Snowball Cookies From Duff Goldman

November 27, 2020
13 Ratings
  • Prep time 10 minutes
  • Cook time 1 hour 20 minutes
  • makes 100 cookies
Author Notes

"Soooooo, one year, I was dating my girlfriend (soon to be wife), Johnna, and she took me to her family’s yearly Christmas party. One of the traditions they have is a baked goods swap where everyone brings their favorite dish. I knew I had to make something good ‘cause everyone knew I was on TV. So I made some snowball cookies with pecans, and I crossed my fingers and hoped they were gonna be good. Because if they weren’t, people would think I was a fraud.

And, lo and behold, they were delicious! Everyone loved them and now I have to bake them every year. I always make sure to bake extra, because I eat a few dozen before they’re even out the door.

To send these to loved ones, pack them wrapped in tissue paper and bubble wrap." —Duff Goldman


Test Kitchen Notes

These cookies are part of Recipes to Give & Share, a collection of perfectly packable holiday treats that we're sending to our loved ones this year. —The Editors

What You'll Need
  • 5 sticks unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 1/2 cups (7 1/2 ounces) powdered sugar, plus more for rolling cookies
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 4 1/2 cups (20 ounces) all-purpose flour
  • 2 1/2 cups (10 ounces) toasted pecans, chopped
  1. Preheat your oven to 350°F. Line two half-sheet pans with parchment paper.
  2. In a stand mixer with the paddle attachment, cream the butter, sugar, salt, and vanilla extract together until light and fluffy.
  3. Add the flour in a few additions and mix until completely combined.
  4. Add the pecans and mix until combined.
  5. Using a small ice cream scoop, portion rounds onto your prepared sheet pan, 2 inches apart.
  6. Bake for 14 to 18 minutes, until the cookies are firm and smell nutty and toasty. Meanwhile, place additional powdered sugar in a large mixing bowl.
  7. Once out of the oven, let cookies cool for exactly 4 minutes, then toss in powdered sugar.
  8. Repeat the process with the remainder of your cookie dough until you've run out.

See what other Food52ers are saying.

  • Maria Pfeffer
    Maria Pfeffer
  • Linda Jean Dunklau
    Linda Jean Dunklau
  • Lithodora50
  • Cynthia

13 Reviews

Lithodora50 March 26, 2022
I came across this recipe at Christmas and it's now March and I have made the recipe at least 7 times! It's a great gift cookie and they are absolutely delicious; I'd say the best cookie recipe I have used. Don't know why anyone would have problems because each and every time I have made them they turned out great.
Cynthia December 17, 2020
These cookies are delicious. Note: if you want 100 cookies you must use a small scoop! Think 1 bite cookies you want to pop The Whole thing In Your mouth and let it crumble and melt HEAVEN!!!!

I never been able to refrigerate this type of cookie - make and bake. I agree you must whip this until you think it can not be whipped any more and then do it a bit longer then these delicious little morsels will reward you when cooled. Also I found it easier to sift the confectionery sugar on while on the pan after the 4 minutes then move to cooling rack (but I’m a bit clumsy 🤪).
Kait December 16, 2020
These are wonderful! Our ovens a little wonky, and doesn’t keep temperature great, so I have some beautifully under done cookies and perfect cookies. They fall apart really easily. And, I didn’t have pecans, but walnuts do nicely!

To those who said their cookies spread instead of stayed their original shape, I don’t think you whipped the butter and sugar enough. The recipe means whip the sh*t outta them until the color literally lightens and almost has the sheen that whipped egg whites and sugar have.
Carolrossartist December 16, 2020
Hmmm. Well I must have added sugar, but like other reply I also refrigerated over night. Did that change the butter consistence?
Carolrossartist December 16, 2020
Real problem with recipe!!!!! The powdered sugar of 1 1/2 cups is listed BUT never added to recipe with the flour. I wasted a lot of money and time making this cookie. As the other person said they came out flat and darkened at the edges so I filed it off. They were not as sweet, so I pipped semi sweet chocolate webs over them. Ugh!
christine December 16, 2020
step 2 says to add sugar..

Karen December 12, 2020
Great taste. Having never made these before I just used chop pecans.
Pecans should be finely chopped, for a more melt in your mouth experience.
Holly December 12, 2020
The flavor of the cookies is fantastic. However my cookies came out completely flat and spread. I cut the recipe down by using weight. I also refrigerated it since I wanted to baked in the morning after making the dough the night before. I know I made a few changes. I would love to make it again. Any idea on what might have caused it to completely flattened? Reducing the recipes? refrigerated? Love to get your thoughts
Karen December 17, 2020
Hi Holly,
When making Sugar Ginger cookies, I learned that once you roll or scoop the balls and place on baking sheet, you should chill the dough again. Apparently, the butter melts too soon and results in flat cookies. I had a pan of one big ginger cookie.
I chilled all of the pans of ball in the frog before I baked these, and they turned out perfectly.
Holly December 17, 2020
Will try the suggestion
Maria P. December 6, 2020
My adult children would rather have there cookies than presents. My mother’s recipe calls them Russian Tea cookies. My kids call the RTCs. It is not Christmas unless we bake them!
Paula December 4, 2020
I love these cookies.

My mother made them every Christmas when I was a child.

Delicious. 💞
Linda J. December 7, 2020
Mine too!!!!!