Call them Pecan Snowball Cookies, Russian Tea Cakes, Mexican Wedding Cookies, or Butterballs… I just call them delicious! These cookies are easy, delicious, powdered-sugar-coated morsels that are the perfect holiday treat for family and friends!
I love 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 Snowball Cookies are perfect for that because they are super easy, only call for 6 ingredients, and each batch makes about 36 cookies.
Like my favorite Chewy Sugar Cookies, they are great for holiday cookie swaps or packaging up a bunch to share the holiday spirit with neighbors and friends, especially around Christmas time. They really do make an adorable Christmas cookie.
One thing I do want you to note in this recipe is the pecans featured in these delicious treats. These ain’t your standard chopped pecans. They are very finely chopped, which is really important to the texture of the cookie. I like to use a handheld nut chopper like the one below.
If you can’t find pecans, you could finely chop walnuts, almonds, cashews, or pistachios instead for a reasonable alternative. It may change the flavor a bit, but should still make for a delicious cookie recipe.
Help! My cookies spread out too much and didn’t hold their shape!
If you follow my recipe to a T, you will notice that after we combine our butter, sugar, vanilla, salt, White Lily flour, and pecans, your dough is pretty thick. That is the way it’s supposed to be. You want the cookies to roll into a ball nicely and hold their shape while baking.
If you find that your cookies are spreading out too much, it is possible that you improperly measured the flour and didn’t scoop up enough. That or the butter is getting too warm. You can simply add a little more flour or chill the dough to firm up that butter. I prefer chilling the dough, but either should work and you can get to rolling up those snowballs.
Tips for measuring out your cookie balls:
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.
So, we’re going to roll the dough into balls. Using your hands might be a little sticky, but it’s the best way to get the job done. Plus it’s not super messy, being that the dough is pretty firm. However, you will get super messy when you coat these babies in powdered sugar (or confectioners sugar). No, I’m just kidding… kind of.
Pecan Snowball Cookies
- 1 cup unsalted butter (cool, but not refrigerator cold)
- 1 cup powdered sugar, plus more for coating
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 2 cups White Lily all-purpose flour
- 1 1/4 cups finely chopped pecans
- Preheat the oven to 350°F and line a cookie sheet with parchment or silicone baking mat.
- Use a mixer to 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.
- 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.
- 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. Store at room temperature in an airtight container for up to a week or freeze for longer.
If nutritional values are provided, they are an estimate and will vary depending on the brands used. If calorie count and other nutritional values are important to you, I recommend grabbing your favorite brands and plugging those ingredients into an online nutritional calculator.