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Snowman Snowball Cookies

5 from 1 vote
Total Time: 1 hr

The classic, melt in your mouth, Snowball Cookies just got a major upgrade! They are now in the shape of snowmen and lightly spiced with nutmeg (a family secret ingredient). These Snowman Snowball Cookies are not only cute and fun to decorate, but they are buttery, soft, and so delicious!

Looking for more ways to use your pecans? Try my Pecan Pie Dip or Pecan Upside Down Cake.

Snowman Snowball Cookies surrounded by mugs of hot cocoa and snowflakes.

Here’s Why You Will Love These:

  • Epic flavor and texture! They are dense, sweet, buttery, and literally melt in your mouth.
  • Easy to make. This recipe requires one bowl and 8 simple ingredients. This recipe requires no chilling (but if your dough seems sticky from the butter you used then definitely pop it in the refrigerator).
  • Decorate these snowmen how you want- keep them plain, add faces using candy melts or royal icing, add arms, hats, scarves, or anything your imagination comes up with.
  • BEST OF ALL, they are a classic and nostalgic Christmas cookie. You will be making Christmas memories with these cute snowmen for many years to come, just like my family! Try these Peanut Butter Blossoms from Tasty Treats and Eats while you’re at it.

What are Snowball Cookies?

Traditionally, snowball cookies are small, round cookies that are rolled in powdered sugar to resemble snowballs. The cookies are buttery, packed with pecans, and have a slightly crumbly texture. They really melt in your mouth! Some people refer to these cookies as Mexican wedding cookies or Russian tea cakes.

My recipe takes snowball cookies to another level. They have an addition of nutmeg AND they are made into cute snowmen. But don’t worry, these Snowman Snowball Cookies are easy to make and have all the same great flavor and texture.

A Quick Video Tutorial:

Ingredients in Snowman Snowball Cookies

You are going to LOVE this recipe because it has only 8 simple ingredients. I do recommend using the highest quality ingredients, especially when it comes to butter, so your snowman cookies have the best flavor and texture. Here are a few notes and substitutions for you.

  • Pecans: I recommend buying pecan halves and chopping them down in a food processor (they have better flavor and texture).
  • Flour: I use all-purpose flour, but gluten free 1:1 flour works great as well.
  • Salt: This helps to balance and boost the flavors.
  • Nutmeg: This is my family’s secret ingredient.
  • Butter: We use unsalted butter in this recipe. If you decide to use salted butter, omit the added salt. Just remember to use a high quality butter like Challenge or Kerry Gold.
  • Powdered Sugar: This is what gives our snowmen a fun snowy texture and look. It also adds sweetness to the cookies.
  • Vanilla Extract: Adds flavor. Use a pure or homemade extract, imitation vanilla just isn’t the same.
  • Almond Extract: Another level of flavor.
Ingredients. Flour, pecan pieces, powdered sugar, unsalted butter, salt, nutmeg, vanilla extract, almond extract, orange and brown or black candy melts.

How to Make Snowman Snowball Cookies

This is a quick summary of how to make these easy Snowman Snowball Cookies, the recipe card below will have more details.

  1. Whisk together the dry ingredients- flour, chopped pecans, salt, and nutmeg.
  2. Combine the dough- Cream together the butter, powdered sugar, and extracts. Add the dry ingredients.
  3. Form the snowmen and bake for 9 to 11 minutes.
  4. Roll the snowmen in powdered sugar and allow them to cool completely. Then roll again.
  5. Add the snowman faces.

Storing Information:

These cookies should be stored in an airtight container or reusable bag. At room temperature they will last for 5 days, in the refrigerator up to 2 weeks, and in the freezer they will last up to 6 months.

Decorating Tips:

Here are a few ways to make decorating these cookies a breeze:

Use either candy melts or royal icing. I use whatever I have on hand at the time. You will want orange for the carrot nose and either brown or black for the eyes and nose.

Prepare the cookies. Too much powdered sugar will keep the chocolate and royal icing from sticking to the cookie. To avoid this, brush away excess powdered sugar and use a toothpick to score the cookie where you will be piping. This also gives you a guide on where to pipe you chocolate when you are ready.

Consistency is everything. No matter what you use to pipe on the faces, make sure it is a thick yet pipeable consistency. If it is too lose the faces will become spread out and lose all their shape. If it is too thick you won’t be able to pipe it out of the piping bag.

