Buttery Pecan Snowball Cookies

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|by Erica

These Buttery Pecan Snowball Cookies are a delightful treat that melt in your mouth! They are perfect for the holiday season or any time you crave a sweet and nutty treat. Made with a simple dough of butter, powdered sugar, flour, and finely chopped pecans, these cookies are rolled into small balls and baked to perfection.

Buttery Pecan Snowball Cookies

Once they are out of the oven and slightly cooled, they are generously dusted with powdered sugar, giving them an enchanting snowy appearance. As you take a bite, you’ll experience the buttery richness combined with the crunchy texture of the pecans. Each bite is like a little taste of heaven! Whether you enjoy them with a cup of tea or as an after-dinner treat, these Buttery Pecan Snowball Cookies are sure to bring joy to your taste buds.

Ingredients Needed for This Recipe

  • 2 cups finely chopped pecans
  • 1 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1/3 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 1/4 tsp. kosher salt
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • Powdered sugar, for coating

Instructions for making Buttery Pecan Snowball Cookies

  1. To prepare, preheat the oven to 350°F and then put the chopped pecans in a metal baking dish measuring 9 by 13 inches.
  2. Bake in the oven until the pecans emit a pleasant nutty smell and become slightly browned, usually taking around 6 to 8 minutes. Take out of the oven and leave to cool subsequently.
  3. Mix the butter and sugar together until they become light and creamy. Use a spatula to clear the bowl’s sides, then add vanilla extract and salt, and continue beating until well mixed. Gradually add flour and cooled, toasted pecans, mixing on a low speed until fully combined, while occasionally scraping the sides of the bowl as necessary.
  4. Prepare two baking sheets by lining them with parchment paper. Take the dough and form it into 1 inch balls, pressing the dough together with your hands. It is important to note that the dough will be crumbly, so instead of rolling it between your palms, you should press it into spherical shapes. Arrange the cookies on the baking sheets, making sure they are placed 1/2 inch apart from each other.
  5. Cook until the top has a light golden color, which should take around 15 minutes.
  6. Let the cookies cool down until they are warm enough to handle comfortably, but still quite warm. Coat each cookie with powdered sugar by rolling it in the sugar and then placing it back on the baking sheet.
  7. Wait for the cookies to cool down entirely, then coat them once more with powdered sugar before you serve them or keep them in an airtight container.

Tips for Perfecting the Recipe

Understand Your Ingredients: The quality of your ingredients can significantly affect the outcome of your pecan snowball cookies. Using high-quality, unsalted butter ensures a rich, buttery flavor, while fresh, high-grade pecans add a delightful crunch and nuttiness. Opt for pure vanilla extract over artificial ones to enhance the flavor profile of your cookies.

Toasting Pecans: Toasting the pecans before adding them to your dough can elevate the nutty flavor of your cookies. Spread the pecans on a baking sheet and toast in a preheated oven at 350°F for 6-8 minutes or until they’re fragrant and slightly darkened. Let them cool before chopping and adding to your dough.

Dough Consistency: The dough for pecan snowball cookies should be easy to handle and not too sticky. If your dough is too soft, add a little more flour, a tablespoon at a time, until you reach the desired consistency. If it’s too dry, add a bit of softened butter. The goal is to have a dough that’s easy to shape into balls without sticking to your hands.

Sizing Your Cookies: Consistency is key for even baking and presentation. Use a small cookie scoop or a tablespoon to measure out the dough, then roll it into balls. This ensures that all your cookies are the same size and will bake evenly.

Baking to Perfection: Oven temperatures can vary, so it’s essential to know your oven. Start checking your cookies for doneness a couple of minutes before the recommended baking time. They should be lightly golden on the bottom but still soft. Overbaking can lead to dry cookies.

The Double Roll in Powdered Sugar: For that classic snowball look and extra sweetness, roll your cookies in powdered sugar twice. The first roll should be done while the cookies are still warm, allowing the sugar to adhere better. Once they’ve cooled, roll them in powdered sugar again for a beautiful, snowy appearance.

Storage Tips

Cooling Before Storage: Ensure your pecan snowball cookies are completely cooled before storing them. This prevents condensation inside the container, which can make the cookies soggy.

Airtight Containers: Store your cookies in an airtight container to keep them fresh. Layer the cookies between sheets of parchment paper to prevent them from sticking together.

Room Temperature Storage: Pecan snowball cookies can be stored at room temperature for up to a week. Keep them in a cool, dry place away from direct sunlight.

