Snowball Cookies with Mini Chocolate Chips

Snowball Cookies with Mini Chocolate Chips

Snowball cookies are an essential part of Christmas for me.  I know they have various other names, but to me they will always be snowballs.  You see, my grandma made them every single year for as long as I can remember when I was growing up.  She typically used a little food coloring to tint some of them red and green.  I always insisted that the red ones tasted best.  Obviously.  It makes me laugh to think about some of the silly things I did when I was a kid.  I also vaguely remember refusing to eat the white ones since they were not as festive.  Oh my, I’m sure I was a pain.

Snowball Cookies with Mini Chocolate Chips

As soon as I signed up for the Great Food Blogger Cookie Swap 2012, I knew immediately that these were what I wanted to make.  I’ve tested out several recipes over the years to find the one that is closest to what I remember from my grandma’s version.  And this, my friends, is it.  I added some mini chocolate chips to the batter, because chocolate clearly makes everything better, but otherwise these are so close to the ones I remember.

Snowball Cookies with Mini Chocolate Chips

They have that perfect melt-in-your mouth quality, a little crunch from the walnuts and just the right amount of sweetness from the roll in confectioners’ sugar and mini chocolate chips.

I packaged these up and sent them off to three lovely ladies – Stephanie, Linda and Maria.   You can head over to their sites to check out what they made for the swap!  In return, I received some very yummy cookies from several other lovely bloggers.  It has been a complete cookie overload!  But oh so much fun.

Food Blogger Cookie Swap

Snowball Cookies with Mini Chocolate Chips
Yield: about four dozen cookies
  • 2 cups walnuts, divided
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • ¾ teaspoon salt
  • 16 tablespoons (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
  • ⅓ cup superfine sugar*
  • ½ of a vanilla bean
  • 1 ½ teaspoons vanilla extract
  • ½ cup mini chocolate chips
  • 1 ½ cups confectioners’ sugar
  1. Preheat the oven to 325 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside.
  2. Add 1 cup of the walnuts to the bowl of a food processor. Process for about 10 to 15 seconds, until ground to the texture of coarse cornmeal. Transfer to a medium bowl. Add the remaining 1 cup walnuts to the food processor and process for about 5 seconds, until they are coarsely chopped. Add to the bowl with the ground walnuts. Next, add the flour and salt to the same bowl. Mix all the ingredients to combine.
  3. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, add the butter and superfine sugar. Beat on medium speed until light and fluffy, about 3 to 5 minutes. Split the vanilla bean lengthwise and scrape out the seeds. Add the seeds to the bowl, as well as the vanilla extract. Beat until combined. With the mixer on low speed, slowly add in the walnut-flour mixture. Mix until just combined. Scrape down the sides of the bowl and beat on low speed for another 7 to 10 seconds, until the dough is cohesive. Remove the bowl from the mixer and gently fold in the mini chocolate chips.
  4. Scoop about 1 tablespoon of dough at a time (I used my small dough scoop) and roll into a ball. Place on the prepared baking sheet, spacing the cookies about 1 inch apart. Bake for about 18 to 20 minutes, rotating the pan once during baking. The cookies should be a pale golden color and the bottoms should just be slightly brown.
  5. Let the cookies cool directly on the baking sheet for about 10 minutes. Remove to a wire rack to cool completely. Once cool, add the confectioners’ sugar to a bowl. Gently roll the cookies in the sugar to coat all the sides. If desired, you can re-roll the cookies before serving.
*Don’t have superfine sugar on hand? No problem, you can make your own. Place regular granulated sugar in a food processor and process for 30 seconds (1 cup plus 2 teaspoons granulated sugar will yield 1 cup superfine sugar).

Slightly adapted from Cook’s Illustrated.


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  1. angelika says

    Hi Ashley, how long can I keep this cookies cause I’m thinking to make this ahead before christmas of course and what is the best way to store them? It’s around 30 degrees here in oz. Thank you n merry xmas!

    • Ashley says

      Hi Angelika! These will keep well for about 3 to 5 days stored in an airtight container (I’ve always just left them at room temperature). If needed, I’ll dust them again lightly with more confectioners’ sugar before serving! And merry christmas to you as well!

  2. Mary says

    Want to make these, but not to sure about certainterms. Can you expand on the ingredient that calls for 1/2 vanilla bean? Is it an actual bean cut in half? Sorry if this is a silly question.

    • Ashley says

      Hi Mary! Not silly at all. Yes, so what I normally do is split a whole vanilla bean lengthwise and then scrape out half of the seeds to use in here. You can save the remaining half for something else or sometimes I’ll just put all the seeds in the cookies :) Let me know if you have more questions!

  3. Betty says

    I misplaced my recipe for these awesome cookies a couple of years ago. My friends mom always made these at Christmas, I was ten years old and LOVED them. I have viewed several “Snowball Cookie” recipes and if my memory serves me correctly; these seem like the same ones. I will make them next week and let you know if this is the exact recipe. Thank you so much Ashley. I will be keeping up with your blog. Have a very Merry Christmas and a Happy and Healthy 2014. :) :)

    • Ashley says

      Hi Betty! Yes, you’ll have to let me know if this is the recipe! I love snowball cookies for Christmas – I think they are my favorite treat to make this time of the year. Merry Christmas to you as well!

  4. Kristen says

    This is very similar to my grandmother’s recipe – we use 24 hersey kisses and cover them in the dough! I recently found that using the peppermint kisses makes them extra holiday-ish. I’m going to have to try the mini chocolate chips now!

    • Ashley @ Cookie Monster Cooking says

      Yes! You need to make snowballs! haha. One of the all-time greatest Christmas cookies, well at least in my opinion : )

  5. says

    Hi Ashley! Delicious….They must be so addictive!!!
    Was your grandmother by any chance of Greek decent? because these look a lot like Kourambiedes to me (the traditional Greek Xmas cookie) :) :)

    • Ashley @ Cookie Monster Cooking says

      She is Hungarian actually! I’ll have to check out the Greek version – I love any type of cookie like these : )

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