Plate of snowman cookies

5 Tips for Even Better Snowman Snowball Cookies

  1. Use room temperature, softened butter. I like to set my butter out before I go to bed and then make the cookies in the morning (the butter is always perfectly softened). I do not recommend using the microwave or other methods to soften your butter. This will make it too soft and your cookies will spread, flatten, and become greasy.
  2. Measure the flour correctly. You can either use a kitchen scale or the spoon and level method. Never scoop flour out of the bag (it is always too much flour). Instead, fluff the flour up with a whisk or spoon. Scoop spoonfuls of flour into a measuring cup. Once it is filled, run a knife across the top of the measuring cup to level it out.
  3. Chop the nuts finely. I have found the best way to do this is with a food processor. Just add the pecan halves and pulse 6 to 8 times. This gives you the perfect chop every single time!
  4. Make sure you are using powdered sugar (icing sugar or confectioners sugar). Granulated sugar and other types of sugar do not work the same. Your cookies will be flat, spread way too much, and the texture will be odd.
  5. Coat the snowballs in powdered sugar twice! I know it may be tempting to skip the second roll, but don’t. After the first roll the powdered sugar slightly melts to the dough. The second roll gives them the snowy texture needed.
Snowman Snowball Cookie leaning against a cup of hot cocoa.

Snowball Cookie Variations:

  • Use different nuts: I love pecans in this recipe but walnuts and other chopped nuts work the same. Try roasting them for an even nuttier and delicious flavor!
  • Add other add-ins: Jimmie sprinkles, crushed candy canes, or mini chocolate chips.
  • Try other extracts: Peppermint, amaretto, or even butter pecan.
  • Decorate the snowmen how you like: Don’t add the faces to leave them rustic. Add scarves using Twizzlers or top hats with mini Reese’s cups. You can even stick pretzels into the cookies before you bake them to make arms.

Frequently Asked Questions About Snowball Cookies

Can I make these Snowman Snowball Cookies without nuts?

Yes! If for whatever reason you prefer to not use any nuts, just add an additional 1/4 cup of powdered sugar to the cookie dough. This will give you the same great texture without the nuts.

Why did my snowball cookies flatten?

This can be for a few different reasons. One, your cookie dough was too soft or sticky from the butter being over softened. Chilling the dough for 15 to 30 minutes will help with this. Two, you used a low quality butter which has a higher water content and more fillers in it. Avoid this by using high quality butters like Challenge or Kerry Gold.

Why did my Snowman Snowball Cookies break apart?

This can be for a few reasons. One, the top and bottom portions were not pressed together well enough (so they didn’t fuse together as they baked). Two, you attempted to move the cooked snowman cookies off the baking sheet too quickly. I recommend waiting 4 to 5 minutes and being very careful as you roll them in the powdered sugar the first time.

Can I repair my broken Snowman Snowball Cookies?

Yes! You can use the melted chocolate or royal icing (whatever you are using to make their faces) to “glue” them back together. Just pipe a good amount onto one side of the broke cookie, hold it together for a minute or two, carefully place it on a cookie sheet to dry and harden completely.

Why are my snowball cookies falling apart as I eat them?

This is most likely because too much flour was added. Remember to always measure flour properly with a kitchen scale or using the “spoon and level” method. This can also happen if the pecan pieces are too large.

Snowmen on a plate and on parchment paper.

More Holiday Recipes You Might Enjoy:

Other Cookie Recipes To Try:


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Enjoy Entirely, Elizabeth
Snowman Cookies surrounded by mugs of hot cocoa and snowflakes.

Snowman Snowball Cookies

Elizabeth Swoish
Make these cute and easy Snowman Snowball Cookies this holiday season. They are buttery, soft, so delicious, and have a family secret ingredient.
5 from 1 vote
Prep Time 20 mins
Cook Time 10 mins
Decorating Time 30 mins
Total Time 1 hr
Course Dessert
Servings 16 snowmen
Calories 179 kcal

Ingredients
 
 

  • 2 ¼ cup all- purpose flour
  • ¾ cup pecan pieces; or 1 cup of pecan halves in a food processor, pulse 7 to 8 times to chop
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1 cup unsalted butter; softened to room temperature (2 sticks)
  • ½ cup powdered sugar
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
  • ½ teaspoon almond extract
  • 1 ½ cups powdered sugar; for rolling after the snowmen are baked

For Decorating the Snowman Snowball Cookies

  • ¼ cup orange candy melts; or royal icing
  • ¼ cup dark brown or black candy melts; or royal icing

