Snowball Cookies

Snowball Cookies

The first time that my mother made these cookies, I was in the 8th grade. That was a looooooooong time ago. Mom was chaperoning at a Christmas dance for our Church youth group and she let me bring a friend with me to the dance. I haven’t the slightest clue now what my friend’s name was (price of moving around so much when I was growing up—so many nameless faces rolling around in my head), but I remember that she LOVED these cookies. Both of us loved these cookies and I’m pretty sure that we ate more than our fare share of them—what else do two wallflowerish, nerdy girls do at a dance besides steal looks at cute boys and make plans to someday post recipes on a food blog?

`Snowball Cookies

My mom was never forth coming with an appropriate name for these cookies, so for years I would refer to them as ‘those round cookies that you roll in powdered sugar’. One day I saw a picture of them in a magazine and learned that they are often referred to as Mexican Wedding Cookies. Whatever you want to call them, I think that they are fairly addicting. Recipes for these cookies are relatively standard and in essence they are another form of a shortbread cookie + nuts. Some recipes call for walnuts, but pecans are my preference.

So here’s to whats-her-name from 8th grade in the little town of North, South Carolina. This recipe is for you. Thanks for being friends with me, the ultimate school nerd, for the 1971-1972 school year.

Snowball Cookies

Snowball Cookies


  • 1 cup butter, softened (substitutes NOT recommended)
  • 1/2 cup powdered sugar, plus more for coating cookies after baking
  • 1-2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 2 cups white all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup pecan, chopped fine


  1. Preheat oven to 350-degrees F. Line two cookie sheets with parchment paper. If parchment paper is not available, lightly spray cookie sheets with cooking spray or lightly butter them. Set aside.
  2. Beat butter and powdered sugar together until light and fluffy.
  3. Add vanilla extract and beat to combine.
  4. With mixer on low or medium, add the flour, mixing just until flour is incorporated.
  5. Stir in chopped pecans.
  6. Form dough into 1-inch balls and place on prepared cookie sheets.
  7. Bake cookies for approximately 12-15 minutes or just until the edges of the cookies start to brown.
  8. Allow cookies to cool for a few minutes on a wire rack until cool enough to handle.
  9. Put about 1 cup sifted powdered sugar in a small bowl. Roll each warm cookie in the powdered sugar and return to cooking rack.
  10. When cookies have completely cooled, roll again in powdered sugar. To store: place in an airtight storage container.
Snowball Cookies


  1. says

    I think one bite of these would take me right back to my childhood! I’d love to make these as neighbor gifts! But since we are in the middle of moving… maybe I’ll just make a small batch just for me. 😉

  2. Kathy Anderson says

    My mom called these Meltaways. I, too, moved around a lot when I was growing up, so we didn’t have a lot of year-to-year traditions, but the cookies and the candies at Christmas were always a given, and Meltaways were always a part of that. Ours had walnuts, but I know that pecans would be delicious, too.

    • says

      Hi Kathy. You’re right — I remember hearing these referred to as Meltaways by other folks around the country. I had forgotten about that. :). I’ve had them with walnuts, too, and they taste great that way as well. Happy Christmas and thanks for dropping by and leaving a comment. ~Terri

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