Christmas Pecan Balls

Christmas Pecan Balls (Snowballs)

Christmas Pecan Balls

Pecan balls make a beautiful Christmas gift. People will think you’re a gourmet baker but these are surprisingly easy to make. Pecans can be finely chopped or coarsely ground in a food processor and toasting them first makes all the difference. I could not find a way to make these with less butter, I tried! They are fragile so handle with care. - Jenny Jones

Prep Time: 20 minutes

Cook Time: 15 minutes

Total Time: 1 hour

Makes: about 2 dozen

Christmas Pecan Balls


  • 1 cup all purpose flour
  • 1 stick butter (1/2 cup/113 g), softened
  • 1 cup finely chopped toasted pecans (or coarsely ground)
  • 3 Tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

  • 1 cup powdered sugar for rolling


  1. Put all ingredients except powdered sugar into a large bowl.
  2. Mix thoroughly by hand, cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 30 minutes.
  3. Preheat oven to 350° F. Roll cookies by hand into 1-inch balls.
  4. Place on ungreased or parchment-lined cookie sheet an inch apart.
  5. Bake for 15 minutes or until set but not brown.
  6. Let stand on cookie sheet about 2 minutes, then roll each one gently in powdered sugar. Let cookies cool.
  7. Once they cool (15-20 minutes), roll again (gently) in powdered sugar. Store loosely covered.

To Toast Nuts: Place on ungreased baking pan and bake at 350° F for 8-10 minutes. Keep an eye so they don't burn. Cool, then chop.

Want to Freeze Them? Click here to see how.

Christmas Pecan Balls (Snowballs)

113 Comments on "Christmas Pecan Balls (Snowballs)"

  1. Sally

    Hi Jenny I would love to macke these cookies for my grand baby’s could u help me out want to make gift bag’s for them by next week I thank u very much. Happy holidays to u and your family

    • Jenny

      A gift box would be better than a bag because these cookies should sit flat and not be bounced around in a bag. Besides that, how can I help you?

  2. Nikta

    Hi Jenny,
    I want to make these, I have whole pecans, do I toast them first and then ground them? Any tips on toasting is also appreciated!
    Thank you!

    • Jenny

      Toast them first. See the “How To” section of my blog on toasting nuts.

  3. P. LaVall

    I would like to know what is the best way to store these and can I freeze them.

  4. ROZ


  5. Safi

    I bake them at 200 c and they were so delicious and oven is not hot so it will take longer if i will bake them on 180 c and cookies will get hard…but love ur recipes and love u jenny.

  6. leli

    Jenny if I double the portion do I have to double the time too ?

    • Jenny

      No, the time would remain the same if you double the recipe.

      • leli

        Thanks , love your videos , and all your recipes , bless you

  7. Safi

    Hi jenny i love ur videos and i have a qiestion prob is my oven is not so hot i usually bake stuff at 200 c and so in mine oven how long it will take means the temprature will be same and time of bakinģ?or should i bake them little longer

    • Jenny

      I believe that 200 degrees C is 400 degrees F which is too hot for this recipe. Please clarify your question.

  8. Cora C

    Jenny, thank you very much for this recipe….You are right – friends are asking for this recipe. I have all directed them to your easy to navigate internet site as so they can try more of your easy to follow great/delicious recipes.

  9. Judy

    This was a very nice presentation. I enjoyed it and the ending was so cute. Thank you!

  10. Charmie

    This is the easiest recipe for these cookies that I have seen. I checked out a few others from great cooks/bakers, but this one, hands down, was the best. Making this one for an upcoming shower…. YUM!

  11. Florina

    I made them last week for our Orthodox Christmas, they were so yummy, everyone loved them. It will be a Christmas habit from now on.
    Thanks for the recipe.

