Home Baked Holidays: Snowball Cookies

by Nov 30th, 2010 // Desserts, Giveaway, Holiday, Recipes

Home Baked Holidays: Snowball Cookies

Perhaps you know them as Russian Tea Cakes? Or maybe you call them Mexican Wedding Cookies? Or are they Pecan Fingers? We call them Snowball Cookies and we can’t get enough of them during the holiday season.

I asked my friend, Susan, who is a professional cookie maker to come over and help us make these cookies because no one makes them better than Susan. (She has the best Christmas cookie recipes on the planet!)

My kid took the concept a little too far and immediately formed a snowball sized cookie and asked if he could throw it. Hmmm… let me think about it. No!

He was just as happy getting “snow” everywhere. It’s pretty dangerous letting a little guy loose with powdered sugar but we had fun.

And for the package we wanted to say “Happy Holidays” in 8 different languages. How cute would these look all lined up on a table when guests arrive at your holiday party? It’s such a festive and fun package to take home at the end of the night. Note: because of the powdered sugar you should pop your cookies in a clear cellophane bag before you put them in the box.

You can download the high rez file of all the tags we made here. We suggest either printing them up as stickers or simply print them on glossy paper and use double sided tape to affix them. Here’s a little language decoder:

In French: Joyeuses Fêtes!
In Swedish: Trevlig Helg!
In Italian: Buone Feste!
In German: Forhe Feiertage
In Dutch: Prettige feestdagen
In Gaelic: Beannachtaí na Féile
In Spanish: Felices Fiestas!

Disclaimer: If any of the above aren’t correct, I humbly apologize. I blame the internet. Now for the recipe…

Snowball Cookie Recipe
adapted from Betty Crocker

Prep Time: 1 hour  Cooking Time: 10 to 10 mins

1 cup butter, softened
1/2 cup powdered sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 1/4 cups flour
3/4 cup finely chopped nuts
1/4 teaspoon salt
Powdered sugar

Preheat oven 360 degrees. Mix butter,  1/2 cup powdered sugar and vanilla in mixer.  Stir in flour, nuts and salt until dough holds together.
Refrigerate for at least 30 minutes or up to 24 hours. When ready to bake, shape dough into 1-inch balls.  Place about 1 inch apart on parchment-lined cookie sheet. Bake 10-12 minutes or until set but not brown. The best way to tell if they are done is to pick one up and see if it’s slightly brown. Remove from cookie sheet and cool slightly on wire rack. Roll warm cookies in powdered sugar.  Then, do a second coat by sifting powdered sugar over cookies. Makes 2 1/2 dozen cookies.

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PS: if you don’t want to make them yourself and you live in LA, contact Susan. She will even package them up! Her email address is: susie3424 {at} hotmail {dot} com.


96 Comments on “Home Baked Holidays: Snowball Cookies”

  1. 1.) Tiffany
    November 30th, 2010

    I can't believe I've never had these before! I know I've tried something similar, but it had cream cheese in it. I bet these would look great with some festive holiday sprinkles, too.

  2. 2.) Min
    November 30th, 2010

    These are some of my favorite cookies! What kind of nuts did you use this time?

  3. 3.) Dana
    November 30th, 2010

    Adorable! Looks delish too!

  4. 4.) Sarah
    November 30th, 2010

    I make these (with pecans), and then dip the tops in white chocolate and crushed peppermint. YUM!

  5. 5.) Rose
    November 30th, 2010

    Ooooh, I've been REALLY wanting to make these, but didn't have the recipe! SUCH perfect timing that you posted this right now! Thanks much!

  6. 6.) homedinerproject
    November 30th, 2010

    What a cute homemade gift idea! Love it 🙂

  7. 7.) Miranda G.
    November 30th, 2010

    these are great – we make them every year but we add mini chocolate chips to the batter. I love your gift idea!

  8. 8.) kat
    November 30th, 2010

    Those are a favorite in our house!

  9. 9.) lisa
    November 30th, 2010

    Thanks for the great labels. These cookies look delicious. I love the versatility of being able to choose different nuts depending on people's allergies!

  10. 10.) Corey
    November 30th, 2010

    I make these every year using pecans!

  11. 11.) christine
    November 30th, 2010

    Hate to tell you this but the German is "Frohe" instead of "forhe". Love the idea of the different languages. Are Russian Teacakes also what is called "pfeffernuesse"?

  12. 12.) Nancy
    November 30th, 2010

    The seem so easy to make! My kid and I plan to make them Friday. We cook together every Friday.

  13. 13.) katierk
    November 30th, 2010

    I really think the different language greetings makes this gift that much more special:)

  14. 14.) Jeannine Q
    November 30th, 2010

    I love these!

  15. 15.) @Me00w
    November 30th, 2010

    I've made a version of these with cherries in them, they end up pretty and pink and everyone loves them!!

  16. 16.) Emily
    November 30th, 2010

    My mom makes a version of these with nuts. I'll have to try these. I hope I have the patience you do when I have kids:)

  17. 17.) debbiejl
    November 30th, 2010

    We call them Mexican Wedding cakes and the holidays wouldnt be the same without them1

  18. 18.) naturallymama
    November 30th, 2010

    These are my favorite!

