Buttery Pecan Snowball Cookies: A Delicious Holiday Treat

I absolutely love baking during the holiday season, and one of my favorite cookies to make are buttery pecan snowball cookies. These cookies are a classic treat that are perfect for any occasion, but especially during the winter months. They’re easy to make and the combination of butter, pecans, and powdered sugar is simply irresistible.

Buttery pecan snowball cookies, also known as Russian tea cakes or Mexican wedding cookies, are a traditional cookie that have been enjoyed for generations. The cookies are small, bite-sized balls that are rolled in powdered sugar, giving them a snowball-like appearance. The rich, buttery flavor of the cookie pairs perfectly with the nutty taste of the pecans, making them a crowd-pleaser for any gathering.

Whether you’re looking for a cookie to serve at a holiday party or just want to enjoy a sweet treat on a cold winter day, buttery pecan snowball cookies are the perfect choice. They’re easy to make and always a hit with family and friends. So why not give them a try and see for yourself how delicious they are?

History of Buttery Pecan Snowball Cookies

I have always been fascinated by the history of different types of cookies, and the Buttery Pecan Snowball Cookies are no exception. These cookies, also known as Russian Tea Cakes or Mexican Wedding Cookies, have a rich history that spans across different cultures and regions.

The origin of these cookies can be traced back to Medieval Arab cuisine, where they were known as “ghraybeh” or “kleicha.” These cookies were made with butter, sugar, and flour and were often shaped into crescents or balls. The recipe for these cookies was brought to Europe by the Moors, where it was adapted and further developed.

The Buttery Pecan Snowball Cookies, as we know them today, have their roots in Eastern Europe and Russia. In these regions, they are known as “Russian Tea Cakes” and are a popular holiday treat. The recipe for these cookies was brought to North America by European immigrants, where it was further adapted to include pecans.

The addition of pecans to the recipe gave the cookies a distinct flavor and texture, which made them a favorite among cookie lovers. Today, Buttery Pecan Snowball Cookies are a popular holiday treat in North America and are enjoyed by people of all ages.

In conclusion, the history of Buttery Pecan Snowball Cookies is a testament to the rich cultural heritage of different regions and the evolution of culinary traditions over time. These cookies are a delicious and timeless treat that is sure to delight cookie lovers for generations to come.

Essential Ingredients


Pecans are the star of the show in these Buttery Pecan Snowball Cookies. They add a delicious nutty flavor and a satisfying crunch. It’s important to use fresh pecans for the best results. I recommend buying whole pecans and chopping them yourself. This way, you can control the size of the pieces and make sure they are evenly chopped.


Butter is a crucial ingredient in these cookies. It adds richness and a smooth texture. I recommend using unsalted butter so you can control the amount of salt in the recipe. Make sure the butter is at room temperature before you start baking. This will make it easier to cream with the sugar and will help the cookies hold their shape.


Flour is the backbone of these cookies. It provides structure and helps the cookies hold their shape. I recommend using all-purpose flour for this recipe. It has the right amount of protein to give the cookies structure without making them tough. Be sure to measure the flour correctly by spooning it into the measuring cup and leveling it off with a knife.


Sugar not only adds sweetness to these cookies but also helps them hold their shape. I recommend using granulated sugar for this recipe. It dissolves easily and gives the cookies a delicate texture. You can also roll the cookies in powdered sugar after they have cooled to give them a snowy appearance.

In summary, the essential ingredients for Buttery Pecan Snowball Cookies are fresh pecans, unsalted butter, all-purpose flour, and granulated sugar. Using high-quality ingredients will ensure that your cookies turn out delicious and irresistible.

Baking Tools and Equipment

As a baker, having the right tools and equipment is essential for achieving the perfect results. Here are some of the baking tools and equipment that I use when making buttery pecan snowball cookies:

Measuring Cups and Spoons

Accurate measuring is crucial in baking, so I always use a set of measuring cups and spoons to ensure that I add the right amount of ingredients. I prefer using stainless steel measuring cups and spoons as they are durable and easy to clean.

Stand Mixer

A stand mixer is a great investment for any serious baker. It saves time and effort, especially when making dough or mixing heavy ingredients. I use my stand mixer to cream the butter and sugar for the buttery pecan snowball cookies, which gives them a light and fluffy texture.

Baking Sheet

A good quality baking sheet is essential for even baking and preventing cookies from sticking. I prefer using a heavy-duty aluminum baking sheet with a non-stick coating. It ensures that the cookies bake evenly and slide off the sheet easily.

