Snowball cookies, Mexican wedding cookies, or Russian tea cakes: No matter what you call them, these are hands-down one of my favorite cookie recipes. And that’s saying something, because I love pretty much all cookies.
In addition to snowballs, Mexican wedding cookies, and Russian tea cakes, these nutty, buttery balls of goodness also go by butterballs and Danish wedding cookies. But no matter what you call them, this sweet and easy cookie’s high-butter, high-nut ratio ensures a crisp, melt-in-your-mouth texture that crumbles blissfully when bitten.
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Recipe Notes: Snowball Cookies (Mexican Wedding Cookies)
Luckily, there is not much to these simple, easy-to-mix snowball cookies. They are a basic shortbread cookie, meaning no leavening and a high-fat/low moisture ratio. The only ingredients are butter, powdered sugar, flour, salt, vanilla extract, and chopped nuts. But I do have a few helpful hints.
Here are my tips:
- The cookie dough will seem a little crumbly. That’s normal and correct.
- Roll these in powdered sugar while they are still warm. It helps the sugar adhere. You will re-roll or dust them again once cooled.
- If you don’t mind small bits of nuts, this entire cookie dough can be made in about one minute in a food processor. The tedious part is scooping and rolling — but it is so worth it.
- Traditionally, you should use pecans or walnuts. While not necessary, you could always toast them in a pan for a few minutes to bloom their flavor.
- Since these cookies do not have many ingredients, it becomes all the more imperative that the ingredient quality is good. Choose pure vanilla extract, make sure your nuts are not rancid, and use good quality, unsalted butter.
Tell us: Do you call these cookies snowballs or something else?
Snowball Cookies (Mexican Wedding Cookies)
- 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
- 1/2 cup confectioner's sugar, plus more for rolling
- 2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
- 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 3/4 cup chopped walnuts or pecans
- Preheat the oven to 400°F and line two half-sheet pans.
- In a bowl, mix together the butter, 1/2 cup confectioner's sugar, flour, salt, vanilla, and chopped nuts.
- Scoop into rounded tablespoon-sized rounds and roll between your hands into balls.
- Bake one sheet pan at a time for 12 to 14 minutes on the center rack, until the bottoms are light golden brown. While still warm, roll in powdered sugar. Cool fully on a cooling rack.
- When fully cool, dust or roll again with confectioner's sugar.Tip: These will keep in an airtight container for a week.