  12. L. Wayne Gambee

    My wife’s family makes the same cookies but replaced the pecans with walnuts. They call them “Ouffs.” (Pronounced “oofs”)

  13. Rebecca

    OMGoodness! I made these for Christmas this year after stumbling upon your webpage. They were gifts for family and…well…me! I LOVE pecans and never have I ever tasted any nutty cookie so wonderful! I think I made mine too big as they fell apart when I made them the first two times but they were so delicious! Thank you for these great recipes! I also made your caramel popcorn for all the kids…the problem was the adults were eating the kids!

    • Rebecca

      P.S. They fell apart when rolling in sugar…not when baking.

      • Jenny

        Yes, they are fragile at that time. If you made them bigger, they probably didn’t cool down enough before rolling. Next time make them smaller and they should be cool enough not to fall apart. To be safe, you could wait about 5 minutes before rolling…. gently.

  14. Mavic

    I make this often. great and easy recipe.

    btw, where do you get coloured latex gloves? it looks so much fun! i just noticed that you waste too much of those. why not re-use during the entire episode? if taped in several days, just don’t show that you keep using new gloves for each baking steps.


    • Jenny

      The gloves were a gift purchased online but if you buy them you will find them impossible to re-use because they are very thin and need to be peeled off and even then they almost always tear. It’s easier to leave them on and wash your hands with them on or just take another pair. If you use gloves regularly, I recommend the ones they sell at Costco, which are stronger and can be re-used.

  15. Alexia

    I have made these twice this week.
    They are delicious. Thank you so much.

  16. Jen

    So I made the cookies and they were scrumptious . However, you should put a warning up! DO NOT TRY ANY or u r going to have to make a second batch lol! Thank you for the recipe they were DELICIOUS!

  17. Maryam

    I made these delicious cookies last Christmas and everybody loved them.
    I’m going to make some tonight as well. Merry Christmas and happy New Year

  18. Carol

    Going to try your recipe right now! Thanks! And LOVED your video! The end had me cracking up! Carol

  19. Magda

    Thank you for your recipe. I tried one yesterday that didn’t end well #sad face, it included water and a cup of butter. It was disappointing to see all my first cookies goes flat and crumbled. I’ll do my cookies tonite with your recipe. Enjoy the holidays.

  20. valerie

    I’m wondering how many latex gloves you use and if this is “environmental” friendly??? or good for the “land-fill”…just for the inconvenience of dirting your hands???

    • Jenny

      I use less than doctors, nurses, dentists, and all others in the medical and food service community.

    • K

      Rudeness is a pollution all its own.

      Jenny these are delicious and have become a tradition in our family at Christmas. Thank you for the recipe 🙂 I made them with gluten free flour as well and they turned out just as yummy.

  21. Lisa

    I made these last week for the first time and again today. They are delicious, and super simple! I think toasting the pecans is what makes them even better.
    Thank you for sharing!

  22. Julie G

    Hi Jenny

    Love seeing again, big fan of your talk show. .. How make cookies does this recipe make?

  23. Maureen

    I could not print your recipe. I already suscribed.
    It’s something wrong?

    • Jenny

      I assume you are using a desktop computer. For some reason, in some browsers (like Google Chrome), the “print menu window” appears to load faster than the actual recipe page you’re trying to print. The workaround we’ve used is to close the print window and then either wait for the recipe page to load or refresh it, and then print via the Chrome browser menu – File > Print. I hope this helps.

  24. Chen


    I just made the cookies today. They are so delicious! I was going to try one only and I could not stop eating them. Yummy! Yummy! Thank you for sharing this recipe with us. Happy Holidays to you!

  25. Carol Dombrowski Krieg

    Any of your recipes I have tried turn out great!
    In your cookie recipes do you suggest unsalted or salted butter be used?

  26. Jo

    Would it be alright to use honey roasted pecans? Or too sweet?

    • Jenny

      I agree, I think they would be too sweet but you never know. You can always check around for any snowball recipe that has used honey roasted pecans. But for my taste, this cookie is too delicate for honey roasted nuts.

