Snowball Cookies
Snowball cookies, with their coating of powdered sugar, live up to their name (at least in looks) and are filled with lots of yummy pecans.

It’s probably not surprising that I have cornered the market on bringing desserts to family get togethers.

I absolutely love to bake, and my family has been gracious enough to endure my recipe experiments on a regular basis.

For Christmas this year, we’re keeping our group small with immediate family, so I sent a text to my folks and sister, asking if they had requests for the pile of goodies I’m planning on bringing for dessert.

My sister texted back that my brother-in-law wanted baklava—but then clarified that he was only requesting it because he knew finding phyllo dough in this area is pretty much impossible. (He’s truly become my annoying, lovable little brother over the years.)

I asked for a mulligan, and he supplied a real answer: snowball cookies. Now there’s a recipe I can get behind.

Snowball cookies are known by quite a few different names, from butterballs to Mexican wedding cookies, but the gist is that they’re pecan-filled, sugary goodness. The recipe I used comes from the blog “The Country Cook.” You can find the original post at I substituted margarine for shortening in this recipe.

Snowball Cookies

Snowball cookies, with their coating of powdered sugar, live up to their name (at least in looks) and are filled with lots of yummy pecans.
Course: Dessert
Keyword: Christmas, cookies, pecans, powdered sugar, shortbread


  • 1 cup margarine or butter
  • 1 cup powdered sugar plus more to coat cookies
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla
  • 2 cups flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/2 cups pecans chopped


  • Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Prepare your cookie sheet with parchment paper.
  • In a mixing bowl, beat the margarine, powdered sugar and vanilla until the mixture is smooth.
  • Beat in the flour, baking soda and salt until well combined, and then mix in the chopped pecans.
  • Roll the dough into about one-inch balls and space them one inch apart on your baking sheet.
  • Bake for 15 minutes or until the cookies are set up and just beginning to brown on the edges.
  • Add some powdered sugar to a bowl. Let the cookies cool for five minutes and then thoroughly coat them in the powdered sugar. Set them aside, and coat them again once they are cool.
  • Store the cookies in an airtight container.

I rolled my dough into a bit bigger balls than I should have, so my snowball cookies are fairly large. I don’t think anyone will complain, though.

If you like shortbread and pecans, these will be right up your alley. Just be ready to have a light dusting of powdered sugar covering your countertop by the time you’re done.

They’re also the perfect winter-time cookie, since they truly look like little balls of snow.

Just don’t get yourself in trouble and throw one at your brother-in-law—even if he is trying to egg you on. 

This piece first appeared in print on Dec. 24, 2020.

Spice Up Your Life is a weekly newspaper column written by Lindsey Young in south central Kansas. If you are interested in sponsoring this column, please contact us through the “Contact Lindsey” link at the top of the page.