Snowball Cookies

Snowball Cookies

Snowball cookies are a favorite Christmas cookie recipe, but these pecan-filled cookies are scrumptious all year 'round.

45 min.prep time 1:25total time
36 cookies
84584 Ratings

Ingredients

2 cups all-purpose flour
2 cups finely chopped pecans
1/4 cup sugar
1 cup Land O Lakes® Butter, softened
1 teaspoon vanilla
Powdered sugar

Directions

Heat oven to 325°F.

Combine all ingredients except powdered sugar in bowl. Beat at low speed, scraping bowl occasionally, until well mixed.

Shape dough into 1-inch balls. Place 1 inch apart onto ungreased cookie sheets. Bake 18-25 minutes or until very lightly browned. Cool 5 minutes; roll in powdered sugar while still warm and again when cool.

Nutrition Facts (1 cookie)

Calories: 130

Fat: 10g

Cholesterol: 15mg

Sodium: 50mg

Carbohydrates: 11g

Dietary Fiber: 0g

Protein: 1g

Recipe #1528©1995Land O'Lakes, Inc.

Recipe Comments & Reviews

I plan on making these cookies tomorrow and wonder if anyone has ever added Hersheys chips to the recipe. I saw a recipe for a different cookie that paired together pecans and Hershey's cinnamon chips and I wonder if these chips would work in the snowball recipe. Would any of the other ingredients or the cooking time need to be adjusted? Thanks for your help and Merry Christmas!
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Test Kitchen Comment
From:

Mallory

Hi Maureen, we have never tried with chocolate chips, but if you do try, we'd suggest using mini chocolate chips. Let us know how they turn out for you!
Posted December 19, 2014
ok, my cookies were melting into the cookie pan! I let the butter sit out 20 minutes. What happened?
I was impatient and did not want to wait for my butter to soften. Instead, I used a food processor. It was GREAT! And FAST!!
First time ever making these and they came out awesome. Somebody gave me this recipe never said anything about sugar in the recipe. Put it all together and had first batch baking. Decided to kill time and look up if I could freeze them & how. That's when I read your recipe & it said sugar. Believe it or not, they tasted so good even without it. Maybe if I make them again I will add sugar to try it, but having diabetes tasting good without is great! How long before I package them to give should I thaw them? Thanks!
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Test Kitchen Comment
From:

Mallory

Hi Briana, once thawed, the cookies will keep for up to a week. Hope this helps!
Posted December 17, 2014
I made these great cookies......duh! Forgot the 1/4 C sugar!!!
They are cooling now, so have not tasted them.
Is this going to be a really bad cookie:-?
I would love to make these cookies, but my son cannot have dairy. How can I substitute the butter, which margarine would give the same results?
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Test Kitchen Comment
From:

Mallory

Hi Lili, unfortunately our margarine contains a small amount of buttermilk. If your son is allergic to dairy, we would not suggest substituting margarine.
Posted December 17, 2014
It is important to use good, fresh pecans. The oils in the nuts add to the butter making them more flaky. You must be careful not to cook too long also. We just made 10 batches and they are great.
Question regarding the comment from Karen about adding 1/4 tsp salt.
Would using salted Land of Lakes butter work instead?
author_photo
Test Kitchen Comment
From:

Mallory

Hi Penny, using salted butter will make the cookies a bit more salty.
Posted December 17, 2014
I loved these, and they turned out great... BUT I took away 1 star for a missing ingredient. If you add 1/4 tsp of salt, they are much tastier, and more dramatic in flavor. I would definitely add that to your recipe.
First time I made these cookies for Christmas. They were delicious and everyone raved about them. Very easy to make and they look great. Will be making them again soon. Just one question..can you freeze them?
author_photo
Test Kitchen Comment
From:

