Snowball Cookies: A Delightful Treat for Any Occasion

As the holidays draw near or when a hint of nostalgia for winter’s touch lingers in the air, there’s a sweet treat that perfectly captures the essence of joy and comfort: Snowball Cookies. These powdery, melt-in-your-mouth confections are a classic favorite and an essential part of festive gatherings. Let’s delve into the magic of these beloved cookies and explore how to create them in your own kitchen.

The Origin of Snowball Cookies

Snowball cookies have a rich history with variations found across cultures. Known by many names—Russian Tea Cakes, Mexican Wedding Cookies, Italian Wedding Cookies, and Butterballs, to name a few—these cookies are a testament to the universal language of sweet indulgence. Despite their differing monikers and slight recipe variations, the signature characteristics remain a round, crumbly cookie cloaked in a snowy dusting of powdered sugar.


  • 1 cup unsalted butter, softened
  • ½ cup powdered sugar, plus more for coating
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 ¼ cups all-purpose flour
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • ¾ cup finely chopped nuts (traditionally walnuts, pecans, or almonds)


  1. Preheat and Prepare: Begin by preheating your oven to 350°F (175°C). Line a baking sheet with parchment paper to ensure your cookies can be easily removed after baking.
  2. Mix the Base: In a large mixing bowl, cream together the softened butter and ½ cup powdered sugar until light and fluffy. Stir in the vanilla extract to incorporate.
  3. Combine Dry Ingredients: In a separate bowl, whisk together the all-purpose flour and salt. Gradually blend the dry mixture into the creamed butter mixture. Once combined, fold in the chopped nuts until evenly distributed.
  4. Shape the Cookies: Scoop small amounts of dough and roll them into balls, approximately 1 inch in diameter. Place them on the prepared baking sheet, spaced about an inch apart.
  5. Bake to Perfection: Bake in the preheated oven for about 12-15 minutes or until the bottoms are lightly golden. They should remain pale on top, not browned.
  6. The Snowy Finish: Allow the cookies to cool slightly—just enough to handle them. Then, while still warm, roll them in additional powdered sugar. After they’ve cooled completely, give them a second coat of powdered sugar to ensure a generous snowy layer.

Serving and Storage

Snowball cookies are best served at room temperature. The sweet, buttery flavor and crumbly texture are most pronounced when they’ve had a chance to rest. These cookies can be stored in an airtight container for up to a week, making them perfect for advance preparation for events.

Variations to Try

The basic recipe for Snowball Cookies is a canvas for creativity. Add a pinch of cinnamon or nutmeg to the dough for a spicy twist. For those with a penchant for citrus, lemon or orange zest can offer a bright note to the rich buttery flavor. Some even like to include mini chocolate chips or a dollop of jam at the center of each cookie for a surprise filling.

In Conclusion

Snowball Cookies are a simple yet exquisite treat that resonates with the comfort and joy of festive occasions. Whether you’re continuing a family baking tradition or trying your hand at these for the first time, they’re sure to add a special touch to your culinary collection. Indulge in the process and savor each snowy bite of these timeless cookies.

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