Hello again! It’s Alicia from The Baker Upstairs, and I have another delicious cookie recipe to share today. These simple and delicious snowball cookies are the perfect holiday treat! They’re so quick and easy to make, with just six ingredients, and so sweet and buttery. They are definitely a must-make this season!
In my family, Christmas time means cookie time! When I was a kid, my Grandma made dozens and dozens of cookies every year for Christmas. We’d travel to her house on Christmas day and find her kitchen table covered completely with tray after tray of cookies. Relatives, friends, and neighbors would stream in and out of the house throughout the day, everyone enjoying my grandma’s cookies and cups of warm cocoa. My mom didn’t bake very much when I was a child, so it was an extra special treat for me to have as many freshly-baked cookies as I could eat.
My grandma experimented with lots of different cookie recipes, but some of our perennial favorites were walnut chocolate chip cookies, pumpkin cookies, and (my favorite!) snowball cookies. It’s actually a long-standing debate in my family what these cookies are called. Everyone has a different name for them (Russian tea cakes, Mexican wedding cookies, pecan balls, etc.) but I have always called them snowball cookies, because that’s what they look like to me. My grandma passed away this year, and I thought it would be fun to continue her tradition of cookie-making this Christmas with my own two little girls. I’m not sure I can ever put together the same amazing spread that she did, but these snowball cookies are a good start!
Since my grandma was never one for using recipes when she cooked, I’ve been trying out different recipes I’ve found online with the hopes of recreating her special cookies. These cookies from Lil’ Luna are the closest I’ve found. I tweaked Kristyn’s recipe just a little to add in the almond flavor that I loved from my grandma’s cookies, and they are pretty much perfect!
The full recipe is at the bottom of this post, but here’s what you’ll need:
- powdered sugar
- almond extract
- chopped pecans
The dough for these cookies is quick and easy to make. It will be fairly thick and a little crumbly. If it’s not holding together at all, you can add a teaspoon or two of milk to the dough to help it come together. You’ll want it to hold together into balls, but not be soft or sticky at all.
I like to use a cookie scoop to make all of my cookies the same size, but you can also just eyeball them if you’re not as perfectionistic as I am. You’ll want your cookie balls to be about one inch in diameter.
Bake the cookies in the oven until they are just barely browned on the bottom, then roll them in powdered sugar. The first coating of powdered sugar may get a little melty from the heat of the cookies and the melted butter in the cookies. Let them cool completely, then roll them in powdered sugar again for a nice even coating.
These cookies have such a unique and delicious melt-in-your-mouth texture and are so rich and buttery! My family loves them with hot chocolate or milk on the side.
If you’re not a fan of pecans, you could easily substitute walnuts or chopped almonds, or just leave the nuts out completely (although your yield will be a little smaller without the nuts). I personally love the flavor and texture that the pecans add. Yum!
These snowball cookies are so delicious, and the perfect cookies to add to your cookie tray this holiday season. They’re so rich and sweet, and totally addicting!
- 1 cup butter, softened
- 1½ cups powdered sugar, divided
- ¾ teaspoon almond extract
- 2 cups flour
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 1 cup chopped pecans
- Preheat the oven to 350. Line two baking sheets with parchment or silicone liners.
- In a large bowl or the bowl of a stand mixer, beat together the butter, ½ cup powdered sugar, and the almond extract until light and fluffy. Add the flour, salt, and pecans, and mix until just combined.
- Scoop the dough into one inch balls, and place on the prepared baking sheets. Bake 14-15 minutes, or until very lightly golden brown on the bottom.
- Let cool five minutes, then toss the cookies in the remaining powdered sugar. Allow the cookies to cool completely, then toss in powdered sugar again.
These melt-in-your-mouth delicious snowball cookies are so easy to make and only have six ingredients! They are the perfect holiday cookie!