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Lemon Snowball Cookies – an easy wedding cookie recipe filled with lemon zest, juice, and extract. These are the perfect tea cake cookies and a delicious addition to a holiday cookie platter.
Last week our annual American Girl Doll catalogue came. I always look forward to that day because I can usually write an entire blog post about the insanity that appears on the pages. Like the time I wrote about the $300 ice cream parlor (for dolls) and the VW Beetle that costs more than my car payment.
Jordan has loved those dolls for years and even though I don’t agree with paying $30 for a doll swim suit, I’m happy to spend the money to get a dolls hair brushed by a professional, because the longer I do that, the longer Jordan will play with dolls. Little girls play with dolls. Girls that play with dolls don’t like boys and don’t turn into nasty teenagers.
The arrival of the catalogue, however, was bittersweet this year. You see…last week Jordan had me take all of the doll stuff out of her room. The dolls, the clothes, the bunk bed my dad made…they’re all now in the garage, sitting on a shelf…collecting dust only to be used for the occasional play date with a younger friend.
And just like that, my little girl who plays with dolls is no more. No more obsessing over the American Girl catalogue…no more tea parties…no more shopping for outrageously expensive doll lunches that are allergy free.
It made me a little teary, if I’m being honest. What’s next…BOYS?
BEST EVER Lemon Snowball Cookies
Something that never changes? The love y’all have for my Mom’s Russian Tea Cake recipe. That one recipe, while so normal (and eerily similar to Betty Crocker) has satisfied so many people. They’re a staple in our house at every holiday. I’ve fallen in love with tinkering with the original recipe, just because that’s what I do.
There were the Stuffed Snowballs (with peanut butter cups), the ones with chocolate chips instead of nuts. I turned them into chocolate and pumpkin spice and stuffed them with Rolos. I’ve even made them strawberry flavor and taste like cake batter…all from one little cookie recipe.
I have a few more Snowball Cookie flavors to share with you over the next few months. First up: Lemon Snowball Cookies. My most favorite version of all!
Nut Free Snowball Cookies
The lemon flavor comes from lemon juice and zest in the batter, as well as a touch of lemon extract. There’s also lemon zest in the powdered sugar you roll them in.
Snowballs, tea cakes, wedding cookies, whatever you call them, they’re always dependable because they’re always delicious. And they’re easy to make! Just a few ingredients, no eggs or leavening, mixed for a few minutes and baked. No chilling needed, no special ingredients. There’s a reason why they’re such a popular cookie: because they’re addicting.
Tips for Making My Lemon Snowball Cookie Recipe
Notes about the recipe: without fail, every time I post a snowball recipe I get comments that they don’t turn out because the batter doesn’t come together. There are a few reasons for this:
- Do NOT pack your flour or powdered sugar.
- Do NOT use anything besides REAL butter. Margarine and butter spreads need not apply.
- Because there is a lot of flour in this batter and not a ton of liquid, it takes time for it to come together. If you’re using a stand mixer, this will happen pretty quickly. If you’re using a hand mixer or beating by hand, it will take a long time. Just keep mixing and the dough will form a thick cookie dough.
Now that I’ve made to-die-for lemon snowball cookies, I can’t wait to try other citrus flavors…orange with chocolate chips or key lime with macadamia nuts!!
Lemon Snowball Cookies
- 1 cup unsalted butter room temperature
- ½ cup powdered sugar
- 1 teaspoon lemon juice
- ¼ teaspoon lemon extract optional
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 2 teaspoons lemon zest
- 2 ¼ cups flour
- 1-2 cups powdered sugar + 2 teaspoons lemon zest for rolling
- Preheat oven to 350°F. Line two cookie sheets with parchment paper or silicone baking mats.
- Beat butter, powdered sugar, lemon juice, lemon extract, and salt until smooth, then stir in lemon zest. Add the flour and mix until a stiff dough forms. If you’re using a stand mixer, this will just take a minute or so. If you’re using a hand mixer it will take much longer.
- Scoop tablespoon sized cookies onto your cookie sheet. These don’t spread so you can crowd them a bit, leaving about 1-2″ between cookies. Bake for 8-12 minutes, rotating pans halfway through baking, until the cookies are no longer wet looking. Cool 10 minutes before rolling in powdered sugar.
- Stir powdered sugar and lemon zest together in a bowl. Roll cookies to coat. If desired, do a second roll once they’re completely cool, so they’re perfectly white.
- Store cookies in an airtight container for up to 3 days or freeze for up to one month.
Click here to see the complete list of Lemon Recipes!
CHECK OUT ALL OF MY SNOWBALL COOKIE RECIPES HERE.
Sweets from friends:
Peppermint Snowball Cookies by Mom on Timeout
Pear Praline Wedding Cookies by Confessions of a Cookbook Queen
Chocolate Kiss Powder Puff Cookies by Averie Cooks
Last Updated on February 2, 2023
My mothers recipe for the snowball cookies (at least 50 years ago) did not require unsalted butter. I have always used lightly salted butter and eliminated the 1/2 tsp of additional salt. Can you tell me what is the difference, adding salt or using butter that is lightly salted?
It’s all about how much you add – if you’re using salted butter then you can eliminate the added salt
Easy and delicious. Don’t skip the zest in the icing sugar you roll the cookies in!
I wanted to make this for the longest time. I finally made them today. My dough came together. They rolled quite easily and i didn’t put the dough in the fridge to cool it down first. Butter definitely need to be at room temperature. This mean take it out of the fridge about an hour or two earlier before you start to work with it. Don’t use the microwave to melt it. I would recommend cooking them longer than the recipe called for. It felt under cooked for me and I baked mine for 11 minutes. I would wait for it to cool a bit before picking it up to roll it in powdered sugar. These cookies aren’t meant to be super sweet. If you’re looking for a sweet cookie, this isn’t it. I may try it again and definitely bake it longer.
I followed the recipe exactly and unfortunately they turned out terrible. After sitting on the cookie sheet for about 12 minutes, the first cookie I tried to roll in the powdered sugar promptly feel to pieces. Most of the cookies had no structure and immediately fell apart. As far as taste goes, the cookies tasted like a mouthful of powder, and very bland. I ended up binning the whole batch.
You didn’t mix the dough enough. If it was not a regular looking cookie dough when you scoop that can happen. It should be a normal looking cookie dough – not crumbly – before baking.
This was refrigerated dough. I made it the night before and left in the fridge overnight. So mixing wasn’t the issue.
Could you use Limoncello instead of lemon juice and lemon extract?