Pecan Snowball Cookies

Pecan Snowball Cookies

Down here in Georgia we need to create our own snow. I prefer mine in the form of powdered sugar.

Copious amounts of powdered sugar.

Preferably caked around a buttery Pecan Snowball Cookie.

Pecan Snowball Cookies


I don’t know where I developed my fondness for Snowball Cookies (also called Mexican Wedding Cookies and Russian Tea Cookies). I usually am a card-carrying member of the No Nuts In Baked Goods Club. Snowballs are my exception.

The buttery, nutty flavor gets me every time.

Pecan Snowball Cookies

Plus how can you not giggle when you eat a cookie that dusts everything within a 10-foot radius with powdered sugar? I certainly can’t. I also can’t eat them in public for this very same reason.

Pecan Snowball Cookies

These were the very first Pecan Snowballs I’ve ever made; they just weren’t in my family’s Christmas Cookie repertoire. So I turned to one of my favorite, and most reliable fellow bloggers, The Brown Eyed Baker, for her favorite recipe. And it’s a winner. The best that I have ever tried. Yup, the best.

They were actually even better the second (and third) day! The pecan flavor was more developed and I thought they were even moister.

Pecan Snowball Cookies

These Pecan Snowballs have a perfect, soft, crumbly texture with just the right amount of pecans. And they are ridiculously easy. If you have pre-chopped pecans and you use a food processor, which I didn’t (bad call, FYI), these take less than 10 minutes to get in the oven. Craziness!

Pecan Snowball Cookies

Or the perfect antidote to Christmas Craziness!

Pecan Snowball Cookies

These will be a yearly staple in my Christmas Cookie tray. For sure.

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Pecan Snowball Cookies

  • Total Time: 28 minutes
  • Yield: 48 1 inch Cookies 1x


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!


  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 cups finely chopped pecans, divided
  • ¾ teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup unsalted butter, slightly softened
  • 1/3 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 ½ teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 ½ cups powdered sugar, for coating


  1. Preheat oven to 325°. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.
  2. Mix flour, 1 cup chopped pecans, and the salt in a medium bowl. Set aside.
  3. 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!
  4. Add the processed nuts to the flour mixture and mix.
  5. 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, as The Brown Eyed Baker says, “still looks scrappy”. Scrape down the sides of the bowl and continue mixing on low until the dough is cohesive, about 10 more seconds.
  6. The BEB says to roll a heaping tablespoon of dough into balls, but when I did this I only got 24 Snowballs. They were amazing, but if you want 48, you should really stick to a scant tablespoon.
  7. Bake until the bottoms are golden and the tops are beginning to brown, 17 to 19 minutes.
  8. Cool the cookies 2 minutes on the baking sheet before transferring to wire racks to cool completely.
  9. 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.
  10. 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. I wrapped mine in layers of wax paper and then covered them with foil and they did not get as soft and soggy as they can in other containers.

  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 18 minutes

Recipe from Bakers Illustrated via The Brown Eyed Baker

Pecan Snowball Cookies


  • Dina
    December 25, 2013 at 3:43 pm

    yummy classic cookies!

    • Lindsey
      December 26, 2013 at 10:29 am

      Thanks Dina!

  • Kayle (The Cooking Actress)
    January 1, 2014 at 4:04 pm

    powdered sugar > snow

    cookies > everythinggg else!

    • Lindsey
      January 2, 2014 at 2:33 pm

      LOL! I agree wholeheartedly! Happy New Year!

  • […] also called, Nut Horns) should not be restricted to Christmas to compete with the Gingerbread Boys, Snowballs, or Molasses Spice Cookies. No, no. They are waaay too special for […]

  • Toni
    December 7, 2014 at 9:30 am

    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!!!

    • Lindsey
      December 7, 2014 at 10:28 am

      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!

  • Karen
    December 14, 2014 at 1:51 am

    My mom’s recipe calls for half butter and half shortening. So good. I think better than just butter

    • Lindsey
      December 14, 2014 at 9:24 am

      I’ll have to try that next time, Karen! Shortening can be excellent for texture in cookies!

  • […] Full recipe: […]

  • Kathy Mader
    December 7, 2015 at 8:12 pm

    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 🙂

    • Lindsey
      December 8, 2015 at 11:10 am

      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! 🙂

  • Maureen retting
    March 8, 2016 at 8:55 pm

    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.

    • Lindsey
      March 9, 2016 at 11:29 am

      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.

  • Manty
    November 9, 2016 at 2:25 am

    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.

    • Lindsey
      November 15, 2016 at 1:05 pm

      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!

  • Cass
    December 24, 2017 at 12:16 pm

    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

    • Lindsey
      December 26, 2017 at 12:22 pm

      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!


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