Instructions
 

Baking Snowman Snowball Cookies

  • Preheat oven to 400 °F and prepare a baking sheet with parchment paper or a silicon baking mat.
  • In a medium sized bowl, whisk together the all-purpose flour, chopped pecan pieces, salt, and nutmeg until well distributed.
  • In a large bowl, add the butter, powdered sugar, vanilla extract, and almond extract. Using a hand mixer or stand mixer, cream together the ingredients until light and fluffy (about 4 to 5 minutes).
  • Add the dry mixture a ½ cup at a time, combining well, and scraping down the bowl between each addition.
    **If your dough is sticky, refrigerate it for 30 minutes.
    Snowball cookie dough mixed and in a bowl ready to scoop and roll into snowmen.
  • Scoop out 2 tablespoons of dough and roll into a ball, this will be the bottom of the snowman. Scoop out 1 tablespoon of dough and roll into a smaller ball, this will be the top of the snowman.
  • Continue scooping and rolling the bottom and top halves until you have an even amount, around 15 snowmen total.
  • Place the bottoms of the snowmen on the cookie sheet 1 inch apart.
  • Place the top above the bottoms, firmly pressing them together, creating a snowman. If they are not pressed together well the snowmen will break apart
    **If this happens to a few of the snowmen, you can "glue" them together with the chocolate we use later.
    Two layer snowmen on a parchment lined baking sheet ready to go in the oven.
  • Bake on the middle rack for 9 to 11 minutes or until you see the bottoms begin to brown.
  • While the snowmen bake, place 1 ½ cups of powdered sugar into a large shallow dish, set aside.
  • Remove the snowmen from the oven and allow them to rest on the baking sheet for 4 to 5 minutes.
  • Carefully remove the snowmen from the baking sheet one at a time and roll them in powdered sugar. Place them on a rack lined baking sheet and allow them to cool completely.
  • Once the snowmen have cooled completely, roll them in powdered sugar one last time.
    Two layer snowmen on a rack lined baking sheet baked and rolled in powdered sugar.

Decorating Snowman Snowball Cookies

  • Prep the snowmen by scoring the cookie with a toothpick where the eyes, nose, and mouth will be. Removing any excess powdered sugar where you scored the cookies.
    **If there is too much excess powdered sugar, the chocolate will not stick.
  • Place melted chocolate (or royal icing) into two separate piping bags (or reusable sandwich bags). One will have dark brown/ black chocolate and the other orange. Be sure to tie the top off tightly.
    **Melt the chocolate with preferred method. I melt mine in a double boiler on the stove because I do not own a microwave (crazy right?!)
  • Cut a very small amount off the tip of each piping bag. Remember, more can be cut off if it is not a large enough hole.
  • Using the orange first, pipe a carrot nose in the middle of each snowman's face.
  • Using the black, pipe two coal eyes above the carrot and 5 more dots to make a smile underneath it's nose.
    Hand holding snowman cookie with a snowman face ready to eat.
  • Allow the chocolate to harden before serving and enjoying.

Video

Notes

Storing Information:

  • Room temperature, in an airtight container or reusable bag, up to 5 days.
  • Refrigerated, in an airtight container or reusable bag, up to 2 weeks.
  • Frozen, in an airtight container or reusable bag, up to 6 months. 
 

Repair Broken Snowman Cookies:

Use the melted chocolate or royal icing (whatever you are using to make their faces) to “glue” them back together. Pipe a good amount onto one side of the broke cookie, hold it together for a minute or two, carefully place it on a cookie sheet to dry and harden completely.
 

Decorate the Snowmen How You’d Like:

  • Don’t add the faces to leave them rustic.
  • Add scarves using Twizzlers or top hats with mini Reese’s cups.
  • Stick pretzels into the cookies before you bake them to make arms.
 

Snowball Cookies WITHOUT Nuts:

If for whatever reason you prefer to not use nuts, just add an additional 1/4 cup of powdered sugar to the cookie dough. This will give you the same great texture without the nuts.
Keyword EASY SNOWMAN COOKIES, PECAN SNOWBALL COOKIES, SNOWBALL COOKIE RECIPE, SNOWBALL COOKIES, SNOWMAN CHRISTMAS COOKIES

If you make my Snowman Snowball Cookies, don’t forget to leave this recipe a rating, comment, or like. Tag me on social media using the hashtag #EntirelyElizabeth when sharing your own personal photos making this recipe. I would love to see your version and know your thoughts!

By Elizabeth Swoish on December 8th, 2022

1 thought on “Snowman Snowball Cookies”

  1. 5 stars
    I used to have a recipe for pecan crescents, and this is almost identical but ten times as cute! Super easy to make and even more delicious. I omitted the almond extract just because I wanted the pecan flavor to be the standout.

    Reply

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