Holiday Cookie Week #1: Snowy Butterball Cookies

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Holiday Cookie Week #1 Snowy Butterball Cookies (6) So last week I did gift ideas, but this week it’s cookie time peoples! Which conveniently, cookies also make wonderful gifts too so it’s basically a win win situation all the way around. I’m starting off with one of the classics. These devious little puffs of deliciousness operate under multiple aliases but my crazy clan has always called them butterballs. You may know them as snowballs, Mexican wedding cookies, Russian tea cakes, or Italian wedding cookies, but me, I can’t seem to call them anything else. To me they’ll always be butterballs.

Holiday Cookie Week #1 Snowy Butterball Cookies. Okay, obviously everybody and their great-aunt Ruth has a recipe for these cookies but I just really felt like I should have mine on the blog. Something about the holidays makes me want everything to be as traditional as possible and for my family, butterballs are a must this time of year. Almost every Christmas cookie tray I can remember had these included in the mix.

Holiday Cookie Week #1 Snowy Butterball Cookies (3) When we first moved to Chile we spent a summer in this itty bitty little cabin and our landlord and neighbor, Carlos, was an older gentlemen that had the sweetest presence you can imagine. The type of man that makes everyone feel like they’re his kids or grandkids and he knows the answer to any question you might throw his way. Words like sagely and wise seem to fit in describing him. What’s funny is that he’s pretty short, I think I may be taller than he is, so it has what my nerdy self likes to call a “Yoda effect”.

Holiday Cookie Week #1 Snowy Butterball Cookies (7) Long story short (even though it’s pretty much too late), my reason for trying to describe this friend is to explain to you that he loved these….a lot. Even with his years of wisdom, he would giggle like a schoolboy whenever I brought ”Those leetle white kooo-keys” . That’s why, even though everyone has seen these plenty of times, I’m still going to share my recipe with you guys and you’ll just have to deal with it.

Holiday Cookie Week #1 Snowy Butterball Cookies (4) This is a total sidenote: I asked Sophie to be my cookie holding model and I thought the pics turned out really cute. She’s usually my go-to when I want a personal touch because she loves to help me but this particular time I was doing it for her.

Holiday Cookie Week #1 Snowy Butterball Cookies (2) See, the day I was taking these pictures happened to be a scorcher so my mom was taking Brock to swim at the beach with a friend, but Sophie was already sunburned from the previous day so my mom wanted her to stay home. Being 7, she can be a tiny bit dramatic, plus she hates feeling left out so she was having a total breakdown over it.

Holiday Cookie Week #1 Snowy Butterball Cookies (10) I thought letting her help would be a good way to distract her and I think it worked because as soon as I started snapping she turned into a patient little actress and let me take tons of photos and mess with angles and lighting. Sophie happens to be a big fan of butterballs also so she was very excited to help poison check also.

Holiday Cookie Week #1 Snowy Butterball Cookies (9) And if you aren’t getting into the holiday mood yet then I don’t know what I’m going to have to do to beat these. Hey, and if you already have a recipe for these then let this just be a reminder that it’s time to start baking some Christmas cookies!

Holiday Cookie Week #1 Snowy Butterball Cookies (11)

Holiday Cookie Week #1: Snowy Butterball Cookies

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Cook Time: 15 minutes

Total Time: 30 minutes

Yield: about 30


  • 1 cup (2 sticks) butter, softened
  • 1/2 cup powdered sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup finely chopped pecans
  • about 1 cup powdered sugar for rolling


  1. Preheat oven to 350ºF (180ºC). Beat butter until creamy then add powdered sugar, salt, vanilla, and flour and mix well. Mix in pecans until well combined then roll dough into 1 inch balls and place them about 1-inch apart on a parchment lined baking tray.
  2. Bake for 12 to 15 minutes or until very lightly browned. Remove from oven and let them cool for 3 to 4 minutes then roll each one in powdered sugar while warm. Set aside and allow them to cool, then roll in powdered sugar again.

Holiday Cookie Week #1 Snowy Butterball Cookies (8) Holiday Cookie Week #1 Snowy Butterball Cookies (5)

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  1. says

    Oh, beautiful, beautiful butterballs! MY FAVORITE COOKIE!!! I totally know them as butterballs and FINALLY someone who shares the same name! Girl, you totally got it. 🙂

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