Freezing for Longevity: For longer storage, freeze the cookies in a single layer on a baking sheet before transferring them to a freezer-safe bag or container. This prevents them from sticking together. Thaw at room temperature for a few hours before serving.

Reviving Cookies: If your cookies have softened over time, you can briefly reheat them in a 300°F oven for 5-10 minutes to crisp them up. Let them cool and then give them a fresh coat of powdered sugar.

Serving Suggestions

Tea and Coffee Pairings: Pecan snowball cookies are a perfect match for hot beverages. Serve them with coffee, tea, or hot chocolate. The buttery, nutty flavors of the cookies complement the bitterness of coffee and the richness of hot chocolate beautifully.

Holiday Platters: Arrange pecan snowball cookies on a festive platter with other holiday treats like gingerbread men, sugar cookies, and chocolate truffles for a delightful holiday dessert spread.

Gift Giving: These cookies make excellent gifts. Pack them in decorative tins or boxes lined with parchment paper. Include a handwritten recipe card for a personal touch.

Dessert Wine Pairing: For an elegant dessert option, pair pecan snowball cookies with a sweet dessert wine like Moscato, Port, or a late-harvest Riesling. The sweetness of the wine complements the nutty, buttery flavors of the cookies.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I use other nuts in this recipe? Yes, while pecans are traditional, you can use other nuts like walnuts, almonds, or hazelnuts. Just ensure they’re finely chopped to distribute evenly throughout the cookies.

Why did my cookies flatten in the oven? This can happen if your butter was too soft or if the dough was overworked. Ensure your butter is softened to room temperature but not melting. Also, mix the dough just until the ingredients are incorporated.

Can I make the dough ahead of time? Absolutely. The dough for pecan snowball cookies can be made ahead and stored in the refrigerator for up to 3 days or frozen for up to 3 months. Thaw in the refrigerator overnight before shaping and baking.

How do I prevent the powdered sugar from melting into the cookies? The first roll in powdered sugar should be done while the cookies are still warm, but not hot, to ensure the sugar sticks but doesn’t melt. The second roll should be after the cookies have completely cooled for that perfect snowy finish.

Can these cookies be made gluten-free? Yes, you can substitute the all-purpose flour with a gluten-free flour blend designed for baking. Keep in mind that the texture might be slightly different, but they will still be delicious.

Buttery Pecan Snowball Cookies

Looking for a perfect dessert? Try this buttery pecan snowball cookies recipe that will melt in your mouth! Easy and delicious.
5 from 1 vote
PRINT PIN RATE
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 25 minutes
Servings 12

INGREDIENTS

  • 2 cups finely chopped pecans
  • 1 cup unsalted butter room temperature
  • 1/3 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 1/4 tsp. kosher salt
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • Powdered sugar for coating

INSTRUCTIONS

  • To prepare, preheat the oven to 350°F and then put the chopped pecans in a metal baking dish measuring 9 by 13 inches.
  • Bake in the oven until the pecans emit a pleasant nutty smell and become slightly browned, usually taking around 6 to 8 minutes. Take out of the oven and leave to cool subsequently.
  • Mix the butter and sugar together until they become light and creamy. Use a spatula to clear the bowl's sides, then add vanilla extract and salt, and continue beating until well mixed. Gradually add flour and cooled, toasted pecans, mixing on a low speed until fully combined, while occasionally scraping the sides of the bowl as necessary.
  • Prepare two baking sheets by lining them with parchment paper. Take the dough and form it into 1 inch balls, pressing the dough together with your hands. It is important to note that the dough will be crumbly, so instead of rolling it between your palms, you should press it into spherical shapes. Arrange the cookies on the baking sheets, making sure they are placed 1/2 inch apart from each other.
  • Cook until the top has a light golden color, which should take around 15 minutes.
  • Let the cookies cool down until they are warm enough to handle comfortably, but still quite warm. Coat each cookie with powdered sugar by rolling it in the sugar and then placing it back on the baking sheet.
  • Wait for the cookies to cool down entirely, then coat them once more with powdered sugar before you serve them or keep them in an airtight container.

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    Hi there! I’m Erica,

    A highly passionate individual with a deep love for creating delicious and creative recipes that are perfect for any occasion. With an extensive background in the culinary arts and a strong flair for experimentation, I strive to push the boundaries of traditional cooking and deliver exceptional dishes that not only satisfy the palate but also ignite a sense of culinary adventure.

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