Butter Snowballs Recipe
These Butter Snowballs are soft, melt in your mouth cookies with a dusting of powdered sugar. They are a family favorite holiday cookie recipe! Snowball Cookies are a beautiful addition to your holiday cookie plates and dessert tables.
Today we’re taking a break from the usual healthy recipes because you need to add these cookies to your holiday baking list. They are that good. If you’re just here for the healthy recipes, no need to read further. But if you’re like me and love holiday baking, I have one of my very favorite holiday cookie recipes to share with you today!
My family has always called these cookies Butter Snowballs. They go by many other names, including Mexican Wedding Cookies, Russian Tea Cakes, Snowballs, Butterballs and Snowball Cookies. What do you call them?
The recipe for these Butter Snowballs cookies was my great-grandmother’s. My mom has my great-grandmother’s handwritten recipe card for these cookies, and years ago I copied it for myself. It’s the kind of recipe card that says things like, “1-2 cups nuts” and “chill dough until easy to handle.” I modified the recipe just a bit to give you more specific instructions… so your cookies will turn out just perfect!
When it comes to these Butter Snowballs, perfect means melt-in-your-mouth buttery cookies with a dusting of powdered sugar and a hint of vanilla (or almond) flavor. You’ll just barely taste the finely chopped walnuts in these cookies, too. Or you can use pecans for a slightly different delicious flavor!
My family makes these cookies every year at Christmas. My mom, sisters and I do a big cookie baking day and bake so. many. cookies! Besides these Butter Snowballs, Cherry Cream Cheese Cookies, Gingerbread Cookies and Chocolate Crinkle Cookies are always on our cookie baking list. Every one of them is a must-make cookie this time of year and I really can’t choose a favorite.
How to Make Snowball Cookies
The dough for these Butter Snowballs takes just six ingredients and a few minutes to make. You’ll want to soften the butter ahead of time, so that it easily creams together with the powdered sugar. Once the butter and sugar are combined you mix in salt and either vanilla or almond extract, depending on which flavor you prefer.
The final step to making the dough is to mix in the flour and chopped nuts. I usually use walnuts, but you can use pecans (or even almonds) if you prefer.
The dough will be pretty soft and sticky at this point, but after chilling in the refrigerator it becomes very firm. If you’ve chilled the dough overnight, you may need to let it soften for just a few minutes on the counter before rolling it into balls.
After the snowball cookies bake, you’ll roll them in powdered sugar twice to give them their signature “snowy” look. Once when they’re warm and then again after they’ve cooled completely.
These Butter Snowballs are so pretty with their dusting of powdered sugar. Almost bite-sized, these little cookies are sure to disappear quickly!
Tips for making these Butter Snowballs:
- Be sure to chop the nuts very finely. I like to use my food processor to chop the nuts quickly and easily.
- Let the baked cookies cool on the baking sheet for 3-5 minutes and then carefully roll them in powdered sugar. Once they’re completely cool, roll them a second time to give them more of a powdered sugar coating.
- I like to make these cookies very small. I roll the dough into 1-inch (or smaller) balls. They’re like mini snowballs!
Butter Snowballs Recipe
- 1 cup unsalted butter (softened)
- 1/2 cup powdered sugar (plus more for rolling)
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract (or almond extract)
- 2 cups all purpose flour
- 1 cup finely chopped walnuts or pecans (I use my food processor)
- Using an electric mixer, beat together butter and powdered sugar until creamy.
- Add the salt and vanilla (or almond) extract, and beat until incorporated, scraping down the sides of the bowl as needed.
- Add the flour and nuts and beat on low speed until combined.
- Chill dough in the refrigerator for at least 2 hours, until easy to handle.
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line baking sheets with parchment paper.
- Roll dough into 1-inch balls and place on prepared baking sheets. Bake for 10-12 minutes, until lightly golden on the bottom.
- Let cool for 5 minutes, then roll warm cookies in powdered sugar. Let cookies cool completely and then roll in powdered sugar a second time.
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