This cookie dough is made from just 5 ingredients in 1 mixing bowl and only needs 30 minutes of chill time before baking. Without any complicated steps or ingredients, you can be confident this easy snowball cookie recipe is foolproof. Toasted pecans are optional, but add the loveliest flavor!
- 1 cup (230g) unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
- 3/4 cup (90g) confectioners’ sugar
- 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
- 2 and 1/4 cups (281g) all-purpose flour (spoon & leveled)
- 1/8 teaspoon salt (see note)
- optional: 3/4 cup (100g) finely chopped and toasted pecans*
- 1 and 1/4 cups (150g) confectioners’ sugar
- In a large bowl using a handheld mixer or stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, beat the butter for 1 minute on medium speed until completely smooth and creamy. Add 3/4 cup (90g) confectioners’ sugar and beat on medium high speed until combined and creamy. Scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl as needed. Next, beat in the vanilla extract on medium-high speed until combined. Switch to low speed and slowly add the flour and salt. The dough will look dry and you may not think the flour will fully combine. Once all of the flour is added, turn the mixer up to high speed. The dough will come together. Finally, beat in the chopped pecans, if using.
- Cover the cookie dough tightly and chill in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes and up to 3 days. (If chilling for 3+ hours, make sure you let the cookie dough sit at room temperature for at least 30 minutes before rolling into balls. The cookie dough will be very stiff after being in the fridge that long.)
- Preheat oven to 350°F (177°C). Line 2 large baking sheets with parchment paper or silicone baking mats. Set aside. Pour the confectioners’ sugar needed for the coating into a shallow bowl.
- Scoop or roll 1 Tablespoon of cookie dough per cookie. Roll into a ball and place on the baking sheets, at least 2 inches apart. Bake the cookies until golden brown on the bottom edges and just barely browned on top, about 15 minutes.
- Coating: Allow the cookies to cool for 5 minutes on the baking sheet, then very gently roll them in the confectioners’ sugar to coat completely. Place the cookies on wire racks to cool completely. The confectioners’ sugar will melt a bit and get sticky; that’s ok. Once the cookies have completely cooled, roll in confectioners’ sugar again. This is when the sugar will really stick.
- Cookies stay fresh covered at room temperature for up to 1 week.
- Make Ahead & Freezing Instructions: Baked cookies freeze well up to 3 months. Unbaked cookie dough freezes well up to 3 months. Thaw overnight in the refrigerator then allow to come to room temperature, then continue with step 3.
- Special Tools (affiliate links): Electric Mixer (Stand Mixer or Handheld) | Baking Sheets | Silicone Baking Mats | Cooling Rack
- Salt: The video uses salted butter, so I skip the salt. Feel free to use salted butter and skip the added salt in the recipe.
- To Toast the Pecans: Spread chopped pecans on a lined baking sheet. Bake for 8–10 minutes at 300°F (150°C). Let them slightly cool. Then, give them a very fine chop with a sharp knife or pulse a few times in a food processor. You want small pieces of nuts. Feel free to skip the toasting step and just use finely chopped pecans.
- Sprinkles or Other Nuts: You can also use finely chopped (and toasted, if desired) walnuts, almonds, pistachios, hazelnuts, or macadamia nuts. Toast according to the same directions as pecans in Note above. Instead of nuts, you can beat in 1/2 cup sprinkles.
Keywords: snowball cookies