Go Back
+ servings
Top view of snowball cookies in blue bowl

Snowball Cookies

These Snowball Cookies are easy to make with a melt in your mouth shortbread base, chopped pecans and coated in powdered sugar. A classic Christmas cookie recipe made with just 5 ingredients in one bowl and no stand mixer required! Perfect for gift giving, holiday cookie exchanges and cookie platters! Includes a video tutorial.

Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Keyword christmas cookies, christmas cookies for cookie swap, easy pecan cookies, easy shortbread cookies, holiday cookie recipe, pecan shortbread cookies, russian tea balls
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Resting Time 30 minutes
Total Time 55 minutes
Servings 32 cookies
Calories 111 kcal
Author Kelly


  • 1 cup unsalted butter softened to room temperature - you can also use ghee or vegan butter for vegan snowball cookies
  • 1/2 cup powdered sugar , you can also sub with powdered sugar substitute such as Lakanto Powdered Monk Fruit Sweetener OR powdered coconut sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour OR gluten-free 1-1 flour such as Bob's Red Mill , measured correctly - spoon & sweep method
  • 3/4 - 1 cup finely chopped pecans , may also sub with finely chopped walnuts
  • More powdered sugar for rolling cookies - about 1/2 cup


  1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or a silicone mat. Set aside.

  2. In a stand mixer or using your hand mixer, cream butter and sugar together until light and fluffy. Add vanilla and slowly add flour and mix until just combined. Fold in chopped pecans. beating at low speed, scraping bowl as necessary, until well mixed.
    Crumbly shortbread cookie dough in a mixing bowl
  3. Roll dough into 2 tablespoon sized dough balls. Place on prepared cookie sheet about 2 inches apart. Repeat until all the dough is used up. *I recommend chilling the dough for 30 minutes in the fridge so the cookies stay round but you can choose to bake them right away if desired.
    Shortbread dough with a few small dough balls in a mixing bowl
  4. Bake cookies for 14 - 15 minutes until bottoms are just slightly brown - rotating pans halfway through. Be careful not to over-bake.
    Top view of 15 baked uncoated butterballs on a parchment paper lined baking sheet
  5. Remove from oven and cool on baking pan for about 2 minutes until you can handle them comfortably with your hands.
    Top view of hands rolling the cookie dough in powdered sugar
  6. Meanwhile, sift 1/2 cup powdered sugar into a medium bowl. While cookies are still warm, roll them in powdered sugar. Place cookies on a cooling rack, once they have cooled completely, roll them in powdered sugar again.

    Top view of 15 baked coated butterballs on a parchment paper lined baking sheet
  7. Store cookies in an airtight container for up to 3 days or freeze for up to one month.
    Top view of snowball cookies in blue bowl

Recipe Video

Recipe Notes

Slightly adapted from Land O Lakes

Nutrition Facts
Snowball Cookies
Amount Per Serving (1 cookie)
Calories 111 Calories from Fat 72
% Daily Value*
Fat 8g12%
Cholesterol 15mg5%
Sodium 1mg0%
Carbohydrates 9g3%
Sugar 2g2%
Protein 1g2%
* Nutrition facts are provided as a courtesy using the WPRM recipe calculator. It is best to make your own calculations to ensure accuracy. We expressly disclaim any and all liability of any kind with respect to any act or omission wholly or in part in reliance on anything contained in this website. Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.