The classic, melt in your mouth, snowball cookie just got a major upgrade! They are now in the shape of snowmen and lightly spiced with a family secret ingredient. These Snowman Snowball Cookies are not only cute and fun to decorate, but they are buttery, soft, and so delicious!
Everyone will love this new and creative addition to your holiday cookie boxes. Browse more cookie recipes here.
Every year, on the Friday after Thanksgiving, all the ladies in my family get together to make Christmas cookies. We always make my great grandma’s sugar cookies (in a ton of different shapes), Snickerdoodles, Red Velvet Oreo Cookies, Chocolate Filled Cookies, Peanut Butter Blossoms, and of course these snowball cookies!
Each of us has our specialty; grandma and I bake the cookies, my aunt and mom frost them, and my cousins typically are the decorators. By the end of the day, every inch of grandma’s house is covered in cookies, flour, and random sprinkles! It is a day full of laughter, music, and the wonderful smells of baking cookies.
My hope is you are able to create lasting memories with these classic and nostalgic Snowman Snowball Cookies just as my family has. By the way, we love gifting these cookies or adding them to a Christmas Charcuterie Board.
Watch Me Make Them In 30 Seconds- Video Tutorial Below:
Everyone’s New Favorite Holiday Cookie
There are so many reasons every one will love these snowman cookies:
- They have a family secret ingredient- A pinch of nutmeg to compliment the pecans and cut through the sweet notes. It is ever so subtle but makes a difference.
- 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.
What are Snowball Cookies?
Traditionally, snowball cookies are small, round cookies that are rolled in powdered sugar to resemble snowballs. They are buttery, packed with pecans, and have a slightly crumbly texture. They really melt in your mouth! Some people refer to these 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.
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.
- 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.
- For Decorating: I use either candy melts or a very stiff royal icing- in the colors of orange and brown or black. I find a stiff royal icing is easier to work with but candy melts work too (if you properly prep the cookies).
Equipment You Will Need:
Below is equipment you will need to make your snowmen. I have also recommended products that I purchased and use in my own kitchen.
- Stand Mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. You can also use a hand mixer but I like using my Kitchen Aid stand mixer because this dough is on the stiff side.
- Cookie Scoop(s) are great for measuring out equal amounts of cookie dough. I use both a medium and small cookie scoop, but you could also just use one cookie scoop (I give the exact amounts in the directions).
- Large Cookie Baking Sheets lined with parchment paper or silicone baking mats. I do not recommend baking these on a bare cookie sheet because they tend to get burnt.
- Wire Cooling Racks for cooling the cookies and giving them a place to rest after coating in powdered sugar. I like using this set of cookie sheets and cooling racks from Amazon.
- Piping Bags for decorating the snowmen faces. I like reusable bags, but disposable or even plastic sandwich bags work as well. We will cut the tip off of the piping bags using scissors so no piping tips are needed. You could also use squeeze bottles.
How to Make Snowman Snowball Cookies
This is a quick summary of how to make these easy snowman cookies, the recipe card below will have more details. There will also be options to double and triple the recipe for even more snowmen!
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 baked snowmen in powdered sugar and allow them to cool completely. Then roll again. Feel free to stop here and they will look like snowmen who have been covered in fresh snow!
5. Prep the snowman heads by brushing away excess powdered sugar and using a toothpick to score the cookie where you will be piping.
6. Add the snowman faces and allow them to dry.
These snowball 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.
You may need to lightly coat them in additional powdered sugar after removing them from the refrigerator or freezer. The moisture from the cold tend to “melt” the powdered sugar.
3 Decorating Tips You Need To Read:
Here are a few ways to make decorating these snowman cookies a breeze:
1. Use either candy melts or royal icing. You will want orange for the carrot nose and either brown or black for the eyes and mouth. Candy melts are great for beginners and tend to be easier to find. Or you can use a thick royal icing which tends to be easier to decorate with but it is more of an advanced technique.
2. 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.
3. Consistency is everything. No matter what you use to pipe on the faces (candy melts or royal icing), 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.
4. Be gentle. These cookies need to be handled with care because they are fragile.
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 flour into a measuring cup, and 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.
Can I Repair Broken Snowman Cookies?
If you happened to break a few heads off of your snowman cookies (like I did), don’t worry it happens! I’ll tell you why this probably happened and how you can fix it.
So snowmen breaking can happen 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 you repair them? 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.
Fun and Easy 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 (FAQ’s)
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.
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 higher quality butters, I like Challenge.
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.
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Snowman Snowball Cookies
- 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
- 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
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 the stand mixer bowl, add the butter, powdered sugar, vanilla extract, and almond extract. Using a paddle attachment, 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. NOTE: If your dough is sticky, refrigerate it for 30 minutes.
- 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 NOTE: If this happens to a few of the snowmen, you can "glue" them together with the melted chocolate or royal icing we use later.
- 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.NOTE: Feel free to stop here and they will look like snowmen who have been covered in fresh snow!
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.NOTE: 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.NOTE: 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.
- Allow the chocolate to harden before serving and enjoying.
- 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:
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:
Metric conversions are calculated automatically. I cannot guarantee the accuracy of this information.