Pecan Snowballs

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Pecan SnowballsYum

Christmas is my favorite time of year for lots of reasons, but especially because of all the holiday cooking and baking.  It’s easy to get overwhelmed though, so I always opt for things that are easy and can produce quite a few servings per batch.  These Pecan Snowballs are perfect for that because they are super easy, only call for 6 ingredients, and each batch makes about 48 cookies.  They are great for holiday cookies swaps or packaging up a bunch to share the holiday spirit with neighbors and friends.


So let’s get started here and at least hit the high points.  Let’s talk about these pecans for a second.  These ain’t your standard chopped pecans.  See how fine these are.  It’s really important to the texture of the cookie that these be finely chopped.  I like to use a handheld nut chopper like the one below.  IMG_5662IMG_5665


So after we combine our butter, sugar, vanilla, salt, White Lily flour, and pecans, you’ll see your dough is going to be pretty thick, but that the way it’s supposed to be.  You want the cookies to roll into a ball nicely and hold their shape while baking.  IMG_5666

As you’re scooping these babies out, you want to get them as uniform as possible so they all bake evenly.  The best way to do that is to use a 1 tablespoon cookie scoop (also called a #60 scoop).  This one is from Pampered Chef, but you can find them at any kitchen store or even big box stores – just make sure it’s a 1 tablespoon cookie scoop for this recipe.  IMG_5671

So, we’re going to roll the dough into balls.  Using your hands is messy, but it’s the best way to get the job done.  Plus it’s not super messy, being  that the dough is pretty firm.  We’re going to get super messy when we coat these babies in powdered sugar.  No, I’m just kidding… kind of.  IMG_5675

Bake for about 15 minutes.  You’ll see that they have just ever so slightly started browning and started to crack a little on the tops.  No worries though, those cracks usually disappear when the cookies cool.  IMG_5678

Let them cool for about 5 minutes, then GENTLY roll them in powdered sugar.  Trust me when I say gently.  Because they are still warm, they can crumble easily.  IMG_5679

After they have cooled completely, coat them in powdered sugar again.  The second coating will stick a bit better because the first coating will be kinda sticky.  IMG_5682

See, there you go!  Pecan Snowballs!  Now, make sure you hide some of these is a secret place because once your family tries them, they WILL disappear fast!
Pecan SnowballsPecan Snowballs Pecan Snowballs

Pecan Snowballs
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Serves: About 48 cookies
  • 1 cup unsalted butter (2 sticks)
  • 1 cup powdered sugar (plus more for coating)
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 2 cups White Lily all-purpose flour
  • 1¼ cups finely chopped pecans
  1. Preheat the oven to 350° F and line a cookie sheet with parchment or silicone baking mat.
  2. In a large bowl, (or in the bowl of your stand mixer) cream your butter and sugar together. Add the vanilla and salt and mix well. Slowly add the flour, mixing well after each addition. A thick dough will form. Add the chopped pecans and mix well.
  3. Scoop 1 tablespoon of the dough out and roll it into a ball and place it on the cookie sheet. I like using a 1 tablespoon cookie dough scoop to get them all the same size. Continue until all the dough has been formed into balls. Place them on the cookie sheet about 1 inch part. Bake for 15 to 18 minutes.
  4. Allow the cookies to cool for about 5 minutes then gently roll them in powdered sugar while still warm. Allow them to cool completely and then coat them in powdered sugar again.


This post is sponsored by The J.M. Smucker Company.  While they compensated me for this post and provided product samples, the opinions herein are my own.  Plus, my family has been using White Lily Flour for generations, so I’d be saying good things about it even if they weren’t paying me.


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  1. Stacey, I love these classic cookies, yours look delicious!

  2. We decided to scale down our baking list this year but I refuse to go without these cookies! They are the best.

  3. Thank you for posting this Christmas favorite! I was shopping yesterday and looked all around for this cookie I expect to be out there this time of year, but didn’t see a one. I’ll just make my own! You make it look so easy; I can hardly wait to get started!

  4. These have been a must-have favorite in our family for years!

  5. My recipe is very similar. Sometime I would roll out in little fingers for weddings and parties. Other times would make smaller and flatten just a bit for “wedding cookies”. No matter the shape they are wonderful. I like your idea of making a little bigger and calling them snowballs. The nuts do have to be finely chopped. I thought I was the only one with a nut chopper like yours. Have had it for years and works wonderful for these. Thanks for the recipe.

  6. One of my favorite cookies, and a must have cookie for Christmas! Thanks Stacey!

  7. Hi Stacey,
    These cookies are very similar to the Greek Kourabiedes my late mother-in-law made. The Greek method is to prepare a bed of powdered sugar on a sheet pan lined with waxed or parchment paper. She would put the sugar into a strainer and sift it on to completely cover the pan. As the warm cookies came out of the oven she sat them one by one onto the sugar covered pan. Then she sifted more powdered sugar over them until they were totally covered. She made these by the hundreds every Christmas and gave them away as gifts. She put each one in a white paper cupcake liner. They are absolutely delicious and they will explode in your mouth when you eat one. We used to laugh because you couldn’t sneak one…the sugar down the front of your shirt was a dead give away. She made them when I married her son 49 years ago. It was so funny to see all those ladies and gentlemen with white powdered sugar down the front of their beautiful clothes.
    I send you wishes for a very Merry Christmas. May God continue to bless you and your family.

