The Melt-In-Your-Mouth Cookie You'll Want All Winter

December 15, 2017

Welcome to The Cookbook Cookie Parade: a new cookie from a new cookbook every Friday. Are your sheet pans (and stomachs) ready?

Today: Delicate snowball cookies get a nutty, nibby crunch.

Photo by Bobbi Lin

Snowballs, Russian Tea Cakes, Polvorones, Austrian Crescents— these ubiquitous light, sugar-dusted shortbread treats go by many names. But no matter what you call them, the buttery, melt-in-your-mouth cookies make the perfect holiday treat.

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In San Francisco-based Dandelion Chocolate's first book, Making Chocolate, the pastry chefs put their own spin on the delicate cookies with the addition of bold, crunchy cocoa nibs.

"The other flavors in this cookie are fairly neutral, so you can choose whatever kind of [cocoa] nibs you want: nutty nibs will play up the nut flours, while chocolate-y nibs will harmonize with the flavor. Tender, light, and crunchy, with just a hint of chocolate from the nibs, these cookies are best served in overflowing piles to friends and family."

Another pro move? Chefs toss the warm (not hot!) cookies in a bowl of confectioners’ sugar twice before letting them cool on a wire rack. That way, each snowball gets a nice, even coat of sweetness.

What do you call these buttery, delicate shortbread cookies? (Besides delicious.) Share below!

See what other Food52 readers are saying.

  • Diana Maureen Sandberg
    Diana Maureen Sandberg
  • Barbra Fite
    Barbra Fite
  • Betsy
  • Liesel
  • BerryBaby
Katie is a food writer and editor who loves cheesy puns and cheesy cheese.


Diana M. February 26, 2018
My German mother-in-law taught me to make these in a crescent shape and called them Vanille Kipferln. I still make them every Christmas.
Barbra F. December 21, 2017
mexican wedding cakes or nut cakes
Betsy December 18, 2017
We always called these Butter Balls.
Liesel December 17, 2017
I call them Greek Cookies 😀
BerryBaby December 15, 2017
I make a similat cookie without nuts. I cover a Hersheys Kiss with the buttery dough and make Chocolate filled Snowballs. They are sprinkled with powdered sugar while still warm. Diugh is so easy. Butter, sugar, vanilla, flour.
Debi D. December 22, 2017
Will you share your recipe please :) Thank you
penmoon December 15, 2017
I grew up with Russian teacakes, but my daughter has a severe nut allergy. Anyone have recommendations for substitutions for the hazelnuts?
louisez December 15, 2017
Kourabides, a Greek cookie with similar profile, has no nuts