These Snowball Cookies are an absolute must in my holiday baking lineup – my family eagerly awaits their arrival every year. They are soft, buttery and packed with walnuts in every delicious bite! Covered in powdered sugar, they look just like little snowballs when they're finished.
My family has always called these cookies Nutballs, but they have many other names you may know them as like Snowballs, Italian wedding Cookies, Mexican Wedding Cookies, Russian Tea Cakes, Butterballs - the list goes on!
These snowball Christmas cookies are so nostalgic for me. Come December, I find myself baking batch after batch because, let's face it, they vanish way too quickly! I have so many memories of making these every single year with my family around the Holidays! They're so buttery and deliciously sweet I can't stand it! Thanks to their small size, I just pop away until I realize I've had bout ten in one sitting.
These cookies have so many different names and I must live under a rock because up until a few years ago, I've never heard of anyone else making them and I thought my family had my Grandma's very special recipe. Ha! It turns out about a billion people have basically the same recipe and call them different names like Snowball Cookies, Russian Tea Cakes, and Italian Wedding Cookies. But for my family, they have always been called Nutballs!
Why you'll love this recipe
- Flavor: With the buttery flavor of the cookies paired with the nuttiness from the walnuts and sweetness from powdered sugar - it's so hard to stop at just one!
- Simple & Easy recipe: This recipe only requires a small list of ingredients and only a few easy steps!
- Make-ahead: Snowball cookies are a great option to make ahead. I prepare the dough a few days before I am planning on making them and refrigerate until ready to bake.
Preparing these Christmas snowball cookies takes only a few ingredients that you most likely have on hand and they're a breeze to whip up! We always use very finely chopped walnuts in ours but you can use any kind of nut you want.
- Walnuts: They will need to be chopped very fine for the cookie dough. You can substitute pecans for pecan snowball cookies or even almonds. If you need to make these walnut snowball cookies no nuts, simply leave the nuts out.
Substitutions & Variations
Nut-free snowball cookies: To make snowball cookies nut-free, substitute the nuts for ½-1 cup of add-ins like mini chocolate chips and/or sprinkles. Snowball chocolate chip cookies are a yummy option if you are making these for children.
Nut variety: To make snowball cookies with pecans, substitute the crushed walnuts in this recipe for pecans. You can also substitute with almonds for an almond snowball cookies variation.
Flavoring: You can 1 teaspoon of almond or anise extract for different flavor profile.
Add-ins: ½-1cup of mini chocolate chips, sprinkles, chopped peppermint.
See recipe card below for a full list of ingredients and easy-to-follow instructions.
To make cookies that are nut-free, simply leave the nuts out completely or substitute with ½-1 cup of mini chocolate chips and/or sprinkles.
They are shaped into balls and after baking are sprinkled with powdered sugar making them look a lot like little snowballs!
Store in an airtight container for up to 7 days at room temperature.
Yes! If making them soon, prepare the dough and refrigerate for up to 3 days until ready to use. You can freeze this dough or up to 3 months. Thaw in refrigerator overnight when ready to bake.
More Christmas Cookie Recipes
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- 1 cup unsalted butter softened
- ½ cup granulated sugar
- 2 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 1 ½ cup walnuts chopped very fine (or any nut of choice)
- ½ cup powdered sugar for dusting, as needed
- Preheat oven to 350°F. Grease or line two baking sheets with parchment paper.
- Cream butter, sugar and vanilla together until light and fluffy. Add flour and salt, stirring until just incorporated. Fold in chopped nuts by hand. Pat dough into a large ball, wrap in plastic wrap and chill for at least one hour.
- Once chilled, roll dough into 1" rounded tablespoon balls and place them on prepared baking sheet. Repeat process until all dough is used.
- Bake cookies for 10-12 minutes or until just very lightly browned on the bottom.
- Allow cookies to cool for 5 minutes until cooled enough to handle then roll or dust warm cookies with powdered sugar. Let cookies cool completely and then roll or dust with powdered sugar a second time.
The provided nutritional information is an estimate per serving. Accuracy is not guaranteed.