Parchment Paper

Parchment paper is a baker’s best friend. It prevents cookies from sticking to the baking sheet and makes clean-up a breeze. I always line my baking sheet with parchment paper when making buttery pecan snowball cookies.

Cookie Scoop

A cookie scoop is a handy tool for ensuring that the cookies are uniform in size and shape. I use a medium-sized cookie scoop to portion out the dough for the buttery pecan snowball cookies.

By using these baking tools and equipment, I can achieve perfect results every time I make buttery pecan snowball cookies.

Preparation Techniques

Roasting Pecans

To bring out the nutty flavor of the pecans, I always roast them before adding them to the cookie dough. To do this, I preheat the oven to 350°F and spread the pecans in a single layer on a baking sheet. I then roast them for 8-10 minutes, stirring occasionally, until they are fragrant and lightly browned. After roasting, I let them cool completely before chopping them into small pieces.

Dough Mixing

When mixing the dough, it’s important to cream the butter and sugar together until light and fluffy. This usually takes about 2-3 minutes on medium speed using an electric mixer. I then add in the vanilla extract and mix until combined. In a separate bowl, I whisk together the flour, cornstarch, and salt before gradually adding it to the butter mixture. I mix until the dough comes together and then fold in the chopped pecans.

Shaping the Cookies

To shape the cookies, I use a cookie scoop to portion out the dough into balls that are about 1 inch in diameter. I then roll each ball in powdered sugar until completely coated. After that, I place the balls on a parchment-lined baking sheet and bake them in a preheated 325°F oven for 15-18 minutes, or until they are set and lightly golden. Once they are done, I let them cool on the baking sheet for a few minutes before transferring them to a wire rack to cool completely.

Overall, these preparation techniques are essential in creating the perfect Buttery Pecan Snowball Cookies.

Baking Instructions

Oven Preheating

Before starting to bake the Buttery Pecan Snowball Cookies, I always make sure to preheat my oven. Preheating the oven is crucial to ensure that the cookies bake evenly and turn out perfectly. I set my oven to 350°F (180°C) and let it preheat for about 10 minutes.

Timing and Temperature

Once the oven is preheated, I place the cookies on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. I bake the cookies for 12-15 minutes, until the edges are slightly golden brown. It is important not to overbake the cookies, as they will become dry and lose their soft texture.

After baking, I remove the cookies from the oven and let them cool on the baking sheet for 5 minutes. Then, I transfer them to a wire rack to cool completely.

Cooling Process

It’s important to let the cookies cool completely before storing them. If you store the cookies while they are still warm, they will become soft and lose their shape. Once the cookies are completely cooled, I store them in an airtight container at room temperature for up to a week.

Overall, following these simple baking instructions will result in perfectly baked Buttery Pecan Snowball Cookies that are sure to be a hit with everyone!

Flavor Variations

If you’re looking to switch up the classic Buttery Pecan Snowball Cookies, there are a few flavor variations you can try. Here are my top three:

Chocolate Chip Pecan Snowballs

For a chocolatey twist, try adding mini chocolate chips to the cookie dough. The combination of rich chocolate and buttery pecans is a match made in heaven. I recommend using semi-sweet chocolate chips to balance out the sweetness of the cookie.

Maple Glazed Pecan Snowballs

For a sweet and sticky glaze, try brushing the cookies with a maple syrup mixture after they come out of the oven. To make the glaze, mix together maple syrup, powdered sugar, and a splash of vanilla extract. Brush the glaze onto the warm cookies and let them cool completely before serving.

Spiced Pecan Snowballs

For a warm and cozy flavor, try adding a pinch of cinnamon, nutmeg, and cloves to the cookie dough. These spices complement the nutty flavor of the pecans and add a touch of holiday cheer to the cookies.

No matter which flavor variation you choose, these Buttery Pecan Snowball Cookies are sure to be a hit. Experiment with different flavors and find your favorite!

Serving Suggestions

When it comes to serving Buttery Pecan Snowball Cookies, there are a few different ways you can go about it. Here are some suggestions to make the most out of these delicious treats.

1. On their own: These cookies are so tasty that they can be enjoyed all on their own. Serve them up on a platter or in a cookie jar for guests to grab whenever they like. They make a great addition to any dessert spread.

2. With a hot beverage: Buttery Pecan Snowball Cookies pair perfectly with a hot cup of coffee, tea, or hot chocolate. The warmth of the beverage brings out the nutty flavors of the cookies, making for a cozy and comforting treat.

3. With ice cream: For an extra indulgent dessert, try serving these cookies alongside a scoop of vanilla ice cream. The coldness of the ice cream contrasts with the warm, buttery cookie, creating a delicious combination of flavors and textures.