Cindy

These cookies would be just fine if you froze them. Roll them in powdered sugar before freezing them and then again once they are thawed before serving.
Posted January 09, 2014
Mine turned out dry and crumbly with no taste at all. Very disappointed.
This is the best recipe for snowballs! I've tried using other types of butter and it isn't the same. Land O Lake butter made a big difference that just taste delicious and melts in your mouth! None can compare
My mother made these cookies every year for Christmas from a recipe she obtained from a box of Land o Lakes butter years ago. They were delicious. I now follow her recipe and only use Land o Lakes as she stipulated in her recipe.
I was excited to make these cookies because they are my sisters favorite cookie and Christmas time. This was my first time. I too, thought the butter was soft enough since it was out for over 5 hours. However, my cookies also turned out like a crumbly puffy cookie. I definitely used 2 cups Walnuts but why did they spread instead of staying in a rolled ball?
author_photo
Test Kitchen Comment
From:

Cindy

When cookies turn out kind of puffy in texture it could mean that the dough was beaten so long that excess air was beaten into the dough. Then in regard to your question as to why the cookies spread - the butter should be softened but not too soft. It would be better if you used the butter when it had been out of the refrigerator about 20 minutes. The cut the butter into chunks and it should then mix in just fine. As the cookie bakes the butter melts very quickly in the dough and so that is why the cookie spreads out if the butter is too soft.
Posted December 23, 2013
Crumbly, sweet, nutty...what more could you want. HINT: roll in powdered sugar twice. Once while still warm and once after they've cooled for fluffy white sugar coating.
Try substituting crushed candy canes instead of nuts for a great holiday twist.
what about changing vanilla to almond, would that work???
My mother made these for 40 years, and then I made inherited her recipe and her method. The secret is to beat/whip the softened butter for several minutes until it turns white, then add the other ingredients.

