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Christmas Snowball Cookies are my mom’s recipe full of red and green M&Ms! This easy cookie recipe is perfect for the holidays and can be made with any color candy! Added bonus: they’re nut free if you roll that way!
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Christmas Snowball Cookies are the best holiday cookies!
Snowball cookies (Russian Teacakes, as my mom’s recipe calls them) are a classic Christmas cookie. We make them every year, and my mom makes them all year long too. They’re one of her most requested recipes.
A snowball cookie is a cookie by many names: Italian Wedding Cookie, Mexican Wedding Cookie, Pecan Balls, Russian Teacakes, Butter Balls…the list is endless. I think every country and every culture has these little gems in some shape or form.
I like calling them snowball cookies because that’s what they look like: little snowballs. Rolled in powdered sugar, they’re dusty and fluffy and perfect for the holiday season.
Ingredients in Snowball Cookies
- Butter – Unsalted butter is preferred but you can use salted (omit added salt)
- Powdered Sugar – Sweetens the delicate cookie dough and coats the cookies
- Flour – I always use all-purpose flour
- Mini M&Ms – Instead of nuts I’m using M&Ms! Use mini holiday M&Ms for a red and green center.
Can you make snowball cookies without nuts?
These are made without nuts. I love adding this variation to my holiday platters because so many people are allergic to nuts these days. Instead of nuts I made these snowball cookies Christmassy by adding red and green mini M&Ms. I’ve made these cookies without nuts before, when I made chocolate chip snowballs and cake batter wedding cookies.
You can add chopped pecans or walnuts as well as the M&Ms, if you’d like, but I love them without nuts almost more than with the chopped bits of pecan.
Bonus: you can make these with any color mini M&Ms too, so they’re the perfect cookie all year long!
- They’re almost like a shortbread cookie but rolled into a little ball. They don’t have eggs, so they’re perfect if you have an egg allergy. They don’t have leavening like baking soda or powder, so they hold their ball shape and don’t spread. For this reason, you can pack your cookie sheet, cutting down on the time it takes to make them.
- Use a high quality butter (not margarine). I’m partial to Challenge Butter, as you know.
- I like to use unsalted butter, so I add 1/2 teaspoon of salt to my dough. If you’re using salted butter, you only need to add 1/4 teaspoon salt.
- Don’t pack your flour or your powdered sugar.
- Mini M&Ms are a must – regular sized ones will be too big for these cookies.
- JUST KEEP MIXING. The most common complaint I get with these cookies is that the dough is crumbly. That’s because you haven’t finished mixing! Using a stand mixer will make this dough come together in just a minute or two. Using a hand mixer? It’ll take several minutes. Doing it by hand? Get that arm strength going, because it will take a long time.
- You can freeze these after baking, and even after rolling in powdered sugar. Sometimes you may want to re-roll them in powdered sugar after defrosting.
Christmas Snowball Cookies
- 1 cup (226g) unsalted butter slightly softened
- ½ cup (57g) powdered sugar do NOT pack your powdered sugar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 2 ¼ cups (279g) all purpose flour do NOT pack your flour
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 1 cup mini M&Ms any color
- Additional powdered sugar for rolling
- Preaheat oven to 350°. Line two cookie sheets with parchment paper.
- Mix butter, 1/2 cup powdered sugar, and vanilla with an electric mixer until fluffy. Add flour, salt and mix until the dough comes together. **This will take a minute or two with a stand mixer. If you’re using a hand mixer it can take even longer. Get your hands in there if it’s not mixing up. Eventually it WILL come together like a cookie dough.** Stir in the M&Ms.
- Scoop 1 tablespoon balls of dough and place on prepared cookie sheet.
- Bake cookies for 8-10 minutes until bottoms are just slightly brown. Remove from oven and cool for just 5-10 minutes, 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.)
- Cookies can be frozen for up to one month (you may need to re-roll them in powdered sugar after defrosting). Store in an airtight container.
- These mix up slowly using a hand mixer – it’ll take a long time to get a cohesive dough but they WILL come together. I recommend a stand mixer, if you have one.
- Omit salt if using salted butter.
Last Updated on November 8, 2023