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Crazy for Crust

Nov 09

Chocolate Chip Snowball Cookies

Add chocolate chips to Russian Tea Cakes for a Chocolate Chip Snowball Cookie recipe!

Are they called Snowball Cookies or Russian Tea Cakes? Whatever they’re called, they’re one of my favorite Christmas cookies.

Did you know you can make them into Chocolate Chip Snowball Cookies? Best. Decision. Ever.

This Chocolate Chip Snowball Cookies recipe adds chocolate chips to Russian Tea Cake Cookies!

Do you have a food that, whenever you see or think about it, it makes you think of a family member? I have several.

Whenever I eat Pillsbury Sugar Cookies, I think of my Nana. She passed them off as her own until I was an adult.

Whenever I see orange soda or Cheetos, I think of my Dad. When I was really little we lived in a town called Half Moon Bay, on the coast of Northern California. On weekends he would take me to look at the boats or watch the planes take off at the teeny airport, and we’d always stop at the corner store for bright orange Cheetos and soda.

And then there are Russian Tea Cake cookies (aka Snowballs). Whenever I see them? I think of my mom.

This Chocolate Chip Snowball Cookies recipe adds chocolate chips to Russian Tea Cake Cookies!

These are my mom’s cookie. And I mean that in a literal and a figurative sense. It’s her recipe that I always use, but it’s also the recipe that is her. She makes Russian Tea Cakes like an addiction. No joke – whenever we’ve gone to her house over the past few years she either has some on the counter or some in the freezer.

I think it’s pretty much assumed that if my mom is coming to a party, Snowballs are coming with her.

And you know what? I’m kind of overly glad about that because I loooooove these cookies. I love them so much I’ve made her version, I’ve stuffed them with peanut butter cups, and I’ve made them chocolate and stuffed them with Rolos.

Now? I’ve made the simple addition of mini chocolate chips to make them Chocolate Chip Snowball Cookies. And oh em gee. What a good decision.

This Chocolate Chip Snowball Cookies recipe adds chocolate chips to Russian Tea Cake Cookies!

The idea for this actually came from a Facebook reader. I posted the plain version of these cookies and someone commented, “Oh! I make those with chocolate chips!”

BAM. Lightbulb moment.

It’s funny; as a food blogger I add new things to cookies and bars all the time. I’ll make a basic chocolate chip cookie recipe and then add Kit Kats. Or I’ll make brownies and top them with different kinds of frosting.

The irony that I never thought to add chocolate chips to these Russian Tea Cakes makes me laugh.

These are, quite possibly, the easiest cookie you’ll ever make. Butter, powdered sugar, flour, and chocolate chips get mixed up into a cookie dough. You bake the cookie dough balls and they don’t spread, they just get lightly browned, and then you roll them in powdered sugar. Easy-peasy.

A couple notes about this recipe:

  • You can make these any size you want, but baking time will be affected. Mine are tablespoon sized balls of dough, but my mom makes them 1/2 tablespoon size. I’ve also doubled them up for a ginormous 2 tablespoon snowball. Your choice!
  • Once you’ve rolled them in powdered sugar and they’ve totally cooled, you’ll notice some of the sugar melts into the cookie. If you want a shockingly white exterior, you can roll them a second time in the sugar.
  • Um, maybe don’t stack these while they’re hot, before they’ve totally set. You’ll end up with a clump of Snowballs. {What can I say? I was impatient the day I made them. :)}

My last tip? Enjoy them with your family. Maybe these cookies will be the ones that make them think of you years from now. 🙂

This Chocolate Chip Snowball Cookies recipe adds chocolate chips to Russian Tea Cake Cookies!


Chocolate Chip Snowball Cookies

Yield: 4 dozen

A new twist on an old favorite! Take your traditional Russian Tea Cake recipe and add chocolate chips!


  • 1 cup unsalted butter, softened
  • 1/2 cup powdered sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 2 1/4 cups flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup mini chocolate chips
  • Additional powdered sugar, for rolling


  1. Preheat oven to 375°F. Line two cookie sheets with parchment paper.
  2. Mix butter, 1/2 cup powdered sugar, and vanilla with an electric mixer until fluffy. Add flour and salt and mix until the dough comes together. Stir in the chocolate chips. If dough is too soft, chill it until you can work it easily with your hands.
  3. Scoop 1 tablespoon balls of dough and place on prepared cookie sheet.
  4. Bake cookies for 7-10 minutes until bottoms are just slightly brown. Remove from oven and cool for just a minute, until you can handle them. Fill a small bowl with powdered sugar and roll each cookie in the sugar until coated. Place on a rack to cool.  (Once cookies are cooled, you may want to re-roll them in more powdered sugar.)

