Christmas Cookie-Palooza: Pecan snowball cookies.

I love the light, powdered-sugar pecan cookies that come around during the holidays (does anyone make these any other time of year?). They’re called Pecan Dreams, or sometimes Mexican Wedding Cookies (though there are many variations of those). I call them Pecan Snowballs. They’re beautiful, not too sweet, and have a delicate texture that falls apart when you bite into one.

This pecan cookie recipe is super easy and would be fun to make with kids, provided you don’t mind a whoosh of powdered sugar all over the kitchen.


1 cup plus 2 Tbsp. flour
1/4 cup powdered sugar
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, softened
3/4 tsp. vanilla extract
pinch of salt
1/2 cup chopped pecans, lightly toasted in a dry skillet until fragrant
1 cup powdered sugar for dusting

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Sift together flour and powdered sugar onto a piece of waxed paper. Cream together butter, vanilla and salt. Add dry ingredients and mix to combine, then add pecans and blend thoroughly. Place 1 cup powdered sugar in a plastic bag; set aside.

Roll dough into balls about 1 inch in diameter; place on an ungreased cookie sheet and bake for about 15 to 18 minutes (watch carefully toward the end of the baking time; you want the bottoms to be nicely golden brown, but not the tops). Remove baking sheet from the oven and let cookies cool for about 2 minutes. Place several cookies at a time in the plastic bag of powdered sugar; shake gently to coat. Remove cookies and set on a wire rack to cool. When cool, toss them again with powdered sugar to coat. Makes 2 dozen cookies; recipe is easily doubled.

5 thoughts on “Christmas Cookie-Palooza: Pecan snowball cookies.

  1. These are my favorite cookie. We just got back from a trip to Mexico City and Puebla Mexico with friends whom grew up there. Most of the bakeries sell cookies that have very little sugar and this powdery texture that crumbles in your mouth. Nothing I tasted (I avoided flan) was cloyingly sweet. Thanks for sharing this recipe. There is a similar “Butter Nut Ball” Cookie (uses 1/2 c more butter) in Scott Peacock and Edna Lewis’ great book, The Gift of Southern Cooking.

    • Matt — you’re right: this cookie recipe is kind of a mashup of southern and Hispanic. Somehow it works! Thanks for the comment.

      • I made yours in a double batch. They are better than the Edna Lewis recipe because the pecans are fuller. We gave most away so I am making a double batch for our Southern New Years First Night Feast… pork roast, black eyed peas and collards, plus a few other delicious things. I could not believe how easy it was to make this favorite cookie of mine. From now on, DIY!!!!!! Thanks Bryn for sharing this again.

  2. Love these! So Christmas-y and they melt in your mouth. Get ready for a snow shower of confectioner’s sugar down your front.