Snowball Cookies

Rich and buttery, these classic Snowball Cookies are easy to make, and the perfect addition to your holiday baking lineup!

When I was growing up, every Christmas we would receive an eagerly anticipated package from my grandmother. It was packed full with all of her famous Christmas cookies and treats, and we couldn’t wait to get them. These yummy Snowball Cookies were always included, and they’ve long been one of my favorites. This classic cookie is rich, buttery, melts in your mouth, and is the perfect addition to your holiday baking!

Snowball Cookies | Christmas Cookies

Snowball Cookies Recipe

My grandmother actually called these Walnut Crescents, and they were shaped into crescents, baked, and then rolled in the powdered sugar. Over the years we changed them to balls (easier for kids to help with), but however you shape them, they are fabulous! They’re also known as Mexican Wedding Cookies, but those use pecans instead of walnuts. You could definitely substitute the walnuts for pecans in this recipe as well–whatever you have on hand, or your whichever you like best. I really love both, and it’s hard to choose a favorite, but since my grandma always used walnuts, that’s what I do as well. The rich, buttery dough doesn’t have any eggs, which makes them more like a shortbread cookie than other cookies, with a crumbly texture.  

The ingredients are few, but that’s all this cookie needs! I love how simple they are to make, and it doesn’t take long at all to whip up a batch. Do you have a tradition for the first day it snows? How fun would it be to make these cookies? My kids love helping with them–rolling and dipping in the powdered sugar. It’s a great cookie recipe to make with your kids or other family members on a baking day.

The powdered sugar dusting makes them such a pretty cookie, and they’re perfectly perfect on any Christmas plate, treat plates, a cookie exchange, or neighbor gifts. Set them out for guests, bring them to a party, wrap them up for friends or teachers, or enjoy them in your own home…they’ll be a hit no matter where you serve them. They’re on our holiday baking day list, and hands down, they’re a favorite at our house. They will literally melt in your mouth, and the powdery outside makes them look just like snowballs.

Snowball Cookies | Christmas Cookies

Best of all, they’re really easy to make, and as Christmas cookies go, are on the faster side. They’re a tradition to make them on the first day of snowfall, and then all through the Christmas and holiday season.  They really are a must to add to your holiday baking list. We go Christmas caroling every year, and take plates of treats to those we visit, as well as our neighbors.  These cookies are the top of my list to include, and everyone I know loves them. They’ve also been known to make it onto the cookie plate we leave our for Santa, and since they’re always gone in the morning, he must love them too! 

These cookies are my childhood…I LOVE them, and I’m excited for you to make them.  

Cookie storage:

Store your cookies in an airtight container for 5-7 days. You can also freeze the cookies once they’ve been baked, rolled in powdered sugar, and cooled. If they’re warm, they’ll stick together, so just test to make sure they’re cool and at room temperature. Place the cookies in a freezer-safe gallon bag, and freeze for up to 3 months.

Snowball Cookies | Christmas Cookies

Snowball Cookies

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Kierste Wade | Old Salt Farm
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 25 minutes
Servings: 24 cookies
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Rich and buttery, these classic Snowball Cookies are easy to make, and the perfect addition to your holiday baking lineup! (and anytime…)

Ingredients
 

  • 2 cups flour
  • 1 cup butter, softened
  • 1/4 cup powdered sugar
  • 2 tablespoons cold water
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla
  • 2/3 cup walnuts, chopped

Instructions

  • For a full nut flavor, toast walnuts before chopping and adding to the cookie dough.  You can toast them on the stovetop over medium heat for 2-5 minutes, or in a 350 degree oven for 7-10 minutes. Check them often! They can quickly go from perfectly toasted to burned, so watch closely. 
    Beat butter and sugar together in large mixing bowl. You can use a stand mixer or hand mixer. Add flour and water alternately to the mixture. When combined, add the vanilla extract and toasted nuts. Shape the dough into balls, place on a cookie baking sheet covered with parchment paper, and bake about 15 minutes at 350 degrees. Sift some powdered sugar (also known as confectioners' sugar) in a pie dish or on a cutting board. Remove from cookie sheets, and place the baked cookies in the powdered sugar directly out of the oven, rolling to coat completely. Cook on a wire rack. Store in an airtight container.

Notes

*If you can use pure vanilla, the flavoring will be even better! 
**Substitute chopped pecans instead of the walnuts if you prefer.
Nutrition Facts
Snowball Cookies
Amount per Serving
Calories
71
% Daily Value*
Fat
 
3
g
5
%
Saturated Fat
 
1
g
6
%
Polyunsaturated Fat
 
2
g
Monounsaturated Fat
 
1
g
Cholesterol
 
1
mg
0
%
Sodium
 
11
mg
0
%
Potassium
 
39
mg
1
%
Carbohydrates
 
10
g
3
%
Fiber
 
1
g
4
%
Sugar
 
2
g
2
%
Protein
 
2
g
4
%
Vitamin A
 
17
IU
0
%
Vitamin C
 
1
mg
1
%
Calcium
 
16
mg
2
%
Iron
 
1
mg
6
%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
Course :Christmas Cookies, Christmas Recipes, Holidays
Cuisine :American, Christmas Cookies, Cookies, Dessert
Keyword :Christmas Cookies, Christmas Recipes, holiday baking, holiday cookies
PIN THIS RECIPE FOR LATER! @oldsaltfarm or tag #oldsaltfarm!

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16 Comments

  1. These cookies were a tradition in my family growing up. Then, I got married and forgot about them. I made them last year and my family went crazy over them. They are already asking for them. Love them!!

    1. Powdered sugar is the best for sticking to the cookie and really coating it–another sugar wouldn’t really do that. They are SO yummy!

    1. I think we must have all grown up with these! I didn’t make them for a long time either, and then when I finally did a few years ago, they went into our regular Christmas lineup!

  2. Hi Kierste…thanks for the recipe. Can’t wait to try it out. Before I do though, I just wanted to clarify. For the cold water, you list 2 T. Does that mean 2 tablespoon? My brain is refusing to decipher it at the moment.

      1. Thank you for the clarification. That’s what I thought…my mind just refused to comprehend it! :)

  3. Yes! We have made these for so long, our mom having the recipe for over seventy five years! She made these first in crescent shape, and then for many, many years the little snowballs. We changed the walnuts to pecans since many in our family prefer them. They are simple, but simply delicious!!

    1. I got this recipe from my grandma, and it had been passed to her. That’s exactly how she made them…they’re called Walnut Crescents on her recipe card! They’re my absolute favorite, and totally remind me of my grandmother, which is the best part. xoxo

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