Butter Pecan Snowball Cookies

These Butter Pecan Snowball Cookies are melt in your mouth amazing! These cookies are a favorite at Christmas but are scrumptious all year long.

cookies on a beige plate and white and blue napkin

When it comes to a simple holiday dessert, you can’t go wrong with these Butter Pecan Snowball Cookies. Not only are they flavorful and delicious but they’re bite-sized and perfect to eat as well. 

Making these butter pecan snowball cookies recipe is a true family tradition in our house. And if it isn’t in yours, it’s time to make it one. This is because there’s just something about this simple cookie recipe that signals that the holiday season is upon us. 

Maybe it’s the fact that we all love to get together and whip these up in the kitchen or it’s based upon the knowledge that we only make this pecan cookie recipe once a year for family and friends…but regardless, this is one of our favorite Christmas cookies that rank high on the top of our list.

These have to be one of my absolute favorite cookie. Can I have a favorite cookie? There are so many! But this one is it’s own kind of special. Maybe it’s the melt in your mouth factor. Or the fact that it takes less than 45 from start to finish! Then you can start popping them in your moth!

cookies stacked on white and blue napkin plate of cookies in background

Butter Pecan Snowball Cookies

We also love that these cookies literally have the perfect name. Being called “snowballs” makes sense because once they’re created, this is exactly what they end up looking like as well. 

The outer coating of powdered sugar gives each bite that perfectly sweetened taste, which is such a wonderful contrast to the inner portion of the cookie since it’s not sweetened at all. 

Just be certain to have a napkin handy as they’re going to make a bit of a mess. The powdered sugar is going to fall off once you lift it and take a bite but trust us…you’re really not going to care. These simple cookies are that good, you can worry about the mess later! 


cookies on a dish and stacked on top of on another on a blue and white napkin

Russian Tea Cakes, Mexican Wedding Cookies, Southern Pecan Butter Drops, Italian Butter Nuts

These are delectable cookies with many names. In our house we normally just call them snowball cookies. But they are also known as Russian Tea Cakes and Mexican Wedding Cookies, Southern Pecan Butter Drops, Italian Butter Nuts. No matter what you call they they taste amazing. They are melt in your mouth goodness!

Coo with a blue and white napkin under itkies on a cooling rack

What is the easiest way to chop up pecans?

Luckily, pecans aren’t an overly hard nut so this makes them easier to break up into pieces. There are a couple of ways that you can go about this and they’ll fairly simple, too.

The fastest way would be to use a food processor. Just add in the pecans, and let the blade do the trick. You’ll just want to keep an eye on it so that they don’t get “too” crushed up in the process.

The other way to chop up pecans is actually a bit more fun. And if you have kids or people who are wanting to help out with this recipe, this might be just the perfect job for them!

Put the pecans in a ziplock bag and seal it shut. Take a rolling pin or other heavier object and begin rolling or “beating” the pecans into they’re all broken up into smaller pieces.

I would suggest chopping the nuts as small as possible so if your using the rolling pin method roll and smash so the nuts are small. too large of a nut will produce a crumbly cookie (besides overbaking).

What did my snowballs crack in the oven?

If you’re noticing that your snowball cookies are cracking or even falling apart in the oven, you might be baking them too long. Make certain that you’re following the recipe guidelines that are listed below so that you don’t have this mistake happen.

A few cracks are going to happen along the way, so don’t be alarmed if that is the case. But if all of them start to do it and aren’t holding their shape, that’s a big indicator that you’re more than likely overcooking them in the oven. 

Cookies on a cooling rack

Snowball Cookies Without Nuts

The great thing about this simple snowball cookie recipe is that you can omit the nuts if you want to or have a need to. Just skip over that part in the recipes and go about the rest of the directions. 

And just as simple as it is to take out the nuts, you can easily change up the nuts that you’re adding as well. Walnuts are another great choice due to their taste and texture. 

batter for cookies

Ingredients for Snowball Cookies 

You’re not going to need a ton of ingredients to getting started!

