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These Pecan Snowball Cookies have a soft, crumbly texture with just the right amount of pecans. These easy pecan snowball cookies can be made in under 10 minutes!

Day 4 of the annual 12 Days of Christmas Cookies 2022!

Pecan Snowball Cookies Interior
chewy chocolate chip pumpkin cookies with browned butter icing featured
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Pecan Snowball Cookies are crumbly, tender pecan cookies coated in powdered sugar. They are not overly sweet and the flavor improves as they sit! This is what I call Christmas magic. We all need some high-maintenance cookies (I’m looking at you Moravian Spice Cookies!) and some easy, no-fuss cookies to balance them out.

I love how they balance out the flavors and textures of a Christmas cookie platter. Pair them with chewy gingerbread boys, apricot kolaches, sweet almond pignoli cookies and pistachio cranberry sable cookies for a striking and delicious array of cookies!

What are Snowball cookies?

Snowball cookies are tender shortbread-like cookies that have chopped pecans or walnuts mixed in the dough. They are also called Mexican Wedding Cookies or Russian Tea Cakes. The cooked, cooled cookies are tossed in powdered sugar for a white exterior.

Pecan Snowball Cookies Black Plate

Why did my snowball cookies flatten?

Snowball cookies flatten if the dough was not chilled before baking or if the oven temperature was too low. A low oven temperature can cause the butter to melt and flatten the cookies.

Ingredients for Pecan Snowball Cookies

  • All-purpose flour: All-purpose flour has just the right amount of gluten to make a chewy, soft cookie.
  • Pecans: You can finely chop pecans with a knife or pulse in a food processor until finely ground. Alternatively, you can purchase pecan flour or pecan meal and skip the entire step!
  • Pecan Meal: Purchasing pre-ground pecan meal or pecan flour can save a bit of prep time when making cookies, crusts, or cakes.
  • Kosher Salt: Kosher salt is lass salty than table salt and a teaspoon weighs less than other finer ground varieties. It heightens the flavor here and will keep your cookies from tasting dull or flat.
  • Butter: I use unsalted butter for baking cookies, because you want to control the amount of salt you are adding. Every brand is different and it makes adjusting the recipe a challenge.
  • Granulated Sugar: Granulated sugar is obviously here for sweetness, but if you add too much in proportion to the butter and flour, the cookies will spread rather than stay tall and chewy.
  • Vanilla Extract: Vanilla Extract adds a beautiful flavor itself but it also boosts the flavor of other ingredients around it.
  • Powdered Sugar: The powdered sugar coating adds a bit of additional sweetness and it helps keep the cookies moist during longer storage.
Pecan Snowball Cookies Group
Pecan Snowball Cookies Overhead


Russian Tea Cakes Powdered Sugar

Frequently Asked Questions

How to store Pecan Snowball Cookies?

Store pecan snowball cookies in an airtight container at room temperature. Layer the cookies between pieces of parchment or waxed paper. They can also be stored in a zip-top baggie. For a flawless finish, toss again in powdered sugar before serving.

Can you freeze baked Pecan Snowball cookies?

You can freeze baked pecan snowball cookies. Once cooled and tossed in powdered sugar, layer between parchment or waxed paper in an airtight container. After thawing, toss in powdered sugar to refresh the coating.

How long will snowball cookies keep?

Snowball cookies will keep at room temperature for one week or frozen for up to 3 months

Why are my snowball cookies dry?

Overbaking is the most common reason pecan snowball cookies are dry. Be sure to bake them just until a light golden brown on the bottom and the tops are beginning to show small cracks. Another reason is they were left out uncovered too long. Tossing them in the powdered sugar keeps them moist especially when stored in an airtight container.

Why did my pecan snowball cookies fall apart?

Snowball cookies fall apart when they are not allowed too cool or if they were left out too long and have dried out. Be sure to allow the cookies to cool completely before tossing in powdered sugar. Then store the pecan snowball cookies in an airtight container or zip-top bag.