Then sift 4-5 very large bowls of confectioners sugar. Divide each sheet of the "balls" among the bowls of sugar (so maybe 5-6 per bowl). Leave in the bowls to cool, shaking each bowl once in a while. Once they have cooled, remove with a slotted spoon to a cooling rack. Our snowballs come out white and fluffy, unlike any I have ever seen.
I appreciate everyone's feedback, and suggestions for variations since I hadn't had the greatest results in past attempts, so I felt I needed to do the same! I made these for a cookie exchange and they turned out GREAT! I followed Terri's recommendation to do the first "rolling" in granulated sugar and really liked the result. I fretted about how to chop the pecans without reducing them to nut butter and read on Cuisinart's site if using a food processor to add a half cup of recipe's flour for each cup of nuts and it . I tried this worked like a charm. I then struggled to figure out how to transport these (9 "sets" of a dozen each) to my cookie exchange without incurring too much more expense and without knocking them around too much. Finally hit upon a great solution. I used the cello gift bags from the Dollar Tree Store- the ones decorated in Holiday motif that come a dozen or so to the package. I used cupcake liners and packed the cookies 2 to a liner, filling each bag with 6 "sets". Tied the cello bags off with a ribbon and am VERY pleased with the end result!
the first time making these cookies was a pretty good turnout they tasted delicious my friends loved them i will definitely make them again. fast easy and delicious .and its inexpensive.
LOVED THEM
Awesome recipe. These cookies are great. Very easy
wonderful
This recipe has been in my family for over 40 years! DELICIOUS!!
I also enjoy making this recipe at Christmas time, I place an unwrapped Hershey kiss in the middle before baking. I like watching the expressions when they bite into the cookie and find the chocolate kiss. Wonderful cookies.
I made these but my mom said they were dry and had no flavor? I don't know what I did wrong?
I will have to try again making them again they came out like a puffy cookie. My butter was soften, as I thought, it was easy to spread, but obviously not soft enough because the bottoms were flat
For those who had bad results with this cookie. It is very important to use the exact amount of chopped nuts as this is what helps keep them from crumbling. also you must use all purpose flour not self-rising flour and not make them too big. I've been making these cookies for years at Christmas time and the only time I got bad result was making them a little too big or getting them too done. My family expects them every year!
These disappear very fast I double the recipe.
Yummy and Easy! If yours turned out flat and falling apart, you probably didn't use softened butter and rolled them out too large. Follow the recipe and these are amazing!
I love Snowballs, and this is the best recipe for them. I like granulated sugar instead of powdered sugar INSIDE the cookie because I think it keeps them "shorter" and not so pasty tasting. I always use this recipe using very finely chopped (almost ground) black walnuts I pick up from local trees. The true flavor comes out in the black walnuts, if you like them!
Recently made this recipe and turned out great! Sent some to daycare with my son and they absolutely loved them. I followed the recipe almost exactly with a couple of the suggestions from folks here. I added an additional tsp of almond extract and some mini chocolate chips. Just amazing. Will do this again and again!
Snowball cookies have always been one of our favorite Christmas cookies. A few years ago, when we made them, they were difficult to roll and they all fell apart. We haven't made them since. I thought this would be the year to bring them back. I tried the Land-O-Lakes recipe and they were fantastic! Everyone enjoyed them!
These are my favorite cookies. My father-in-law loved them so much, I'm making more to take to him. This recipe is awesome. I would definitely recommend them to anyone. I did substitute the pecans for walnuts but other than that, I kept the recipe the same.
I made this recipe with mini chocolate chips in it. It was awesome
My favorite cookie of all time. Tried making these for the first time today. Completely dissappointed. Flat and falling apart.
This is now my favorite Christmas cookie. It is delisicous!!!!!!
Turned out amazin. I used walnuts instead of pecans, just because I was out of pecans, still turned out great. Would make them again!
Just made this recipie of my FAVORITE holiday cookie. You can not go wrong with this one! The only addition I made was to add a touch of almond extract along with the vanilla. The cookies turned out perfect, did not melt, had the right amount of crumble, and were simply PERFECT! This is my new "go to" recipe for this cookie!
This is soooo amazingly easy and it tastes really good.
It's the best ever...I even toasted coconut and rolled them in the powdered sugar and then the toasted coconut...(half the batch) they're awesome
I made these for a cookie exchange and can't wait for my friends to try them. These bring back a wonderful memory of my grandma. Each time we'd drive to see her, she'd always have fresh-out-of the oven snowball cookies ready for us! A great memory! Only we didn't call them snowball cookies..... we called them "Grandma Grunt" cookies. I have no idea why, but they were always the best!!!
Absolutely my favorite Christmas cookie! This recipe is perfect if you follow the directions. I made the dough one night and baked them the next morning. I didn't wait for the dough to soften; I just used my mini ice cream scoop and molded them with my hands. The warmth from my hands softened the dough just enough to make a ball, and it kept the shape while baking. I have made these before and baked right after mixing and they did flatten a tiny bit. They are not a really sweet cookie without the powdered sugar. I can't understand what others did to make their cookies taste like flour or flatten out, but the way I made them; they turned out perfectly. I also waiting until they were completely cooled before rolling in the powdered sugar. This put a light coat of the sugar on them, and I hope that I don't need an extra coat because that would make them too sweet.
Getting ready to make these cookies now. I have been making them for many years and they're always a big hit!!
For pamela, M
ake sure your cookies are absolutely cool before rolling them in the powdered sugar. I think the sugar is melting so they are "gooey". Also, roll them in the powdered sugar twice! Hope that solves the problem for you. It did for me!
cookies are great...but i used powered sugar in them ..and cashews
They have a good taste, however, they were a little dry and crumbly. Tried making a second batch, followed the recipe exactly as written, with the same results. Even baked them less than the recommended time, still dry. Are they supposed to be a drier cookie?
author_photo
Test Kitchen Comment
From:

