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Snowball Cookies with Pecans

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Prep Time: 30 mins    Cook Time: 15 mins

5 from 8 votes

Snowball cookies with pecans are the type of cookie that simply screams “Christmas Time!” These rich and buttery cookies combine pecans, vanilla, and confectioners’ sugar to give it a melt-in-your-mouth taste and texture that no one can resist.

A pile of pecan snowball cookies on a plate.
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What Goes Into Snowballs?

In less than one hour, you can churn out a tray of snowballs perfect for your next gathering. Enjoy them with family or gift them in tins for the holidays. They take just 8 ingredients to create.

Typically, you combine all the ingredients, shape them into balls, bake, and then roll in confectioners’ sugar before allowing them to cool. This cookie recipe features an added ingredient, crushed candy canes, to lend it even more of a Christmas-y feel. The addition gives it a unique yet familiar feel that will have your cookie plate cleared off fast!

A close up of a pecan snowball cookie cut in half.

Common Questions

Where did snowball cookies originate?

Snowballs are known by many other names, such as Russian tea cakes or Italian wedding cookies. While they’re called different things in different places, they consist of a pastry type of dough that was popular in England in the time of the Middle Ages.

Can snowball cookies be frozen?

Like most cookies, snowballs freeze very well. Simply prepare the dough, shape them, and freeze them. They should be good for up to 6 months.

Why are my snowball cookies flat?

Snowballs will go flat if you use granulated sugar instead of confectioners’ sugar. Also known as powdered sugar, confectioners’ sugar keeps the cookies from spreading too much and helps them retain their famed shape.

How long do snowball cookies last?

Snowballs keep really well too and can stay in a paper bag in the pantry for about 4 days. In the fridge, they’ll keep for as long as 2 weeks. This is why they make the perfect cookie to gift for the holidays.

A plate of pecan cookie snowballs with candy canes.

Chopnotch Tips

  • Don’t replace confectioners’ sugar with granulated sugar in the recipe or you’ll wind up with flat cookies.
  • If you’d prefer more of an original snowball flavor, you can leave out the crushed candy canes, though they do add a more Christmas-like taste.
  • Make the dough ahead and pop them in the oven just before guests arrive to have them extra fresh.
  • Make sure you roll the snowballs in more confectioners’ sugar after baking so they take on that classic look.
A bowl of snowball cookies with pecans.

Have a great time baking these classic snowball cookies with pecans! Now time for a snowball fight!

Let us know what you think! Give this recipe a rating in the comments section below.


How to Make

Snowball Cookies with Pecans

Nobody can resist homemade snowball cookies with pecans and vanilla. These cookies are sure to become a firm holiday favorite.
Prep Time: 30 mins
Cook Time: 15 mins
Total Time: 45 mins
Servings: 30 cookies


  • 1 cup unsalted butter
  • 1 cup pecans, chopped
  • ¼ cup peppermint candy canes, crushed
  • ½ cup confectioners' sugar
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 ¼ cups all-purpose flour
  • confectioners' sugar, for dusting
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  • Preheat the oven to 350 F.
  • Combine butter, vanilla, and confectioners' sugar in a bowl and beat well until combined. Add pecans, candies, and flour and stir well.
  • Shape the dough into balls and place them on a baking sheet.
  • Bake for 15 minutes. Roll each cookie in confectioners' sugar and let cool completely!
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  • Wrap these cookies in cellophane and tie them with ribbon or pop a few into a festive tin for a great Christmas gift. Everyone loves receiving homemade gifts, especially when they taste this good!
  • There is no alternative for the confectioners’ sugar since no other kind of sugar is fine enough to give the right texture.
  • You can prep the dough ahead and just keep it in the refrigerator then put the snowballs in the oven shortly before guests arrive. They'll soon be overcome with curiosity about that incredible bakery aroma coming from the kitchen!

Nutrition Facts

Calories: 119kcal (6%), Carbohydrates: 12g (4%), Protein: 1g (2%), Fat: 9g (14%), Saturated Fat: 4g (25%), Cholesterol: 16mg (5%), Sodium: 74mg (3%), Potassium: 25mg (1%), Fiber: 1g (4%), Sugar: 2g (2%), Vitamin A: 191IU (4%), Vitamin C: 1mg (1%), Calcium: 6mg (1%), Iron: 1mg (6%)
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Comments & Ratings

  1. 5 stars
    Snowball cookies are my favorite, but for some reason I don't make them outside of the holiday season, thanks for the delicious reminder!

    • Yes. We occasionally make them year round, without the candy cane.

  2. 5 stars
    these are the most addicting buttery delicious cookie recipe I have ever made so so good Thanks

  3. 5 stars
    These snowball cookies are melt in your mouth delicious!

  4. 5 stars
    These look so delicious, especially with pecans. Perfect for the festive season.

  5. 5 stars
    I never tried putting candy canes in snowballs. I love this idea, it makes them so much more festive.

    • The candy canes certainly add that special little hint of holiday!