Based on my Mom's Russian Tea Cake recipe.

Mom’s Russian Tea Cakes

Russian Tea cakes (3 of 5)w

Reese’s Stuffed Snowballs

Reese's Stuffed Snowballs (2 of 2)w

Rolo Stuffed Chocolate Snowballs

Rolo Stuffed Chocolate Snowballs (2 of 4)w

Sweets from friends:
Cherry Snowball Cookies by Chef in Training
Chocolate Peanut Butter Snowballs by RecipeGirl
Date Balls by Something Swanky

107 comments on “Chocolate Chip Snowball Cookies

  1. so yummy! we’ve just prepared our third batch! The first time we made them we put Hershey’s kisses w/Almond in the middle in some and in others we put Lindor’s inside (the ones in the red wrapper) …a couple of them with Xmas coloured M&M’s…LOL…all were really really good.

    This third batch we’re doing straight chocolate chips in them and that’s it…plus the icing sugar of course.

    The only problem is they are so good that I end up eating most of them – thanks for the recipe!

    • Dorothy Kern replied on January 12th, 2015 at 9:46 am

      I love stuffing them!! And with Lindt? You’re my hero!!

  2. Sandra Nelsen

    So hilarious, as I make these with the mini chocolate chips instead of nuts. I’ve been doing Weight Watchers, though, and made a small batch at Christmas time, and put half in my freezer. So glad you posted this, as I am defrosting my six frozen cookie dough bites, and will make them and give them to my ‘ on Weight Watcher’s’ daughter for her birthday on Monday instead of a cake she doesn’t want. She can pace herself, and have a little treat all week. They are seriously my favorite all time cookie. Next Christmas, I’ll make another small batch of them, and that will be my annual Christmas treat to look forward to, and freeze some, and hopefully, something will jog my memory to pull the other half out at Easter time, LOL!

    • Dorothy Kern replied on April 5th, 2015 at 11:25 am

      I’m so glad you like them! I love the mini cookies, but I end up eating too many, ha!

  3. I just made these and they are absolutely scrumptious!! I have always loved pecan crescents (which I roll into balls instead – like Italian Wedding cookies). I love shortbread-type cookies because they are melt-in-your-mouth and buttery. Thank you for this wonderful recipe. I’ll be sharing these cookies for Christmas.

  4. I have a question, since there were no eggs involved in this recipe, can these be eaten without baking?

  5. Thank you SO MUCH for sharing this recipe! I made these tonight, and they are my new favorite cookie! Which is a big compliment because I bake almost every weekend. Thank you thank you! I’m so glad they freeze or I would eat these all at once! I paired them with a baileys & coffee and I’m having the best night ever. 🙂

    • Dorothy Kern replied on November 22nd, 2015 at 8:22 am

      Oh, I bet that IS the best night ever. I’m so glad you like them!

  6. Are these best made the day of? Or can they be made the day before?

    • Dorothy Kern replied on December 4th, 2015 at 9:48 am

      They can be made up to 2-3 days ahead (or even frozen for longer). Enjoy!

  7. awesome – thanks! making these for a winter “one”derland party. I know they’ll be a big hit 🙂

  8. Thank you so much for this recipe! I’ve had horrible experiences with cookies throughout the years. They just never turn out well for me. I just finished making a batch of these, and they’re perfect! I can see them becoming my go-to cookie recipe.

    • Dorothy Kern replied on December 11th, 2015 at 6:53 am

      I’m so glad you had success with this recipe!! 🙂

  9. It seems like the recipe is missing where the vanilla goes? Also mix the butter and powdered sugar ? What about the granulated sugar

    • Dorothy Kern replied on December 13th, 2015 at 12:33 pm

      In the directions, step 2: “Mix butter, 1/2 cup powdered sugar, and vanilla with an electric mixer until fluffy. Add flour and salt and mix until the dough comes together. Stir in the chocolate chips. If dough is too soft, chill it until you can work it easily with your hands.”

