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Season's eatings - snowball cookies

Snowball Cookies, also known as Russian Tea Cakes, Mexican Wedding Cookies, and a few other names, are a popular vintage cookie that many people enjoy over the holidays.

Snowball cookies, also known as Russian Tea Cakes, Mexican Wedding Cookies, and a few other names, are a popular cookie that many people enjoy over the holidays and during other festivities. There doesn't seem to be a definitive origin on the cookie. 

That said, the recipe is relatively simple. Both experienced and novice bakers shouldn't have much trouble putting these together. The recipe calls for flour, butter, and sugar, with a few other items.

The appeal of the cookie is the melted icing sugar, as the cookies are rolled in the sugar while still warm and then rolled again when cool. This recipe has lemon and hazelnuts, but you can play around with other flavours - cocoa powder, cinnamon, or lime zest are all solid choices. 


  • 1 cup (16 Tbsp; 226g) butter, salted or unsalted - the choice is yours. 
  • 3/4 cup (90g) powdered sugar, also known as icing sugar
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract, artificial or real 
  • 2 and 1/4 cups (281g) all-purpose baking flour 
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt, if not using salted butter 
  • Optional: 3/4 cup (100g) finely chopped and toasted hazelnuts, and the zest of one lemon 


  • 1 and 1/4 cup icing sugar


  • In a large bowl with a hand mixer or using a stand mixer with a paddle attachment, beat together room temperature butter, 3/4 cup icing sugar, and vanilla extract until smooth and creamy.
  • Switch to a low speed and add flour (salt too, if you're not using salted butter), the dough will look a little dry. 
  • Optional: add the toasted hazelnuts and lemon zest, mix until combined. 
  • Cover the cookie dough and chill in the fridge for at least 30 minutes - three hours or overnight is even better. 
  • Once chilled, remove from fridge and shape into small balls - you can use a cookie scoop or go by hand. 
  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit and line two baking sheets with parchment paper. 
  • Place rolled cookies on the parchment paper baking sheets and bake for 10 to 15 minutes, until browned on the top and golden brown edges. 
  • Cool for five minutes before rolling them in another bowl with the 1 and 1/4 cup icing sugar. 
  • The sugar will melt and stick to the cookies - place on a wire rack to completely cool. 
  • Roll the cookies in the icing sugar a second time - this is where the sugar will really stick. 
  • The cookies will stay fresh for a week or so when stored.