  • Butter
  • Powdered sugar
  • Salt
  • Vanilla extract
  • Flour
  • Chopped pecans
  • powdered sugar

You probably have all of these already in your panty or cabinet at home! 

How to make Butter Pecan Snowball Cookies

These snowball cookies could not be any easier to make. Seriously just a few steps and you will be in cookies heaven. Below are a few quick steps. the full recipe and instructions are in the recipe card.

  • Cream the butter and the powdered sugar until light and fluffy.
  • Turn your mixer to low and add the salt, vanilla, flour and pecans.
  • Roll into one inch balls and place on baking sheets covered with parchment paper and bake,
  • Allow to cool just enough to handle them and roll in powdered sugar.
  • Place cookies on cooling racks.
  • When the cookies are fully cooled roll in the powdered sugar again.

How to Store Leftover Snowball Cookies 

One thing that you’re going to notice about these cookies is that they tend to be a bit drier than other cookies. This is because of the added ingredients and how they’re baked up in the oven.

They’re not meant to be a moist cookie recipe at all. In fact, the more that they crumble, the better. (You just want them to crumble in your mouth when you’re chewing them, not when you’re baking them!)

And if you’re lucky enough to have any of these homemade pecans ball cookies leftovers, you can easily store them for later to enjoy for the next several days.

Simple store them in an airtight container and have them hidden up in the cabinet. (okay, so you don’t REALLY have to hide them but this is more for your benefit so that everyone doesn’t eat them all up!) 

cookies on beige plate and blue and white check napkin

Fun Ways to Share Snowball Cookies with Friends 

The other great aspect of these snowballs is that they’re really awesome to share with friends. Head to the store and see if you can find any of those fun Christmas tins and buy up a few, with this purpose in mind.

Then, whip up this simple snowball recipe and divvy out the goods to those in your life that you want to spoil and treat. Take the Christmas tins that you purchase and add in a cup or two of powdered sugar then place the snowball cookies on top.

Once they receive their tin and open it up, they’re going to have a “wonderland” of powder sugar treats that is certain to make their day. Everyone knows that homemade gifts during the holidays are what it’s all about and homemade desserts and treats fall right into that category for sure. “Wow” them with your baking skills and hand-deliver a gift this year that you know they’re going to love. 

finished cookies on cooling rack and white and blue napkin

Have fun with this simple snowball cookie recipe! It’s a fast recipe that is certain to fill your tummy and taste buds with complete joy and happiness!

More Holiday Desserts you will love:

Gingerbread Cookies

Santa Sugar Cookies

Classic Sugar Cookies

 Gingerbread with White Chocolate Cream Cheese Frosting

cookies on a beige plate and white and blue napkin

Butter Pecan Snowball Cookies

These Butter Pecan Snowball Cookies are melt in your mouth amazing! These cookies are a favorite at Christmas but are scrumptious all year long.
5 from 3 votes
Print Pin Rate
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 12 minutes
Servings: 33 Cookies
Author: Rob


  • 1 cup butter softened
  • 1/2 cup powdered sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup finely chopped pecan
  • 1 cup powdered sugar for dusting


  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees
  • Using a mixer, cream softened butter and powdered sugar.   Add in salt, vanilla, flour and pecans and mix on low until mixed together. 
  • Roll into one inch balls. Place on parchment covered baking sheets a few inches part. Bake for 11-13 minutes or until very lightly browned. Do not over bake.
  • Remove from oven and allow to cool just enough to be able to handle them. Pour 1 cup powdered sugar in large Ziploc bag or in a wide bowl. 
  • Gently add 3-4 cookies at a time and roll them gently in powdered sugar. 
  • Very Gently shake to remove excess powdered sugar and place on cooling racks. 
  • Once completely cooled roll in powdered sugar bag again.
  • Makes 30-36 cookies

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One Comment

  1. 5 stars
    They’re SUPERB, & they melt in your mouth. I’ve been baking these since I was a teen….that’s how easy they are. A super tasty addition to any cookie tray.