Snowball Cookies

Snowball Cookies

  • Prep Time: 30 minutes
  • Cook Time: 10 minutes
  • Servings: 48

Also called Italian wedding cookies, Mexican wedding cookies, Russian tea cakes and a host of other names, these simple yet elegant cookies are great for holiday baking, since they’re a cinch to make and kids will enjoy helping roll the dough into balls. For the best results, make sure that your cinnamon is very aromatic; ground spices start to lose their flavor after about 6 months. For even more flavorful cookies, toast a cinnamon stick in a small fry pan over medium heat, then break up the stick and grind it in a mortar with a pestle or in a spice grinder.


  • 16 Tbs. (2 sticks) (8 oz./260 g) unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 1 1/4 cups (5 oz./150 g) confectioners’ sugar
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 1 3/4 cups (9 oz./280 g) all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp. ground cinnamon
  • 1 cup (4 oz./125 g) ground blanched almonds


  • In a large bowl, using an electric mixer, beat the butter on high speed until fluffy and pale yellow. Add 1/2 cup (2 oz./60 g) of the confectioners' sugar and continue beating until light and fluffy. Reduce the speed to low, add the vanilla and salt, and beat until blended.
  • Over a sheet of waxed paper, sift together the flour and cinnamon. Add the flour mixture to the butter mixture and beat on low speed or stir with a wooden spoon just until blended. Stir in the almonds. Cover and refrigerate until the dough is chilled but not hard and is no longer sticky to the touch, about 15 minutes.
  • Preheat an oven to 350°F (180°C). Sift the remaining 3/4 cup (3 oz./90 g) confectioners' sugar into a shallow bowl.
  • Shape the dough into 1-inch (2.5-cm) balls. Place about 1 inch (2.5-cm) apart on 2 ungreased baking sheets.
  • Bake until the cookies are just golden on the bottom, 10 to 12 minutes. Transfer the baking sheets to wire racks and let cool for 5 minutes, then remove the cookies one at a time and roll them in the confectioners' sugar. Let the cookies cool completely on wire racks. Makes about 48 cookies.
  • Adapted from Williams-Sonoma Collection Series, Cookies, by Marie Simmons (Simon & Schuster, 2002)