  19. 19.) Jennifer
    November 30th, 2010

    I love cookies that allow for imperfections (especially when I'm baking with a three-year-old). We'll have to give this one a go.

  20. 20.) JJohnson
    November 30th, 2010

    Looks delicious!

  21. 21.) Samantha
    November 30th, 2010

    Sand tarts in our house! Love the Chinese takeout gift box idea! As well as the labels!

  22. 22.) Jolene
    November 30th, 2010

    We make these with almonds and shape them into crescents. My grandpa called them Almond Moons. We used to do all the baking about 2 weeks before christmas and then stored the baked cookies in the very cold garage, in airtight bins. Christmas day, there would only be powdered sugar left in the moon container. He'd sneak 2 a day on his way to work.

  23. 23.) Katrina
    November 30th, 2010

    Cute story 🙂

  24. 24.) amanda310
    November 30th, 2010

    My family calls them lady fingers–which I have never liked. That is so not appetizing to me. I like all the names you listed much better. They are still one of my favorites.

  25. 25.) Carrie
    November 30th, 2010

    Super cute box idea! We love these cookies in our home too and make them every year! Sometimes we "hide" a Hershey's kiss in the middle! Yummy!!

  26. 26.) Wendy
    November 30th, 2010

    I love giving cookies as gifts. Your packaging idea is super cute!

  27. 27.) Michelle
    November 30th, 2010

    Wow these bring back some great memories. I can hardly wait to make them for my kids. Yummy!

  28. 28.) Misty sedehi
    November 30th, 2010

    L.O.V.E. the labels!!!! What a creative idea! These are some of my all time favorite cookies, Dee-lish!

  29. 29.) Miranda
    November 30th, 2010

    Thanks for sharing the recipe and packaging idea.

  30. 30.) Nicole
    November 30th, 2010

    mexican wedding cookies = childhood favorite!!

  31. 31.) Emily C
    November 30th, 2010

    I know them as Russian tea cakes and they are delicious! You are inspiring me to bake something yummy for holiday gifts this year. Love the packaging.

  32. 32.) Mariela
    November 30th, 2010

    Hmm delish with a hot chai latte 🙂 thanks!

  33. 33.) Wendy
    November 30th, 2010

    I LOVE these cookies and will give your version a try!

  34. 34.) Sarah
    November 30th, 2010

    I love these – have always called them Mexican Wedding Cookies, probably since I'm from Texas – but have never made them. We'll have to try them this year; I suspect my 3 year old will love the powdered sugar as much as your kid does!

  35. 35.) Hindy
    November 30th, 2010

    These look great! I want to make this!

  36. 36.) Heather
    November 30th, 2010

    My daughter saw these and wants to make them right away!

  37. 37.) adamzurn
    November 30th, 2010

    I love how you use a Chinese takeout container to hold the cookies. It looks great and is so different from the plastic plate or cheap tin from the dollar store. Love it! Cookies look good too. 😉

  38. 38.) Abby
    November 30th, 2010

    I love these cookies and I always purchase these from a bakery, but I will attempt them myself with this recipe.
    Thank you!

  39. 39.) Anna B.
    November 30th, 2010

    Best cookies ever! And love the gift box/labels.

  40. 40.) Barefoot Belle
    November 30th, 2010

    These are classics and they look beautiful! I love the tags in different languages, too.

  41. 41.) paulajakobs
    November 30th, 2010

    These look great and I love the packaging.

  42. 42.) Melissa@HomeBaked
    November 30th, 2010

    I'm so excited to make these this year! It's the first year all of my kids are free of nut allergies, so out come the really yummy holiday cookies. 🙂

  43. 43.) khbnelson
    November 30th, 2010

    These look delicious! Can't wait to try them with my little sous chef. 🙂

  44. 44.) Jessica
    November 30th, 2010

    Love the labels! Such a creative idea.

  45. 45.) Lucy
    November 30th, 2010

    So cute!

  46. 46.) Staci A
    November 30th, 2010

    These look delicious! And I love the packing idea. Very cute!

  47. 47.) cara
    November 30th, 2010

    These look so good!Love the different language idea too!

  48. 48.) Donna
    November 30th, 2010

    Great recipe! Making these now!!!!

  49. 49.) Jennifer
    November 30th, 2010

    you have the best ideas!!

  50. 50.) Amy
    December 1st, 2010

    These look delicious! Thanks so much for sharing.

  51. 51.) susitravl
    December 1st, 2010

    I have been reading a lot of food blogs lately and I'm surprised at how many dishes my grandmothers and other relatives made in the 60's are popular again. I had forgotten some of them and a few recipes were lost so I'm always happy to see an old favorite like these cookies.

  52. 52.) Chris Mas
    December 1st, 2010

    I love these cookies, but when I tell people they are russian tea cookies they look at me funny! They call them snowballs. To me snowballs are the anise flavored cookies with the icing on them. When I ask the name of them, they say "snowballs". How many cookies can you have with the name snowball, LOL. My husband's family amazes me!!

