December 2, 2011

Holiday Cookie Week: Spiced Buttery Pecan Snowballs & Cookie Recipe Round-Up! {Powernap}

Mexican Wedding Cookies

Holiday Cookie Week!: Don’t forget to enter to win my HUGE holiday cookie week baking package giveaway, details below!

I just couldn’t do a whole week of cookies without mentioning these favorites, Buttery Pecan Snowballs. They might actually be the most ubiquitous holiday cookie of all time (or are did they originate as Mexican wedding cookies, or tea cakes in Russia?) and I do not know of one person who doesn’t like them. My Mom’s recipe has always called for pecans so that is what I use in ours. Like a true Powernap recipe, these cookies are an absolute cinch to make. The dough calls for four ingredients assembled in one bowl. Then they are rolled up and baked before be covered with a light dusting of sugar.

My recipe for these cookies is below, and I know there is a good chance you have a version of your own in your recipe collection. If you don’t I can guarantee you’ll love these. The toasted pecans add a terrific flavor the buttery, sugary cookie and are bound to please every single one of your guests. For those of you thinking ahead for upcoming parties and entertaining like I am, you can make these cookies today and freeze them until you are ready to serve them. They freeze beautifully!

To wrap up cookie week here is a list of delicious links to some of my favorite holiday cookies from around the web:

Jam Shortbread Thumbprints: Simple Bites

Perfect Roll-Out Cookies: Dorie Greenspan

Spritz Christmas Wreath Cookies: Epicurious

Dark Chocolate Candy Cane Bites: Bluebonnets & Brownies

Ginger Molasses Cookies with Ginger Syrup: King Arthur Flour

Gingered Orange Shortbread: Food for My Family

Peppermint Meringue Kisses: Fine Cooking

Super Chunky Christmas Cookies: Food Network

Salted Caramel Almond Thumbprint Cookies: Cooking Channel


Rules for Holiday Cookie Week Giveaway:

1. Leave a comment sharing what holiday cookies you are baking this season.

2. Subscribe to The Naptime Chef newsletter (upper right hand corner) – I’ll check!

3. Become a fan of The Naptime Chef on Facebook

4. Extra Entry: Share the link to this post with your friends on Facebook and link to @TheNaptimeChef Facebook fanpage

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7. 6 Extra Entries: Share the post about this article from my Facebook fanpage to at least 10 friends to help The Naptime Chef get to 4,000 fans by New Years! (I can see who shares what, so I will note when you share!)

8. Contest will run from November 28th at 7:00am through Sunday, December 3rd at 7:00pm ET. Winner will be announced on Sunday December 4th at 7:00am. If the winner does not respond within 48 hours a new winner will be drawn. Winner be selected by


Buttery Pecan Snowballs


1 cup unsalted butter, softened
½ cup confectioners’ sugar, plus more for rolling
1 pinch kosher salt
1 teaspoon vanilla
½ teaspoon cinnamon*
1/8 teaspoon ground cloves*
2 cups all-purpose flour
¾ cups chopped pecans


1. Preheat the oven to 325F. Line two baking sheets with silicone or silpat and set aside.

2. In a mixer or a large bowl cream together the butter and sugar. Then add the vanilla, cinnamon, cloves and salt and mix well. Add the flour and pecans and mix just until the batter forms.

3. Roll the dough into large 1″ balls and place them 1″ apart on the cookie sheet. Bake for about 30 to 40 minutes, or until they are lightly tanned.

4. Allow the balls to cool completely and then roll them in a bowl of confectioners’ sugar to coat.

* For classic Mexican Wedding Cookies omit the cinnamon and cloves.


Naptime Notes

Naptime Recipe Serving ideas

These cookies are casual enough for kids and sophisticated enough for a dinner party. They are also a guaranteed hit at the office!


Naptime Stopwatch

Prep time 5 minutes, bake time 30 minutes


Naptime Reviews

The new spices in here were a huge hit, but we like the traditional version too.


7 Responses to “Holiday Cookie Week: Spiced Buttery Pecan Snowballs & Cookie Recipe Round-Up! {Powernap}”

  1. Rebecca says:

    The one cookie I have to make is more of a candy.  Buckeyes!  Peanut butter, butter and lots of comfectioner sugar rolled into balls and dipped in chocolate.  My family might not let me in the door without them.

  2. Denise B says:

    sugar cookies

  3. SewSimply says:

    Hermits and a mincemeat cookie with a rum icing are traditional in my house.  Gingerbread cookies and sugar cookies for the grandkids to decorate are also on the list

  4. […] perfect timing. Underneath the bananas I also found the last of the pecans I’d use to make Spiced Pecan Snowballs for Christmas. With these two things in hand, and an hour until school let out, I decided to whip up […]

  5. […] Peanut Butter Blossoms and cut-out butter cookies she can decorate. My husband has requested Buttery Pecan Snowballs, and I want simple shortbread in holiday flavors like chocolate espresso and this warm, cinnamon […]

  6. […] There are one of my favorite holiday cookies. They taste like a more delicate version of the popular Pecan Snowball, and I love their pretty half moon shape. They would be great for a holiday bake sale or just for […]

  7. […] definitely my favorite baking season. This year I am starting off with a new twist on our classic Pecan Snowballs and making almond crescent cookies. These are an almond flavored crescent shaped shortbread cookie […]