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These traditional Snowball Cookies are a beautiful addition to your holiday cookie plates and dessert tables. They have a buttery vanilla flavor surrounded by soft and snowy powdered sugar. Snowball Cookies have a crumbly, buttery, nutty texture that just melts in your mouth and are completely irresistible. These holiday cookies are simply the BEST! Everyone loves this classic Christmas cookie recipe.
These cookies are sometimes called Russian Tea Cakes or Mexican Wedding Cookies. Whatever you name them in your house, they are sure to be a hit (especially with kiddos in December!). They are special because they are delectable buttery, nutty, round shortbread cookies. We also love them so much because they are covered in powdered sugar that remind us of snowballs and playing in the snow.
When you’re making Snowball Cookies, you’ll want to make sure you and your kids, or grandkids, have enough time. A special amount of love and time goes into making these cookies. Making the dough is rather simple, but you’ll want to set aside extra time to refrigerate the dough before baking. Then, covering the cookies in snowy sugar also takes time. So, turn on the Christmas music, light the fire, grab a cup of hot chocolate and let’s get started!
Using an electric mixer, you’ll combine softened butter (be sure to set aside time for the butter to soften), sugar, vanilla, flour, and chopped walnuts. The dough will a little sticky but that’s ok. Separate the dough in half, wrap it in clear plastic wrap, and refrigerate for 45 minutes. This is a great time to start decorating your Christmas tree, build a snowman outside, send out Christmas cards, or even start a Christmas movie. Time flies when you’re having fun!
How to Make Snowball Cookies
Once the dough is chilled, it won’t be sticky anymore. I make larger snowball cookies by scooping the dough with a traditional sized ice cream scoop. Scoop the dough evenly in the ice cream scoop, then split that scoop in half, making two cookie dough balls (1 ice cream scoop full of cookie dough = 2 cookies). Roll those two pieces into perfect balls and place them on a cookie sheet prepared with parchment paper.
The cookies will bake for about 12-15 minutes. Watch them carefully so that they don’t crack and over cook! Remove them from the oven, let them cool until they are warm to the touch and then gently dip them in a bowl filled with powdered sugar. The cookies are delicate at this point because they are still warm, so work slowly and know that there’s no need to rush:) Place the sugar covered cookies back on the cookie sheet and let them cool completely. Once they are completely cooled, you’re going to give them a 2nd coat of powdered sugar!
Take all of the powdered sugar that is left in the bowl you first rolled the cookies in and pour it evenly over the cookies on the cooled baking sheet. Press and tap the cookies all around in the powdered sugar making sure they are covered in snowy sugar and looking gorgeous!
More Christmas Recipes by Smart School House to Try Next:
Christmas Tree Pull-Apart Bread
Christmas Trees Made with Pretzels
Meringue Christmas Trees
Graham Cracker Christmas Crunch
You Will Need
- 1 cup of softened butter
- 6 tablespoons of sugar
- 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
- 2 cups flour
- 1/2 cup finely chopped walnuts
- 2 cups powdered sugar
Other supplies needed
- Baking sheet
- Parchment paper
- Plastic Saran wrap
- Electric mixer
- Bowl (for powdered sugar)
- Ice cream scoop
- Preheat oven to 350°
- In a mixing bowl, combine the butter and sugar until fully combined
- Add in vanilla extract and mix again
- Add finely chopped walnuts
- Slowly add the flour in increments
- Mix until creamy (might be a bit sticky)
- Separate the dough in half
- Wrap each half in plastic Saran wrap
- Refrigerate dough for 45 minutes
- Once refrigerated scoop dough into ice cream scoop
- Cut ice cream scoop dough in half making two equal pieces of cookie dough
- Roll the dough into perfect circles. They should be about 2 inches in diameter (it’s ok if they’re a little smaller or bigger)
- Place the rounded cookie dough onto a baking sheet lined with parchment paper
- Bake for 12-15 minutes. Be careful to not over bake them and watch for cracking!
- Let the cookies cool until they are warm (not hot)
- Once they are warm to the touch, gently place each cookie, one by one, into a bowl filled with powdered sugar.
- Use a spoon to help carefully cover the cookies in powdered sugar
- Return the cookies back to the baking sheet and let them continue to cool
- Once completely cooled (about 20 minutes), pour the remaining powdered sugar evenly over the cookies on the baking sheet
- Gently press and sprinkle a second layer of powdered sugar onto each cookie
- Tap off excess sugar and place them on a pretty holiday plate and enjoy!
Makes about 15 cookies.
Bake a double batch if making them for a crowd!
They look wonderful. But how would you make them ahead of time. And save them