These snowball cookies are light and tender cookies studded with pecans and chocolate chips, then rolled in powdered sugar. A melt in your mouth treat that’s perfect for the holidays!

Snowball cookies are one of my must-make Christmas favorites, along with spritz cookies, M&M cookies and stained glass cookies. I’ve put a spin on the classic snowball recipe with the addition of chocolate chips, because you can never have too much chocolate!

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Snowball cookies coated in powdered sugar and served in a holiday tin,

Every year I include some time honored classic recipes in my holiday baking, and these adorable little snowball cookies are always on the list. These cookies look like a snowball, hence the name, and they’re packed full of pecan and chocolate flavors.

How do you make snowball cookies?

These cookies start with butter, flour, sugar and vanilla extract, which are mixed together to form a crumbly shortbread style dough. Miniature chocolate chips and finely chopped pecans are added to the mix, and the cookies are formed into little balls, then baked. The finishing touch is two coats of powdered sugar for an irresistible treat!

A bowl of cookie dough topped with miniature chocolate chips and chopped pecans.

Traditionally, snowball cookies are made with pecans. I added the chocolate because I think it really amps up the flavor of these cookies, and it’s fun to bite into a pure white cookie and see little flecks of chocolate goodness inside. If you prefer to stick with pecans, you can add more nuts in place of the chocolate.

Balls of snowball cookie dough ready to be baked.

Tips for snowball cookies

  • It’s best to keep these cookies on the smaller side so that they hold their round shape when they bake. You can use a measuring spoon or cookie scoop to make sure the cookies come out similar in size.
  • The cookies are dipped in powdered sugar two times – once when they’re hot, and a second time after they’ve cooled off.
  • The cookie dough can be frozen for up to one month, then thawed and baked at a later date.
  • It’s important that the pecans be finely chopped so that they can be evenly distributed throughout the dough.
  • Snowball cookies can be stored in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 5 days.
  • If you don’t want to use pecans, you can substitute walnuts or almonds instead.

Baked snowball cookies on a sheet pan.

How long do you bake snowball cookies?

These cookies bake for 16-18 minutes or until the edges of the cookies are light golden brown. You don’t want to over bake your cookies as they’ll lose that melt-in-your-mouth texture and become tough if they spend too long in the oven.

The cross section of a pecan chocolate snowball cookie.

How long do cookies stay fresh?

I find that these cookies are best when eaten within 1-2 days. You can technically store them for longer than that, but the powdered sugar coating will start to dissolve over time. You can re-roll your cookies in powdered sugar right before serving if you’re planning to store your cookies for a while.

Snowball cookies are a welcome addition to any holiday party, and I find that they’re often the first treat to be eaten! I love that this recipe makes enough to feed a crowd, so it’s perfect for entertaining. All of your guests will be asking for the recipe!

More holiday desserts

Snowball Cookies Video

5 from 18 votes

Snowball Cookies

AuthorSara Welch
Snowball cookies coated in powdered sugar and served in a holiday tin,
These snowball cookies are light and tender cookies studded with pecans and chocolate chips, then rolled in powdered sugar. A melt in your mouth treat that's perfect for the holidays!
Prep Time20 minutes
Cook Time30 minutes
Total Time50 minutes
Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Serves 48


  • 1 cup butter softened
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 cups all purpose flour
  • 1 cup finely chopped pecans
  • 1/2 cup miniature chocolate chips
  • 1 1/2 cups powdered sugar


  • Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F. Line two sheet pans with parchment paper or nonstick baking mats.
  • Place the butter and granulated sugar in the bowl of a mixer and beat until light and fluffy. 
  • Add the vanilla extract and beat for 30 seconds.
  • Add the flour, pecans and chocolate chips. Mix on low speed until a crumbly dough forms.
  • Roll the dough into 1 inch balls and place 1 1/2 inches apart on the prepared pans.
  • Bake for 16-18 minutes until light brown. Let the cookies cool for 5 minutes, then roll them in the powdered sugar.
  • Let the cookies cool completely then roll again in powdered sugar. Serve.


Adapted from Land O Lakes.


Calories: 96kcal | Carbohydrates: 10g | Fat: 5g | Saturated Fat: 2g | Cholesterol: 10mg | Sodium: 35mg | Potassium: 16mg | Sugar: 5g | Vitamin A: 125IU | Calcium: 6mg | Iron: 0.3mg

This post was originally published on November 26, 2018 and was updated on November 13, 2019 with new content.

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Recipe Rating


  1. 5 stars
    For some reason I couldn’t locate the recipe I usually make so I made this one. This recipe is so much better than my family favorite recipe! I’m so happy to find your site and this amazing recipe!

  2. 5 stars
    This will be a perfect addition to our Holiday cookie swap. Minus the almonds and add double chocolate chips! Thanks!

  3. 5 stars
    There are just certain cookies that are tied emotionally to a specific time or holiday. These are my go-to Christmas cookies. I love them for gifts and for all my Christmas entertaining.

  4. 5 stars
    These are my absolute favorite cookies of all time. I have never tried them with chocolate chips.That sounds like a heavenly addition.

  5. 5 stars
    Oh these look delicious! They’d be perfect to take to our family get together this Christmas. The little nephews and nieces would love this. Thanks for the recipe!

  6. 5 stars
    Is it wrong if I make a batch of these but I don’t share?! I feel like I’d devour them before anyone got a chance to try them haha

  7. 5 stars
    I love that this recipe doesn’t need a laundry list of ingredients. Short and simple and by golly… they look absolutely scrumptious!! I need to make these soon!

  8. 5 stars
    These are some delicious-looking cookies! I’m sure I’d have to hide them from my family, or, make some for them, and some for me!