  27. Patricia Frangos

    Oh Jenny,

    I L.O.V.E. your video…particularly the very last part!
    I’m making these for my annual cookie exchange this year.
    <3 Kisses and Hugs <3

    • Jenny

      You’re making a good choice. Everyone loves this cookie. Merry Christmas!

  28. Kayla

    How long can you store these?

    • Jenny

      I find they keep really well up to about five days.

    • Carey

      My family has made these for years around Thanksgiving time and then we freeze them until Christmas! They will need another coat of powder sugar after thawing though!

  29. ChristineM

    You know, with the price of eggs, this is such a winner this year. Not to mention a great gift that can give a few times over, there are a lot of these gems for sure!

  30. Britt Girl

    I made these cookies today and they turned out fabulous! My husband bought ground pecans by mistake for a recipe and I didn’t know what to do with them, so I made these pecan balls. Followed your recipe exactly and it all turned out perfect. The double dusting with icing sugar made a big difference in how they look. They really melt in your mouth! Will make these again as I have more ground pecans. Very yummy…..thank you for the recipe.

  31. Rosalind G

    Jenney, I love you and your show. I have followed a lot of you reciepes and they have all be great. Look forward to making and backing .

  32. Margaret Day

    This lady is so neat like her a lot she is great fun also. I am going to make these seem so easy.

  33. Heather

    I have the same question as Lynn. Can you freeze the dough or finished cookies? I bake a lot during the holidays, so anything made in advanced is a huge triumph for me!

  34. Lynn

    Hey Jenny, I was just wondering if this dough could be made ahead of time and frozen in balls so that you could just take a few out at a time in case of unexpected company or if you just wanted a fresh baked cookie, anytime.

    • Jenny

      I can’t find any source that says you can freeze the dough before baking but you can definitely freeze them after baking and after they are rolled in powdered sugar. Then once thawed, you would roll them again in powdered sugar.

      • Shari

        When you freeze, does it affect the texture of the dough?

  35. Molly

    I love those cookies I am going to make some for me .thank you for the recipe

  36. Araceli

    Thank you Jenny I love them and my family love them

  37. Tina

    How far in advance can be made before using

    • Jenny

      I have made the dough a couple of days in advance so I think you could make it 3-4 days in advance. I’m afraid to suggest longer because I’m not sure if it will sustain for a week but it probably would last a week. But you will have to let it soften up a little at room temperature to be able to shape the cookies.

  38. Mim

    Your cookies are AMAZING!!!! After tasting the 1st one, I thought of your video… No one has to know how many I’ve had and also, if I baked them at all. Luckily I kept an eye on the pecans because my oven is slightly hotter than yours and I nearly burnt them. Apart from that, this will be a recipe I keep with me forever. Thanks Jenny.

  39. Caroline

    OMG, I use to have these every Christmas when I was a kid. We called them Russian Teaballs. They absolutely melt in your mouth.

  40. Deni Blackerby

    Jenny, I have just discovered your site and am totally thrilled with all of your recipes. I am now retired, so I have time to do some baking. Thanks so much.

  41. sophia

    Do you have to add nuts? Can you leave them out?

    • Jenny

      I have only made them with nuts so I’m not sure. I know you can make them with mini chocolate chips but I also don’t think they will have much flavor without nuts. The toasted pecans provide most of the flavor in these cookies. If you try making them without nuts, you may have to adjust the recipe to make a thick and heavy dough like in my video but it’s probably better to look for a different recipe without nuts. Once you start making changes in baking, there is always a risk they may not turn out well.

      • macey

        you know if you need to keep the nuts out try a short bread recipe then you can put chocolate on top smiles all around.

    • Kim A.

      I have been making Snowball cookies for many years and never used the nuts. My son has allergies so he can enjoy them too. They are delicious with or without! For this size recipe and without the nuts, we use 2 tbls sugar and 1/2 tsp of vanilla and a dash of salt. Delicious!

      Nice site Jenny! I would love to know if there would be anyway to sub the butter for olive oil?

      • Jenny

        There is no way to make these with oil. 🙁 That’s why I only make them once a year.

