Crazy for Crust

Chocolate Chip Snowball Cookies

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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!


Recipe notes:

There are quite a few comments about the dough not coming together. This recipe works, trust me; I’ve made it approximately a million times over my lifetime. If your dough is too crumbly the culprits could be:

  1. You added too much flour. Did you pack it? Don’t pack your flour.
  2. You added too much powdered sugar. Did you pack it? Don’t pack your powdered sugar.
  3. Are you using REAL butter? Like, butter that’s actually butter, NOT margarine or shortening? (Not that margarine won’t work, but I’ve never used it in this recipe so I don’t know how it performs.)
  4. Keep mixing. It takes awhile for the dough to become a dough, especially if you’re using a hand mixer. It WILL come together eventually.

Here’s proof:


5 from 7 votes
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Servings: 4 dozen

Chocolate Chip Snowball Cookies

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.)

See more of my snowball recipes here!

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

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  1. MCGM Admit Card

    Keep mixing. It takes awhile for the dough to become a dough, especially if you’re using a hand mixer. It WILL come together eventually.

  2. How can you say the chocolate snowball cookies are 179 calories for 2 when you don’t say how many cookies your recipe makes?

  3. Made the chocolate chip snow ball cookies but I think 1 cup of mini chips was way to many. Next time I will only use 1/4 cup. Good cookies though

  4. I was wondering about freezing them. Does it effect the powdered sugar? Will I need to roll again when I thaw them? My Grandmother used to make these also at Christmas. YUM

  5. These are so easy and probably the most delicious cookies ever. I used regular size semi sweet chocolate chips and I double rolled after they cooled. NUT FREE …my favorite cookie ever now!! Thank you!!

  6. All recipes I love them

  7. This has been a Christmas favorite in my household the last two years!  We can’t have Christmas without it.  It’s now my tradition as a mother.

  8. I decided to try making these with margarine. Not because I like margarine, but because butter was $4 a pound and marg was $.99. So no brained there. Save the butter for the real food. The margarine made the dough very soft and crumbly. I added 1TBSP of water to the mix and it came together beautifully! I rolled 1” balls out and baked at 375 for 15 minutes. They came out so yummy and delicious just like the butter recipe. 

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