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snowballs (russian tea cakes)

(9 ratings)
Blue Ribbon Recipe by
Sea Sun
West Des Moines, IA

My grandmother used to make these every Christmas and, since then, I have made them every holiday season. They used to be my very favorite Christmas cookie when I was a child which is saying a lot since she used to make dozens of different types. I like to think I am passing along the tradition. I have made one change from her original recipe, although I am sure she would be just as pleased with my version! These are a definite hit and we usually go through them before Christmas arrives and, consequently, I end up making another double batch! Enjoy!

Blue Ribbon Recipe

Everyone has tried a version of these cookies during the holiday season. Inhaling powdered sugar while devouring this yummy treat is fun (and a little messy). These are light, buttery, and crunchy. The cookie itself isn't overly sweet but the powdered sugar coating is just the right touch. Adding chopped pecans gives the cookie an extra crunch. They are so light and airy, they almost melt in your mouth. These cookies would be perfect for holiday gift-giving or displayed on a dessert table.

— The Test Kitchen @kitchencrew
(9 ratings)
yield 4 dozen
prep time 20 Min
cook time 20 Min
method Bake

Ingredients For snowballs (russian tea cakes)

  • 1 c
    butter; at room temperature
  • 1 1/2 tsp
  • 1/2 c
    confectioners' sugar; sifted, plus extra
  • 2 c
    all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 tsp
  • 1 c
    pecans; finely chopped

How To Make snowballs (russian tea cakes)

Test Kitchen Tips
These cookies are very delicate and will crumble easily. We ground the pecans in a food processor to make them fine.
  • 1
    Preheat oven to 325 degrees.
  • Butter creamed in a bowl with vanilla extract.
    Cream butter in a large mixing bowl. Add the vanilla.
  • Slowly adding confectioner's sugar.
    Gradually add 1/2 cup confectioners' sugar. Beat until light and fluffy.
  • Adding sifted flour to the butter.
    Sift the flour. Measure, then sift again with the salt. Add gradually to the butter mixture.
  • Mixing in chopped pecans.
    Add the pecans and mix well.
  • Dough formed into balls on a baking sheet.
    Shape the dough into 1-inch balls and place 2 inches apart on ungreased baking sheets.
  • Baked until cookies are lightly browned.
    Bake for 20 minutes or until edges are very lightly browned.
  • Rolling the cookies in powdered sugar.
    Remove the cookies from the baking sheets. After 5 minutes, roll in powdered sugar while still hot.
  • Adding more confectioners' sugar to the cookies.
    Cool completely and roll again in powdered sugar before serving.
  • Storing cookies in an air-tight container.
    Store in covered container.