Pecan Snowball Cookies

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When I want to make my family a little treat but I don’t have much time, this is one of my go-to recipes. Snowball cookies are not only one of our favorite Christmas cookies but a simple snack for any winter day!

A plate of snowball cookies

I grew up eating these Snowball Cookies but we always called them pecan sandies. To be honest, they weren’t my favorite when I was little because I didn’t really like anything that had nuts in it!

Then I started making them for my children, who aren’t picky eaters at all and love nuts. We call them Snowball Cookies because to little ones, that’s what they look like and it’s a bit more fun to say!

I use the same recipe that my mother and grandmother have used for decades. There are so many recipes out there for this type of cookie and all are very similar. I’m not sure where our family’s recipe originated or when but it was a long time ago and I’m glad to be able to continue making it every year for my own family.

Snowball cookies have only a few ingredients and hardly take any time at all to make, which is why I like to make them several times throughout the winter, not just at Christmas. They are light and sweet and, although a little messy due to the powdered sugar, they’re perfect for grabbing and popping into your mouth for a little treat.

Cookie being rolled in powdered sugar

Tools You Will Need

  • Stand mixer-Use the paddle attachment. However, these cookies can be made just as easily by hand mixing instead!
  • Measuring cups and spoons
  • Cookie sheets-Lined with parchment paper or a silicone baking mat.
  • Cooling rack
  • Small bowl-To hold the powdered sugar for rolling the cookies in after they are baked.

Ingredients for Snowball Cookies

  • Butter-Softened slightly before use.
  • Sugar-I like to use organic cane sugar.
  • VanillaHomemade vanilla extract is incredibly easy to make and is a great gift as well! You can print off some gift tags here and give a bottle along with a batch of cookies for a thoughtful Christmas gift.
  • Flour-I use all-purpose for these cookies.
  • Pecans-We are fortunate to have friends that share pecans from their family’s farm. I crush them up for this recipe by placing them in one of our reusable storage bags and tapping them with a rolling pin.
  • Powdered sugar-I like to use organic powdered sugar.
Cookie ingredients

How to Make Snowball Cookies

Preheat your oven to 300 degrees.

Cream the butter and the cane sugar together for two to three minutes on medium speed.

Add in the vanilla and mix well.

Butter and sugar creamed in a mixer bowl

Gradually add in the flour and mix until a thick dough forms.

Lastly, add the crushed pecans and mix well.

Dough in a bowl for snowball cookies

Roll about one tablespoon of dough into a ball and place on cookie sheet. Continue with remaining dough, placing cookies about one inch apart on the cookie sheet.

Hands rolling dough into a ball for snowball cookies

Depending on the size of the cookies you shape, you should get close to four dozen cookies!

I always try to make mine really small but they always end up a little bigger than I think they will. Often I’ll only get about three dozen from a batch.

Bake for 20 to 25 minutes or until cookies are lightly browned. Allow to cool on the cookie sheet for a several minutes.

Cookie balls on a sheet pan

While you’re waiting, measure the powdered sugar into a small bowl.

Once the cookies are still warm but cool enough to handle, roll them one at a time in the powdered sugar until coated.

Then place on the cooling rack and continue until all the cookies are coated. After rolling all the cookies, I like to do mine a second time to make sure they are really coated with the powdered sugar, and it makes them look a bit nicer!

Cookies being rolled in powdered sugar

That’s it! Enjoy warm and fresh or store in an airtight container for up to a week to save for later. You can also freeze them if making ahead of time and simply pull out of the freezer and thaw on the countertop for a few hours before you need them!

These cookies are not only the perfect treat for your family, but also great to serve when hosting or attending a Christmas party or cookie exchange! They also make a nice gift to share with others.

Cookies from baked to rolled in powdered sugar

This recipe is also so simple to make with little ones! They can help mix the ingredients, roll the dough into balls, and they especially love coating the cookies with the powdered sugar. Enjoy!

Snowball Cookies

A delicious and easy to whip up cookie that's not just for Christmas!
Print Recipe
A plate of snowball cookies
Prep Time:20 minutes
Cook Time:25 minutes


  • Stand mixer with paddle attachment
  • Measuring cups and spoons
  • Cookie sheets
  • Cooling rack
  • Small bowl


  • 1 cup butter (2 sticks), softened slightly
  • 1/3 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup pecans, crushed
  • 1 cup powdered sugar


  • Preheat oven to 300 degrees F.
  • Cream butter and sugar together.
  • Add vanilla and mix well.
  • Add flour, a little at a time, and mix well until dough forms.
  • Stir in pecans.
  • Roll into small balls and place on cookie sheet.
  • Bake for 20-25 minutes.
  • Allow to cool on cookie sheet until able to handle. Place powdered sugar into a small bowl.
  • Using a spoon or your hands, rolls each cookie in powdered sugar and place on rack to continue cooling.
  • If needed, roll in powdered sugar a second time.
  • Store in an airtight container.
Servings: 4 dozen
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