Classic Snowball Cookies

October 7, 2019
With their slightly-sweetened shortbread-type dough rolled in a coating of confectioners' sugar, who doesn't just adore classic Snowball Cookies?  Also known as Russian Tea Cakes or Mexican Wedding Cookies, these tasty little bites are typically enjoyed around the holidays or for special occasions.  But they're so delicious, they deserve to be enjoyed all year long!
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Classic Snowball Cookies on Cooling Rack Image

Aahhhhh, classic adorable little Snowball Cookies.  With their slightly-sweetened shortbread-type dough rolled in a coating of confectioners' sugar, who doesn't just adore a Snowball Cookie?

Honestly, sometimes me.

Because sometimes I find Snowball Cookies to lack any real flavor to them at all.  So to be honest, in those cases I'd much rather reach for a different kind of cookie.

I'm happy to say this version is nicely vanilla flavored, thickly coated in confectioners' sugar, and tender textured while still maintaining Snowball Cookies' traditional somewhat crumbly shortbread'ish interior. 

When I do reach for a Snowball Cookie, I want it to have a nice just-slightly-sweet vanilla flavored middle that gets a good jolt of sweetness from a thick coating of confectioners' sugar on the outside.  And I like it to have a tender texture that's not just completely dry.

I'm happy to say this Snowball Cookie version is just that - nicely vanilla flavored, thickly coated in confectioners' sugar, and tender textured while still maintaining Snowball Cookies' traditional somewhat crumbly shortbread'ish interior.  They're so good they deserve to be enjoyed during the holidays, for special occasions, and all year long!

So let's take a look at a few tips to help get great flavor and great texture when making Snowball Cookies.

Classic Snowball Cookies Stacked in Small Green Bowl Image

So, how do you get great vanilla flavor in Snowball Cookies?

This one's super easy -- Use only pure vanilla extract, none of that imitation stuff.  And use a nice good dose of it.  I've seen many Snowball Cookie recipes that call for 1/2 teaspoon of vanilla extract.  In this recipe, I use a full 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract, which nicely does the job to amp up that wonderful vanilla flavor.

And how do you get a nice, thick coating of confectioners' sugar on your Snowball Cookies?

The double roll, that's how!

The double sugar roll creates almost a shell-like sugar coating on the cookies and brings the sweetness needed to compliment the just slightly-sweetened cookie interior.

Yes, roll those Snowball Cookies in confectioners' sugar twice.  The double sugar roll creates almost a shell-like sugar coating on the cookies and brings the sweetness needed to compliment the just slightly-sweetened cookie interior.

Do the first sugar rolling while the cookies are hot.  Remove the cookies from the oven and let them stand on the pan for 2 to 3 minutes to cool them just enough to handle.  Then, handling them very gently, roll the hot cookies in confectioners' sugar.

Since the cookies are hot, some of the sugar will almost melt into the cookies.  After that first rolling, the cookies will look about like this:

Classic Snowball Cookies on Cooling Rack After First Roll in Confectioners Sugar Image

Then once they're completely cooled, roll each cookie in confectioners' sugar again.

After the second sugar roll, the cookies will have an almost shell-like thicker coating of confectioners' sugar that looks about like this:

Classic Snowball Cookies on Cooling Rack After Second Roll in Confectioners Sugar Image

Finally, how do you get a tender-textured Snowball Cookie?

Three important factors come together to help create more tender-textured Snowball Cookies:

  1. Chilling of the dough
  2. Forming of the cookie balls, and
  3. Bake time

To get the best texture, I strongly recommend chilling the dough after it's mixed up.  Chilling the dough firms the softened butter back up a bit and helps keep the cookies from spreading while they bake.  Why don't we want the cookies to spread? -- Because cookies that spread too much during baking tend to dry out.
Chilling the dough firms the softened butter back up a bit and helps keep the cookies from spreading while they bake.

When forming the cookie balls, use a full tablespoon of dough for each one.  This creates a good two-bite sized cookie that bakes up nicely and not too overly dry.  I use a 1-tablespoon cookie scoop to form the balls -- the cookie scoop makes measuring out the dough super easy!

And when it comes to bake time, do not over bake.

Bake the cookies for 7-9 minutes, until the bottoms are just barely beginning to get a little golden brown on them.  If anything, err on the side of under baking so the Snowballs don't get dried out and too crumbly.

