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Mom’s Snowball Cookies – A Holiday Favorite

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Mom’s Snowball Cookies – A Holiday Favorite

When mom made Snowball Cookies, we knew that the Christmas season had arrived. My whole family loves the nutty, buttery goodness of these cookies! Mom’s snowball cookies – a holiday favorite!

In our homes, there is a running holiday list of must-have cookies, treats and baked goods. If just one of these delectables is missing, Christmas could be ruined. LOL. Is your family like this too? For me, mom’s snowball cookies are right at the top of my list. They are tender, buttery , with a light nutty flavor all covered in powdered sugar! What’s not to love?

Cookie by a different name

Much to my surprise, I’ve learned that there are many recipes and slight variations of this cookie. Other names are Russian Tea Cakes, Mexican Wedding Cookies or Butter Ball Cookies. We just call them delicious. 

Mom acquired this recipe as a young bride, in the late 1950’s. Below is my hastily written recipe from my first Christmas as a newlywed. I remember having to call home long distance for the recipe, and those calls were pricey back in the day. We had to talk fast. Boy am I showing my age! LOL

Ingredients Matter

When it came to baking, mom always stressed using the best ingredients. Luckily for her, my grandfather was part owner of a pecan farm – so they were plentiful. Here in Georgia we are blessed with lots of nearby pecan farms. I only buy from Stone Mountain Pecans

Sifting the confectioners sugar and the flour is key for these cookies.

Real butter is a definite must in this recipe. Isn’t it always? LOL


Yield: 3 dozen

Mom's Snowball Cookies - A Holiday Favorite

Nutty and buttery cookie

When mom made Snowball Cookies, we knew that the Christmas season had arrived. My whole family loves the nutty, buttery goodness of these cookies!

Cook Time 12 minutes 8 seconds
Additional Time 2 hours 1 second
Total Time 2 hours 12 minutes 9 seconds


  • 1 cup softened butter
  • 1/2 cup sifted confectioners sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 2 1/4 cups flour, sifted
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 cup finely chopped pecans
  • 1 cup sifted confectioners sugar for rolling


  1. In a large bowl - mix thoroughly the butter, 1/2 cup sifted confectioners sugar and vanilla
  2. Add flour and salt - mix well.
  3. Fold in finely chopped pecans.
  4. Cover and Chill in the refrigerator for 1-2 hours.
  5. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  6. Add 1 cup of sifted confectioners sugar to a bowl.
  7. Remove chilled dough from the refrigerator.
  8. Roll dough into 1" balls.
  9. Place on ungreased cookie sheet about an inch apart.
  10. Bake 8-12 minutes, until just set - but not brown.
  11. When done, remove from oven and immediately roll the hot cookie in confectioners sugar.
  12. Set on a plate to cool.
  13. When cookies are completely cool, roll into confectioners sugar again.
Once the cookies are completely cooled, they can be stored in air-tight containers. The other great thing about these cookies, if stored properly they taste fresh for at least a week, if not more. 

The snowball cookies never last that long in our homes! HAHA

When serving, I love to pile them up on a cake stand. Sometimes I sift a bit more confectioners sugar on top.

These little pillows of delight bring me such joy and happy memories!

I sincerely hope that you give my mom’s snowball cookie recipe a try. Your family and friends will thank you!

Don’t forget to Pin this to your favorite Pinterest board!


  1. ColleenB.~Tx. says:

    I, somewhere down through the years I had lost or misplaced my mom’s recipe for these; so Thank You.
    Recipe in your mom’s hand writing would make for a great gift along with a wonderful family heirloom by having this printed on kitchen T towels

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