Cindy

Yes, snowball cookies are a classic holiday cookie and traditionally it has a drier texture. One hint is to beat the dough until it comes together and is not so crumbly. It might take 2 to 3 minutes for this to happen.
Posted December 17, 2012
I made this recipe tonight and it was so incredibly disappointing. I spent and hour and a half baking these and they tasted like baked flour. DO NOT WASTE YOUR TIME BAKING THIS RECIPE.
looks like the recipe i was looking for but has anyone made this with candied fruits? thanks!!
I was having a problem making these cookies. They kept turning out flat as a pancake! I tried cooling the dough in the refigerator, baking them at different temperatures and no improvement. THEN, I discovered that I had mistakenly put in twice the amount of butter. I erroneously thought 4 sticks of butter was 1 cup. Oops! Now I have recorded 2 sticks of butter (next to 1 cup) on my recipe for future reference.
My mom makes these every year, accept once we make the dough, we cool it in the fridge for awhile and then once cooled wrap it around a hershey kiss, then bake it as the instructions state. delicious!
this was great, loved how it was the right texture and not too sweet. just a question, did the icing sugar get sticky and mushy for anyone? i coated it only once after leaving them out to cool for about 20min but the icing sugar started to become mushy when i picked them up with my fingers... please help? i wanna make these for my family for christmas...
Everything I expected and more absolutely delicious really enjoyed them while they were still warm.
I make these every year, except I use walnuts and add about 1/2 cup extra nuts. Also, I put the flour, vanilla, sugar, and butter in a food processor and process until its like a crumbly dough texture. Then I add the chopped nuts and just pulse a few times to incorporate. It is so much easier than mixing by hand or even with a kitchen-aid. Amazing cookies.
This recipe is terrible. Terribly delicious. Haha got ya. But really this recipe is amazing
Only thing I changed was the amount of nuts, I added 1/2 cups. Cookies turned out perfect! Easy to make too.
I have been making these cookies since 2004, My family loves them my little girl and I make them every CHRISTmas eve and we give out as gifts to all our family. ABSOLUTELY LOVE them. :D
Great cookies!! I am doing them with rum extract as well, awesome. They were the best cookie at a cookie exchange.
I am wondering if anyone has substituted margerine for butter. I had made an old family recipe for Snowballs prior to trying this one, and I used margerine. They turned out AWFUL this year. I always used this recipe in years past, and I always used margerine. I have felt that they have not been turning out as good as I remember them being years ago. In fact, I find that none of my old tried and true Christmas cookies turn out as tastey. I am kind of losing my desire to bake them. Is the quality of ingredients changing? I use the best that I can find. I have always enjoyed putting together eye appealing and delicious platters of Christmas cookies and stuck with my favorites since my mom made them in the 60's. I am worried about setting myself up for failure these past few Christmas's. Just wondering if anyone shares my experience and sentiments. Thanks....maybe it is just my tastebuds changing!
author_photo
Test Kitchen Comment
From:

