Cassie: My dough came out dry and crumbly. Is this how it is supposed to be? December 23, 2014 at 10:07pm Reply

    • Jaclyn: No, the flour was likely just over-measured. Just gently scoop into the flour container/bag and do one swift level. Same with cornstarch. If you have too much of either of those ingredients it results in a dry crumbly dough. You may be able to save it by adding in more softened butter though. Sorry! December 24, 2014 at 3:02pm Reply

  • Oriana: Hi… Mine got a little be flats… Why?? December 25, 2014 at 3:21pm Reply

  • Sammy: I was looking for a good snowball recipe, and these rock! I baked mine for a little longer, but I think it was just an oven factor. Big hit- I was asked to make a second batch! Thanks for sharing :) December 27, 2014 at 2:19pm Reply

  • Pepi: The original recipe comes from Armenia and its named Khurabia. Originally made with only 3 ingredients. Butter, sugar, flour.. We have it also here in Greece for more than 150 years, especially for the holidays and we name it Kourabie (very close with the original name).. The recipe is the almost like yours, the butter is not from cow but from sheep and goat and we use only roasted almonds inside..
    I wish you a happy new year December 29, 2014 at 3:15am Reply

  • Vanessa: I made these for Christmas and they were amazing!!!!! I baked them for 16 minutes. Everyone loved them and kept asking what kind of cookies these were. Thanks for your great recipes!! So many of your recipes have become my go-to. You really have a gift at creating perfect recipes. Thanks!! Merry Christmas! December 29, 2014 at 7:44am Reply

    • Jaclyn: I’m so glad you liked them Vanessa! Merry Chrismtas! December 29, 2014 at 8:16pm Reply

  • Snowball Cookies | Edible Reflections: […] made these for Christmas and I absolutely loved them. I got the inspiration from Cooking Classy. Amazingly I didn’t change anything on the recipe so I’ll just copy it […] December 31, 2014 at 6:32am Reply

  • Kim: I have tried about 4 different recipes, all of which have variations on the amount of flour or powdered sugar. However I think yours is the best because of the cornstarch. For me, it adds a slightly different texture that I favor apart from the others. Other recipes say “melt in your mouth” but yours does more so. Thank you so much for sharing the recipe! January 3, 2015 at 7:34pm Reply

    • Jaclyn: I’m so glad you liked these Kim! January 29, 2015 at 9:26pm Reply

  • Joanne: “These cookies should most definitely not be forgotten and go unnoticed.”

    I totally agree that these cookies should not be forgotten, but traditionally speaking you’re making them all wrong. They are not a shortbread cookie and the amount of nuts is what makes these cookies what they were meant to be. Furthermore, the nuts should be finely chopped almost into a very coarse powder not just chopped like the pecan chips. My recipe is doubled because when I make these I want a lot.

    I don’t know where the name Kiplings came from but that’s what my Mother-in-law called them.

    (Little White Snowballs)

    2 cups Butter or Margarine
    2 tsp. Vanilla
    4 cups Flour
    2 cups Finely chopped Walnuts
    (can use Pecans)
    Powdered Sugar (for rolling them in)

    Preheat oven 300° F.

    Mix all ingredients together, except powdered sugar. Blend well.
    Shape into bite sized balls and place on greased cookie sheet just
    so they don’t touch. These do not expand so you can fit a lot on one pan.

    Bake at 300° for 30 minutes. They will look like they are not done but remove them anyways. You do not want to over bake them.

    Cool completely before rolling them into the powder sugar. November 23, 2015 at 5:30pm Reply

  • Ehrin: Snowball cookies are my favorite my mom and grandmother used to make these just for me every year and this year will be the 1st year no one will be making them… So I just tried my 1st batch and they turned out like mini biscuits. I’m so disappointed. Any ideas on why? November 29, 2015 at 2:17pm Reply

Add your comment:

Copyright 2015 Cooking Classy
Design by cre8d