Russian Tea Cakes Sideview
Pecan Snowball Cookies Stunning Crumb
5 from 1 ratings

Pecan Snowball Cookies

These nutty, buttery Pecan Snowball Cookies have a perfect soft, crumbly texture with just the right amount of pecans. And they are incredibly easy to make!
Prep: 10 minutes
Cook: 18 minutes
Total: 28 minutes
Servings: 24 Cookies



  • Preheat oven to 325°. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.
  • Chop pecans or pulse in a food processor until fine. You can also purchase pecan flour (pecan meal) to skip this step entirely.
  • Mix flour, 1 cup chopped pecans, and the salt in a medium bowl. Set aside.
  • Place the remaining cup chopped pecans in a food processor and pulse until ground fine (the texture of coarse cornmeal). I continued chopping my nuts by hand because I was sick of doing dishes, which was a mistake. If you have a food processor, I highly recommend using it here! But know that if you choose to do it by hand, they will still be sensational!
  • Add the processed nuts to the flour mixture and mix.
  • Cream the butter and sugar together until light and fluffy, scraping the sides of the bowl as needed. Beat in the vanilla until well-combined. Add all the flour mixture and mix on low speed until the dough just begins to come together but still looks shaggy. Scrape down the sides of the bowl and continue mixing on low until the dough is cohesive, about 10 more seconds.
  • Roll heaping tablespoons of dough into balls.
    For the tallest cookies, chill dough balls before baking.
  • Bake until the bottoms are golden and the tops are beginning to brown, 17 to 19 minutes.
  • Cool the cookies 2 minutes on the baking sheet before transferring to wire racks to cool completely.
  • Place powdered sugar in a large plastic bag. Working with two cookies at a time. Toss gently to coat and place back on the wire rack.
  • Allow the cookies to sit at least an hour, up to overnight, and then repeat the tossing in powdered sugar.
  • Cookies can be stored in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 5 days.



Recipe from Bakers Illustrated via The Brown Eyed Baker


Calories: 203kcal | Carbohydrates: 19g | Protein: 2g | Fat: 14g | Saturated Fat: 5g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 2g | Monounsaturated Fat: 5g | Trans Fat: 0.3g | Cholesterol: 20mg | Sodium: 74mg | Potassium: 48mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 11g | Vitamin A: 241IU | Vitamin C: 0.1mg | Calcium: 10mg | Iron: 1mg
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: Russian
Calories: 203
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Hi, I’m Chef Lindsey!

I am the baker, recipe developer, writer, and photographer behind Chef Lindsey Farr. I believe in delicious homemade food and the power of dessert!

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  1. I made these this morning
    Omg heaven, everyone loved them ????I followed every step but timing added like 5 minutes- I shouldn’t have. They were not as soft described in the recipe so next time I use the 18 minutes recommended

    1. Hi Cass! I’m so glad you enjoyed them! These cookies are tempting to keep baking (i made a slight variation at the restaurant this year) but they are much better when kept softer. Pecan puffs are often so dry!

  2. I just try your recipe exactly recipe you wrote here.. but the dough turn flat on the oven, no longer as circle as the picture.

    1. Hi Manty, I am sorry you experienced that. It sounds to me that your butter was too soft which would cause them to spread. Mine did flatten a touch on the bottom but remained rounded on top like you see in the pictures. Try refrigerating the dough prior to baking – it should help them retain the shape. Happy baking!

  3. This particular cookie holds so many memories for me. A favorite in my family forever, as long as i can remember. My mom would turn out batches during Our Christmas Holidays. It’s been hard to carry out some of our favorite traditions since loosing my mom several yrs ago. I looked up the recipe this evening, and I feel this recipe touches every mark that I have imprinted in my heart and soul. Now, if I can just make them as wonderful as my mom.

    1. What a wonderful memory, Maureen. I, too, have fond memories of relatives’ desserts who have passed. I am sure that if you bake with love and in her memory, they will be every bit as delicious.

  4. Girl, you have got to get on the Nuts! in Baked Goods Band Wagon. I used to hate nuts in brownies and things, but I have come to my senses 🙂

    1. Haha! I have too, Kathy! I still am resistant to nuts in my chocolate chip cookies…something never change!
      I actually posted a Cardamom Walnut Snowballs today! 🙂

  5. I remember my Grandmother making these cookies every year at Christmas. Not a big fan of nuts in cookies, brownies, etc…except for these cookies. I decided I wanted to make a batch of these cookies this year but have somehow managed to loose her recipe. That made be very sad since there are so many wonderful memories of watching and helping her make these cookies. From what I remember this recipe of yours is pretty darn close to what Gramma used to make. She would cool her cookies for a couple of minutes then roll in the powdered sugar before cooling. Once completely cooled, she would roll in powdered sugar one more time. I just love how these cookies are so delicate and tender that they almost melt in your mouth. Can’t wait to make up a batch of these for my family this year. Thanks for posting!!!

    1. These are some of the only cookies that I like nuts in too! I never eat nuts in brownie..bleh! I am so pleased to hear that this recipe is so close to your grandmothers! I will have to be sure to double roll mine this year! Thanks so much for stopping by to comment, Toni! Happy baking and Merry Christmas!