  53. 53.) mapofidaho
    December 1st, 2010

    I love your packaging idea for this holiday baking favorite.

  54. 54.) Raeby
    December 1st, 2010

    The holidays just aren't the same without a good dollop of powdered sugared buttery goodness! Thank you so much for this recipe and for not confusing them with pfeffernuesse (which look exactly the same but have anise/licorice in them)!!

  55. 55.) ``` amacmillan
    December 1st, 2010

    what a great idea for my daughter's preschool teachers!

  56. 56.) Sara
    December 1st, 2010

    My absolute favorite holiday cookie. I always make them for cookie exchanges because they are so easy and fun to make in bulk. Can't wait to put them in the happy holiday boxes this year!

  57. 57.) Andrea
    December 2nd, 2010

    How fun! I love the box you used for the cookies. Yum!

  58. 58.) TZel
    December 2nd, 2010

    I would love some of these right now!!!

  59. 59.) Lara
    December 2nd, 2010

    We make snowballs every year. They are the best!

  60. 60.) Sara
    December 2nd, 2010

    My mom made these every Christmas and they are a favorite!

  61. 61.) Gennie
    December 2nd, 2010

    You know, I was thinking that I was going to skip making these this year, but now I definitely must! I like them in Almond (and often as crescents). Drool.

  62. 62.) Amy
    December 2nd, 2010

    I love these cookies, they are one of my favorites!

  63. 63.) szkent
    December 2nd, 2010

    I love how these cookies just melt in your mouth and the labels are unbelievably cute!

  64. 64.) Sue
    December 2nd, 2010

    My Mom made these every year….ahhh, Memories!

  65. 65.) BPansy
    December 2nd, 2010

    the best thing next to having a friend like susan, is having a blog like this one to entertain and inspire me!!
    happy snowball throwing (and eating! lol!)

  66. 66.) Melissa
    December 2nd, 2010

    I've never had these before, but they look so good!

  67. 67.) michelle
    December 2nd, 2010

    these are probably one of my favorite cookies. I also love to roll them in melted chocolate. my grandmother used to do them as smaller balls and then we'd do some in chocolate, some in sugar and some just plain. perhaps I should just go ahead and make these for my upcoming cookie exchange….

  68. 68.) Jane
    December 2nd, 2010

    Yummy! And the labels are really cute! I make something similar to these with cocoa powder. And I roll them in powdered sugar before baking, so that when they come out, they look like they're covered in crackle paint.

  69. 69.) Erica
    December 2nd, 2010

    hey look so yummy. love the box and tags. to cute

  70. 70.) mia
    December 3rd, 2010

    i always forget to make these around the holidays. so yummy!
    love your site!

  71. 71.) krissy
    December 3rd, 2010

    These look so yummy! Don't seem too difficult either. Will have to add to my holiday baking to-do list!

  72. 72.) Monica S.
    December 4th, 2010

    These are my favorite holiday cookies! I definitely want to make them with my daughter!

  73. 73.) @Btrflywmn
    December 4th, 2010

    thanks for sharing, love these

  74. 74.) Amanda
    December 4th, 2010

    my mom makes somthing like these and we call them orgasmic nut balls- seriously. that good. hahaha were a little nutty! beautiful stickers!

  75. 75.) christina
    December 4th, 2010

    Yes ….pecans !! they look great….can you make choc. balls with a confectioneet sugar topping

  76. 76.) Justine
    December 5th, 2010

    yep, pecan fingers! My mom made these every year when I was growing up. 🙂

  77. 77.) Angela L.
    December 5th, 2010

    Those look great! I love everything I've seen on your blog, and I wish I had discovered it sooner. I'm an avid baker, so I can't wait to come back for ideas!!!

  78. 78.) Charlene
    December 6th, 2010

    Love these cookies! Can you use any kind of nut you like? The recipe doesn't specify…

  79. 79.) BeckyS
    December 7th, 2010

    Oh I'v always heard about these but never tried them, they look really good though

  80. 80.) Anna from Belgium
    December 7th, 2010

    sorry to say, but the template in dutch is wrong: it says 'prettige festdagen' when it should be 'prettige feestdagen'. You dit write it correct in the list in your post though! love the box!

  81. 81.) Anna again
    December 7th, 2010

    ah, my spelling isn't too good either :))

  82. […] Tacos with Quick Spanish Rice and Yummy Black Beans and for an after dinner treat serve up some Mexican Wedding Cake Cookies (or Snowball Cookies).  I grew up eating potato tacos in Oregon because there are more than a couple of vegetarians in […]

  83. 83.) Leigh-Ann
    December 9th, 2011

    What nut do you use in this reciepe?

  84. 84.) Pecan Snowball Cookie Recipe
    October 17th, 2013

    […] Image via cookingwithmykid […]

  85. 85.) Maja
    December 12th, 2013


    in german it is “frohe Feiertage” not “forhe” 🙂
    or better “fröhliche Weihnachten”(for “Merry Christmas”)


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