      There is no granulated sugar in the recipe.

  10. I’m sorry if I missed this written someplace, but how many cookies does this make?
    and can i freeze them after baking, or just freeze the dough?

    • Dorothy Kern replied on December 16th, 2015 at 6:35 am

      Somewhere between 30-40, depending on size. And you can freeze the dough if you want, but I’ve always frozen the cookies once they’re baked and rolled, then I sometimes re-roll them in powdered sugar after thawing.

  11. These are delicious.

  12. These were perfect for my “snow day” with my preschooler today (no snow where we live, so we’re pretending). Thanks for sharing such a yummy recipe!

    • Dorothy Kern replied on December 18th, 2015 at 2:22 pm

      I’m so glad you enjoyed them!! 🙂

  13. Hello Dorothy. I just made these and they are very dry. Not sure if they are supposed to be or not. But I wonder if it is because I used 2 cups regular all-purpose flour and ran out and used 1/4 cup of Whole Wheat Unbleached flour. Would that make that much difference?? Thank you

    • Dorothy Kern replied on December 18th, 2015 at 2:22 pm

      I think what whole wheat flour can definitely make a difference. I’m not sure how much that little but could make, but it might be the culprit. The other issue could be how you measure your flour. Do you scoop it or spoon it in to the cup? If you’re scooping, make sure not to pack the flour. Too much flour will make the cookies dry and crumbly. I recommend spooning it instead to make sure you don’t use too much.

    • jennifer replied on December 22nd, 2015 at 10:58 am

      Hello, I found you recipe  and followed all instruction even have it chilling for like 20 mins and when I try and roll them they just fall apart. what went wrong? Can I add anything to help them stay together?

      • Dorothy Kern replied on December 22nd, 2015 at 1:18 pm

        There is a chance you added too much flour. How do you measure it? Do you scoop or spoon it into the cup? If you’re scooping it, you’re probably adding too much. You can try adding a little more butter or a tablespoon of milk, but it’ll change the texture of the cookie slightly.

  14. i tried making this 2x and both times they ca,me out flat and completely crumbled! What am I doing wrong? I never had a problem baking cookies before! 😢 lol

    • Dorothy Kern replied on December 19th, 2015 at 3:48 pm

      Are you using real butter and measuring your flour correctly? Chances are you’re packing your flour, which can make them crumbly. The flatness, I’m not sure, except that possibly your dough was warmer than mine going in the oven. The warmer the dough, the flatter the cookies. This can be caused because the butter is really soft when you start (or not using real butter) and can be solved by a quick chill before baking. But definitely try not to pack your flour – spoon it into the cup, don’t scoop to ensure success.

  15. I just made these this morning for our holiday gathering at work. They were so fast and easy to make. I used my small cookie scoop to portion them and a powdered sugar shaker to dust them instead of rolling them. It was a breeze and almost no mess!! Thanks for the recipe!

    • Dorothy Kern replied on December 21st, 2015 at 7:14 am

      I’m so glad you like them!! Enjoy!

  16. While combing ingredients my mixture was to crumbly and not put together, I then realized that I started off with room temperature butter which was too soft. After I put it into the refrigerator to chill. Is it possible that they will still turn out okay if I bake them?

    • Sara replied on December 21st, 2015 at 11:24 am

      It could also be because I did not use my hand held mixer, I am worried. The fact that I enjoy baking and the holiday season is upon us. s.o.s.

    • Dorothy Kern replied on December 22nd, 2015 at 1:22 pm

      Are they still too crumbly after chilling? If so, there is a chance you added too much flour. How do you measure it? Do you scoop or spoon it into the cup? If you’re scooping it, you’re probably adding too much. Also, I use a stand mixer. Doing it by hand or with a hand mixer will make it take much longer than using a stand mixer. If it was just too soft butter, then chilling should work just fine!

  17. I made these exactly like the recipe called for and they melted completely…..

    • Dorothy Kern replied on December 23rd, 2015 at 7:14 am

      There is a chance your butter was too soft when you started? That’s the only thing I can think of other than not using enough flour. Were they too soft to roll? If they were too soft to roll (or too sticky) then one of those things is probably the culprit.

Comments are closed.