Cindy

Linda, Yes, you can substitute margarine for the butter in a cookie recipe usually. Both products are 80% fat and work well in baking.
Posted January 01, 2012
Waste of ingridients....Came out flat..Very disappointed.......
I made this recipe except I only added 1 cup of crushed pecans. I left them bake for 18 minutes. They turned out perfect. They melted before I could chew. They are not dry or overly sweet. Just love this recipe. Baking cookies too long can dry them out. Bottom of cookies are a shade darker than top.
Worst recipe! They flattened! I should have trusted my gut instinct and refrigerate them! What a waste of food!
I have been making this recipe this my book little land o lakes cookie collection was was copyrighted in 1990 & all those years my family is crazy about this cookie & begs me to make them every year. Thanks Land O Lakes for making this our favorite Christmas cookie. Mary O. of New Jersey
Thanks so much for posting this recipe . I love these and couldn't remember what they were called to make some . Made these with my kids and it was so fun . Use to make them with my mom for Christmas and wanted to pass along the fun to them . So good you can't go wrong with these but do stick to small ones these don't do well large.
this is the best snowball recipe, just like my grandma's.....
Fantastic. Not sure what others did that they did not turn out. So simple and just like I remember as a child. My youngest can't get enough of them. The only thing I did differently is instead of rolling the cookies is I put them on the cooling rack after 5 minutes and sifted the confectioners sugar over the top. It gave it a nice even look.
Waaaaaay too many nuts in this recipe. Turned out crumbly and very dry, almost like sand in your mouth. I have made these before and loved them but couldn't find my recipe. I looked at other recipes after this one didn't turn out and they have half (or less) of the nuts. Gonna have to try a new recipe, I cannot add these to my Christmas goodie baskets.
Sounds Good!!!!!
These cookies are wonderful. I made mine about twice the recommended size. I know bigger is usually better, but stick with the smaller balls for these cookies. They melt in your mouth and not to sweet, just perfect for an afternoon snack or a light dessert. Well, as light as a cup of butter can be. You won't be sorry, follow the directions (including the double dip of sugar) and you'll be happy, happy, happy!
The best Snowball Cookie recipe I have ever tried! Not dry or crumbly at all...perfect amount of nut and sweet taste.
I used to have these cookies when I was young, but my mom substituted walnuts for the pecans. I found this recipe and did the same. If you like the taste of walnuts, you;ll love these ;)
this is an easy recipes. for fun- add some colored sandung sugars to the powdered sugar for some added color for the holidays
Simple and delicious. Fun for small hands to shape, and they make small cookies that are great with coffee or for little ones with milk. A Southwest classic.
This is the best snowball cookie recipe ever they just melt in your mouth
Every year we make these lovely cookies!
There is are happy memories in this recipe. Super for the collection of cookies to be set out for Santa on Christmas Eve.
Of all the holiday cookie baking I do this one is everyones favorite cookie. I love this cookie and its so easy to make.
The other reviewer, Kalena, is smoking crack. These are the best cookies EVER. They melt in your mouth! They are a lot of work when rolling in the powdered sugar, but every minute you spend is worth it!
This was was a great recipe - I made this especially for my nephew who is allegic to eggs. He had the most enjoyable Christmas ever.
I've been making these cookies every Christmas season for the last 5 years. I make at least 10 dozen and give these and the candy I make at work and to personal friends. This is everyone's favorite cookie and I'll keep making them. Wonderful with hot tea.
yeh!! they didn't flatten out!
Maybe I'm doing something wrong because by the other reviews, this cookie is suppose to be good but I just finished trying this recipes. Just a warning to those who are going to be trying to bake this. One the cookies crumble a lot so it is difficult to coat with the powder sugar. And second the cookie does not taste good at all. Don't waste your time or ingredients.
these cookies are totally melt in your mouth. I use a coffee grinder to grind my nuts. I only use this grinder for nuts and I only pulse them until they're just right for the recipe.
These cookies are absolutely delicious. The next time I make them, however, I will make them smaller. They crumble very easily when you are rolling them in the powdered sugar. I like that they aren't sickly sweet.
this was super EASY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! me and my 6yr daugther made its very kid friendly we also made cookies out of this recipe
My grandma and mom have been making these cookies since I was a child and this is identical to their recipe except we add 2 tsp. of vanilla. I make a triple batch of these cookies every Christmas and make them larger than suggested and get 2 dozen instead of 3. The texture is so sandy and they are not overly sweet. With all the nuts and the low sugar content, this isn't a bad Christmas treat for those who have to count their carbs. This is the best recipe for Snowballs/Mexican Wedding Cakes etc. My grandma's recipe calls them Russian Teacakes.
The snowball cookies are excellent!! They are so tasty and the pecans do the job with the butter cookie and powdered sugar. I certainly will keep for future holidays to come.
I have made pecan cookies for many years, but these are easier than any I have made before and tasty.
Love this cookie! I came across this recipe in a magazine for Land O'Lakes Butter about 16 years ago. I have been making this cookie since then. It is always requested at the holidays and for birthdays, and I have given the recipe out so many times I've lost count. Thank you for this recipe.
The best I have ever tasted.Made a plate full for our relatives and friends over the holidays.Every holiday and special occasion I will always makes these wonderful cookies.The best part, the main ingredient, Land O'Lakes Butter.The Best for baking!M-M-M!Thanks.
I made these for my family for Christmas eve. I was very glad to find this recipe because they tasted just like the ones that my mother made years ago. My mother died this summer and I was so happy that I could make them for my brother.
This is a fabulous recipe. Make sure your nuts are chopped very fine. Also, these are more of a two bite cookie. I will make them smaller next time for a one bite cookie so the powder sugar won't make a mess!
Good Cookies
My mother made these cookies at Christmas time when I was 9 or 10 and now I'm 48 so it's been a while. Several years ago, I made an attempt to find the recipe on the internet because I wanted to make them for my children. I found this recipe and have been making them ever since. My children now ask for Snowball Cookies at Christmas time. It's just not Christmas without them.
Have been making this recipe at Christmas time for about 6 years, and it's expected by the family (and local extended family) every year. SO delicious. A pain to double roll each one, but otherwise a very easy recipe.
This recipe has been in my family for years and Christmas wouldn't be the same without these cookies. They are delicious!!

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