  8. Lena Kelley says:

    Hi Stacey,

    I have not bought any brownie mix since I started using your Scratch brownies recipe! They are wonderful and so easy to make! I started using them in my Pampered Chef square brownie pan and I just wanted you to know it doesn’t take as long in that kind of pan. I think mine was only done after 20 minutes! They are just the right size to take for goodies to any doctor’s office. Thanks again for the great “Scratch Brownies” recipe. Merry Christmas!
    Lena Kelley

    • Lena! I’m just tickled you’re enjoying that recipe so much! It’s amazing out easy and delicious homemade can be! Thanks for letting me know about that pan. I have one, too!

  9. I made these today and oh my goodness! To die for! And the kids love em! I’m so glad I found these on fb!

  10. Nancy Fintak says:

    Ive been making these for about 40 years. (I’m 58) They are also called Mexican Wedding Cakes or Russian Teacakes. Whatever they’re called they are tasty bite size buttery sweet treats and are great with tea.

  11. Sara Garrett says:

    Thank you for this recipe, you gave me back something..well someone, I lost a long time ago. When I was child every Christmas my grandmother would make these and tonight I was able to be with her again. I cried after I took the first bite. Thank you so much.

  12. These are my all time favorite holiday cookies! My Mom made these every year for our family Christmas party, among other goodies, yet, out of all the goodies available, these were always my favorite. I got the recipe from her when I moved away from home, and continue to make them for the holidays. Sadly, nobody else I know makes these cookies, so I was happily surprised to see that you did a post on them.

  13. My favorite. We call them Granny’s Cookies since Mother always made them. I’ve been making them for fifty plus years. For the past few years I’ve formed them, frozen them on a parchment-lined baking sheet and stored them in freezer bags until I’m ready to bake. Freezing changes neither the texture nor taste.

  14. Just discovered this blog today via The Country Cook. The name, Pecan Snowballs, caught my attention as we have another snow day here in NE Ohio (GRIT transplanted north of M-D line). Since we are not able to go out or at least not for very long, this will be a great treat for the kids to make. We have a lot of pecans from my brother in MS and all the other ingredients on hand. My mom has made these for years at Christmas mostly, however, they are great for showers, etc. She also puts a small cherry in the center and rolls the dough around it. So a little cherry surprise nestled in all that buttery, pecan and sugar goodness. Thanks for the idea of yummy snow day activity with the kiddos!

  15. Sophie Pandi says:

    Like you all said never mind what these are call they are delicious.
    Because i am Greek i like to shear with you one little secret to make the perfect Kourabiedes. The secret is that you start by beating the butter (in room temperature )on it’s own for thirty minutes .It’s best to use an electric mixer because to do it by hand is very tiring .After that you just add the rest of the ingredients .Do not expect a soft easy to manage mix.It will be quite hard .The rest is as you know it .Beating the butter for 30 minutes makes it very light and as a resold the cookies will be crispy and then melt in the mouth .Here in Greece we use almonds ,which before are added to the mixture are baked in the oven for 15 minutes at 140 C”.Good luck to all of you and have a marry Christmas .

  16. Susan Prenatt says:

    My Mom passed away in 2001, and this was a cookie she always baked at Christmas. When I left home, she took the time to write down her recipes, and put them in a book for me and my sisters. It became a prized possession, and as time went on, and I moved again, the book got packed. After unpacking, I realized that I could not find that precious book. I searched online for many months to find something similar, but nothing came close to that simple recipe. I finally found the box containing Mom’s recipe book, but I could not resist telling you that yours is the genuine article. These evoke memories of family and love to me. Thank you so much!

  17. Stella Wilson says:

    I’ve made these cookies for years with one difference. I use self rising flour. I think it might have more salt than just the amount called for in the recipe. I love the saltiness with the sweetness. Either way, these are the best cookies on earth. Thanks

  18. I followed the recipe, but…..can you please tell me why my cookies lost their shape and were no longer “snow balls”. They flattened out a bit while baking.

    • Hmm… there are so many reasons it could have happened. The butter could have been too soft, they could have baked too long at a low temp. How did they taste?

      • I’ve had this happen to me before. And the reason was always one of these two: I always make these cookies in double batches, and either when I doubled all the other ingredients, I forgot to double the flour, or I remembered to double the flour, but I still didn’t put in enough cups of it, because I just can’t count!

  19. Can I make these in advance and freeze them until Christmas? They look amazing.

  20. I noticed you used White Lily flour for this recipe – and it is a fabulous flour for baking! It will make the most tender cookies (and biscuits!). It is a soft, winter wheat, type of flour and will have a lighter and more delicate crumb than any other regular flour. By the way- my daughter baked these cookies and they were pure delight! Much better than my annual butter pecan recipe. Thanks to you, I’m switching recipes!

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