    • kidi

      hi sophia it will work with out nuts. i make this every year for chrismas with out almond but the recipe that i used have almond.

  42. Namagiri Sridhar

    This was delicious. Family loved it.Thanks Jenny.

  43. Namagiri Sridhar


    Does it affect the food when latex come in contact with it?

    Why did not use electric mixer to make the dough?


    • Jenny

      I use latex free gloves but if you are concerned, you can easily mix with your bare hand. This dough is too thick for an electric mixer and mixers usually incorporate air into a mixture and this dough is better when it’s thick and dense and it’s also easier to shape.

  44. Lori N.

    Just making these for the first time. My house smells wonderful!!! Thank you for sharing this recipe Jenny!!! And it was easy!

  45. Carol Kelly

    Jenny, I made these they taste after they are hard as rocks.where did I go wrong???HELP

    • Jenny

      When something goes wrong with baking, there is usually an explanation. I will try to help but I need a little more info. Can you please tell me:
      1) what kind of flour did you use? 2) did you use real butter? 3) how did you soften the butter? 4) what temperature was your oven? 5) how long did you bake them? 5) what color was your baking pan? 6) did you bake them until they browned? 7) what size were the final cookies – or- how many did one batch make? Please let me know and I will try to help. This recipe has never failed me and many others seem to be having success so with a bit more detail, I think we can figure this out.

  46. Jeanette

    i’v made these for 50 years and they are the first ones I think of when I start my Holiday baking. Everyone loves them. And I do bake them with no nuts and just round balls and than press them down. (Small) and than put a spoon of colored glaze in the center. Green and red.they are so good and everyone loves them that way too.

  47. Vikki

    Hi Jenny – feel like once I mix everything together the ball of dough is somewhat crumbly and i have a hard time keeping it all together. There seems to be a lot of dry mix left in the bowl that won’t stick. Any suggestions?

    • Jenny

      Sometimes even the slightest change in baking can cause problems. For me, the longer I mix and squeeze with my hand, the more firm the ball of dough becomes. Please let me know: 1) Are you using real butter? 2) How did you soften the butter? 3) Are you using all-purpose flour? [what brand?] 4) Granulated or powdered sugar? 5) Are you mixing by hand? Let me know so I can help more.

  48. Patti Kraska

    The recipe calls for 3 T sugar is that granulated sugar or confectioners sugar?

  49. Jamie B.

    I have a question…Is it one cup pecans before you chop them or is it 1 cup of chopped pecans?

  50. Maryann

    Hi Jenny,
    I’m making these snowball cookies now! They look so yummy!! Thanks for sharing this and so many other recipes. Love your videos. Merry Christmas!

  51. Monica

    Hi Jenny! I tried these with chocolate chips and peanut butter chips (a half cup instead of a whole cup) – and the peanut butter chips make a nice substitute! The extra oil from the peanut butter really holds them together well. The chocolate, not so much, but oh well – still chocolate 😉

    I love how easy these are for holiday gatherings at work!!

  52. stephanie

    Hi Jenny I made them and my family Loved them!
    I made some more doubled the recipe but used almonds and almond extract. It was Delish! I Love them both ways and plan on making them this Christmas!
    P.s I Love your kitchen 🙂

  53. Sally Miller

    Thank you for this recipe. This is like my mom’s which I lost. I do have one question. I would prefer to use walnuts. Do you toast them as well, for better flavor?

    • Jenny

      Yes, toasting the walnuts first will give these cookies a better flavor.

  54. Christine Toves

    Do I have to add a bit more flour for the absence of pecans?

    • Jenny

      I have never made them without nuts so I can’t say. You could try looking for a different recipe that does not use nuts.

  55. Lori

    Can this recipe be doubled or tripled?

  56. evita

    Can you make them gluten free?

    • Jenny

      I’m sorry, I have no experience with gluten-free baking.