4. As a gift: Buttery Pecan Snowball Cookies make a great homemade gift for friends and family. Package them up in a cute box or tin and tie it with a ribbon for a thoughtful and tasty present.

No matter how you choose to serve them, Buttery Pecan Snowball Cookies are sure to be a hit with anyone who tries them.

Storage and Preservation

As a baker, I know how important it is to store cookies properly to maintain their freshness and texture. Here are some tips for storing and preserving your Buttery Pecan Snowball Cookies:

  1. Store in an airtight container: Once the cookies have cooled completely, store them in an airtight container to prevent them from becoming stale or absorbing any odors from other foods in the fridge or pantry.
  2. Room temperature vs. Refrigeration: Buttery Pecan Snowball Cookies can be stored at room temperature for up to a week, but if you want to prolong their shelf life, you can store them in the fridge for up to two weeks. Just make sure to bring them back to room temperature before serving.
  3. Freezing: These cookies also freeze well. Place them in a freezer-safe container or a zip-top bag and store them in the freezer for up to three months. Thaw them at room temperature before serving.
  4. Avoid moisture: Moisture can cause the cookies to become soggy, so make sure they are completely cooled before storing them. You can also add a piece of bread or a slice of apple to the container to absorb any excess moisture.

By following these simple tips, you can enjoy your Buttery Pecan Snowball Cookies for longer without compromising on their taste and texture.

Nutritional Information

As a responsible baker, I always like to provide my customers with nutritional information about my baked goods. Here is the nutritional information for my buttery pecan snowball cookies:

  • Serving size: 1 cookie (20g)
  • Calories per serving: 110
  • Total fat: 8g
  • Saturated fat: 3.5g
  • Trans fat: 0g
  • Cholesterol: 15mg
  • Sodium: 45mg
  • Total carbohydrate: 9g
  • Dietary fiber: 1g
  • Total sugars: 3g
  • Protein: 1g

It’s important to note that these cookies are not low in calories or fat, but they can be enjoyed as an occasional treat as part of a balanced diet. The pecans provide a good source of healthy fats and fiber, but it’s still important to practice moderation when indulging in these delicious cookies.

Overall, these buttery pecan snowball cookies are a tasty and indulgent treat that can be enjoyed in moderation.

Frequently Asked Questions

What ingredients are needed for classic buttery pecan snowball cookies?

To make classic buttery pecan snowball cookies, you will need all-purpose flour, finely chopped pecans, unsalted butter, confectioners’ sugar, and vanilla extract. It is important to use unsalted butter to control the salt content of the cookies. You can also add a pinch of salt to enhance the flavor.

How can I prevent my snowball cookies from flattening during baking?

To prevent your snowball cookies from flattening during baking, make sure to chill the dough before rolling it into balls. This will help the cookies keep their shape while baking. Additionally, avoid overmixing the dough, as this can lead to a flatter cookie.

Is it possible to freeze snowball cookies after rolling them in confectioners’ sugar?

Yes, it is possible to freeze snowball cookies after rolling them in confectioners’ sugar. Simply place the cookies in an airtight container or freezer bag and store them in the freezer for up to 2-3 months. When ready to serve, let the cookies thaw at room temperature for a few hours before serving.

What are some popular variations of the traditional snowball cookie recipe?

Some popular variations of the traditional snowball cookie recipe include adding chocolate chips, substituting walnuts for pecans, or adding a touch of cinnamon or nutmeg to the dough. You can also experiment with different extracts, such as almond or coconut, to add a unique flavor.

How do German snowball cookies differ from other types?

German snowball cookies, also known as Schneeball cookies, are typically larger and denser than other types of snowball cookies. They are made with a combination of flour, butter, and eggs, and are rolled into balls before being deep-fried and coated in confectioners’ sugar.

Can you provide a simple 5-ingredient recipe for snowball cookies?

Yes, here is a simple 5-ingredient recipe for snowball cookies:

  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped pecans
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened
  • 1/4 cup confectioners’ sugar, plus extra for rolling
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F (175°C).
  2. In a medium bowl, mix together the flour and chopped pecans.
  3. In a separate bowl, cream together the butter and 1/4 cup of confectioners’ sugar until light and fluffy.
  4. Stir in the vanilla extract.
  5. Gradually add the flour mixture to the butter mixture, stirring until well combined.
  6. Roll the dough into 1-inch balls and place them on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.
  7. Bake for 12-15 minutes, or until the cookies are lightly golden brown.
  8. Let the cookies cool for a few minutes before rolling them in additional confectioners’ sugar.

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