Classic Mexican Wedding Cookies Image

I hope these tips are helpful in baking up Snowball Cookies with great flavor and great texture you'll love.

And though these tasty little beauties are usually enjoyed around the holidays or for special occasions, don't be afraid to grab those bags of confectioners' sugar and whip up a batch anytime of the year.  Because classic Snowball Cookies are so delicious, they deserve to be enjoyed all year long!

Inside of Classic Snowball Cookies Image
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Cookies & Bars
Yield: about 36 cookies
Author:

Classic Snowball Cookies

With their slightly-sweetened shortbread-type dough rolled in a coating of confectioners' sugar, who doesn't just adore classic Snowball Cookies? Also known as Russian Tea Cakes or Mexican Wedding Cookies, these tasty little bites are typically enjoyed around the holidays or for special occasions. But they're so delicious, they deserve to be enjoyed all year long!
prep time: 40 Mcook time: 9 Mtotal time: 49 M

ingredients:

  • 1 c. butter, at room temperature
  • 1/2 c. confectioners' sugar
  • 1 tsp. pure vanilla extract
  • 2 1/4 c. all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1/4 c. finely chopped pecans
  • additional confectioners' sugar for rolling (approximately 1/2 - 3/4 c.)

instructions:

How to cook Classic Snowball Cookies

  1. Combine butter, the 1/2 cup confectioners' sugar, and pure vanilla extract in a mixing bowl. Mix with an electric mixer until fluffy, about 1-2 minutes.
  2. Add flour and salt. Mix again until ingredients come together to form a crumbly dough. Stir in chopped pecans.
  3. Cover and chill dough for about 20 minutes.
  4. Scoop 1-tablespoon of dough, squish in your hand 2-3 times to bring the dough together, and roll into a ball. Place on a baking sheet.  Repeat with remaining dough.
  5. Bake at 375℉ for 7-9 minutes, until bottoms are just barely beginning to get a little golden brown.  Do not over bake.
  6. Remove from oven and allow to stand on the pan for 2-3 minutes.
  7. Handling the cookies gently, roll each warm cookie in confectioners' sugar until well coated.  Place on a cooling rack; cool completely.
  8. Once completely cooled, roll each cookie in confectioners' sugar again.
  9. Store in an airtight container.
TRACEY'S NOTES
  1. Don't just soften the butter -- bring it to room temperature.  Which means it will be very soft.  This helps this rather crumbly dough come together much more easily.
  2. Since the butter is so soft, chilling the dough for 20-30 minutes or so before baking firms the butter back up a bit and keeps the cookies from spreading when they bake.
  3. I use a 1-tablespoon cookie scoop to measure and prepare the cookie balls.  This keeps them all the same size and makes prepping the cookie balls so easy!
  4. These cookies just puff a little bit when baking, so you can put a lot on the pan at once -- they only need a little space between them.  I've been known to get an entire batch of 36 cookies onto one pan!
  5. Handle the cookies very gently when doing the first sugar roll while they're hot -- I occasionally have one or two crumble on me.
  6. Keep your fingers very dry when rolling the cookies in confectioners' sugar so you don't have a sticky mess and get fingerprints all over the finished cookies.
  7. You can use chopped walnuts or almonds in place of the pecans, if you'd like.
  8. These cookies freeze very well.  I freeze mine in sealable plastic containers with waxed paper between the layers of cookies.  And I try not to stack more than 2 or 3 layers together to reduce the chance of crumbling.
Created using The Recipes Generator


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6 comments

  1. These look delicious (plus I love Snowball cookies). Pinned!

    ReplyDelete
  2. I love snowball cookies and will pin this for very near future use!

    ReplyDelete
  3. Thanks for the recipe. Looks good!

    ReplyDelete
  4. Hi Tracey!
    I love snowball cookies and often make them for Christmas. Yours look great! You are one of my features this week at Homestyle Gathering! Thanks for sharing at the party!
    >>> Kim

    ReplyDelete
  5. I love a great Snowball Cookie and your recipe looks delicious! Thanks so much for sharing your awesome post with us at Full Plate Thursday,453. Hope you have a great week and come back to see us soon!
    Miz Helen

    ReplyDelete
  6. Congratulations you cookies are being featured this week on Friday Features, be sure to stop by and share again. The other recipes look delicious!

    ReplyDelete

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