    • Barb

      I haven’t tried these GF but have done lots of others and these look very GF compatible if you just sub an all purpose GF flour.

    • RJones

      I make these ONLY Gluten Free. I use BROWN RICE FLOWER or any gluten Free flower. I’m only gluten sensitive not celiac, so depending on your level of sensitivity to Gluten, you might want to see about finding all the ingredients in a Gluten Free format. For now, the Brown Rice Flower does the trick.

      Hello Jenny.
      I don’t know if you remember me but I performed on your show back in the late 90’s…you had a day with female comedians. It was such a pleasure working with you. I had a ball and made some life long friends in the process.
      This is one of my FAVORITE recipes. I am encouraged to make some of these cookies this year because your recipe is spot on the way I use to make them. I just forgot what I did, so thank you for publishing this.

  57. Wava Gail Isaac

    I really enjoy listening to you. You make everything look so easy. I was wondering if you have a recipe for orange cookies with orange icing. I had one but cannot put my hands on it. The cookies are very good. Thanks, Wava

  58. Mary


    These were so delicious. I toasted the pecans AFTER chopping them. Do you toast them before or after chopping them? When I toasted them after chopping them some of the tiniest pecans burned. I toasted them for 10 minutes.

    • Jenny

      I toast & cool the pecans before chopping them for that reason – some smaller pieces can burn. And I toast them at 350 for about 10 minutes as well but I start checking them at 7 minutes. I’m glad you liked the cookies.

  59. cindy

    Hi Jenny, these cookies look delicious!! Do you use salted or unsalted butter? Thanks..

    • Jenny

      I usually use unsalted butter but since there is no salt in my recipe and since a lot of people add a pinch of salt to cookies, I think salted butter would work too.

  60. Debby

    I have been making these Cresent Cookies for the past 40years. I have never toasted my ground pecans. Maybe next Christmas I’ll give this a try. My grandmother told me they were always shaped like a Cresent moon. To fussy for me.

    • Kathleen

      We made them as crescents, too. I think my grandmother called them, Viennese Crescents which is how they appear in her -now, ancient- Fannie Farmer cookbook. But I always make them the way Jennie has, in her video. I knew a family, when I was growing up, who made these cookies, in their Christmas baking, put them away in tins, and ate them, the next Christmas. They were delicious, even the next year. They’d never last through the year, here, though.

  61. YTfancol

    I made these cookies. They are delicious :-).I look forward to more of your lovely videos. Happy Holidays !

  62. Karima

    Thank you jenny I would like to request that you give us substitutes for some ingredients like sour cream because I leave over seas and convert the masuring spoons to grams thank you so much for getting back to me happy holidays

  63. karima

    can i use Other nuts insted of pecan

    • Jenny

      You could also use toasted walnuts. I stress toasting the nuts first because it greatly enhances their flavor for any baking.

    • Carol

      Hi Karima:

      This is one of my favorite recipes! I make this EVERY year around the holidays….to serve to family and friends at home and church/office/any holiday parties (they are ALWAYS requested), and I always make extras to put in pretty tins and use as extra gifts for drop-in guests or others I may run into. They are ssssooo delicious and make wonderful gifts!

      I’ve made these using pecans, walnuts, or almonds….and they all are delicious!!!

      Besides the holidays (they are so festive, don’t they just look like little snow balls), they also are very elegant at weddings and can help make any holiday or dessert serving occasion extra-special!!!

  64. lynn

    I’ve just subscribed and I’m glad I did. This will be my first “official Jenny Jones” recipe!! Will let you know how it turns out!

  65. Kristen

    This is probably a crazy question, but what’s the best way to toast pecans? What temp in the oven and for how long?

    • Jenny

      It’s not a crazy question at all. Just put them on an ungreased baking sheet in a 350 degree oven for 7-8 minutes, turning them over once. Or just watch my video on How to Toast Nuts.

  66. Dasha Morgan

    So glad to see this. I love these cookies and lost my recipe. Your presentation was just right — can’t wait to try them again. Dasha

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