Snowball Cookies

by Dec 18, 2023

Butter, toasted pecans, and just a touch of powdered sugar make for the best snowball cookies. This is my recipe developed over the years from the Betty Crocker base of my childhood, to Joy of Cooking, and through a few newspaper food section versions, which were never as good as the old standard recipes. These cookies are known by an assortment of names including Mexican Wedding Cookies, Italian Wedding Cookies, Russian Tea Cakes, and by my friend John, Sawdust Cookies. No matter what you call them, don’t inhale when you take a bite. Happy Baking!

Snowball Cookies

makes 4 dozen; adapted from a Betty Crocker recipe and The Joy of Cooking


  • 1 cup unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
  • ½ cup powdered sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • ¼ teaspoon kosher salt
  • cups all purpose flour Wheat Montana blue bag
  • ¾ cup pecan halves or pieces, toasted and cooled and chopped 350°F for 8–10 minutes until fragrant
  • additional powdered sugar for rolling, about a cup


  1. Mix together the softened butter, ½ cup powdered sugar, vanilla, salt, flour, and chopped pecans. Chill dough while you preheat the oven.

  2. Preheat oven to 350°F. Roll dough into 1-inch balls and space 1-inch apart on a parchment- or Silpat-lined sheet pan. Bake until aromatic and beginning to brown, about 12–15 minutes. Let cool a few minutes then roll in powdered sugar. Once cooled completely, roll in powdered sugar a second time.

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