Nut Butterballs

Published on Dec 21, 2018

Stack of nut butterball cookies on a brown rectangular wooden plate resting on a dish towel

*This recipe was originally published 12/22/2009. Most recent update 12/20/18.

Whether you call them Mexican Wedding Cookies, Snowball Cookies or Nut Butterballs, one thing is for sure they are delicious! A buttery shortbread-type cookie filled with your favorite chopped nuts and covered in a sweet powdered sugar coating.

Stack of nut butterball cookies on a brown rectangular wooden plate resting on a dish towel

When I think of holiday baking, I immediately think of these Nut Butterballs. Years ago, when I was collecting recipes for neighbor treat plates, I realized that I had way too many chocolate cookies/bars (Chocolate Caramel Bars, Rich Chocolate Toffee Bars, Marshmallow Clouds) and not enough other cookies.

Unfortunately, if you’re allergic to nuts these aren’t the cookies for you. If you’re not a fan of walnuts you’re in luck! You can also sub any chopped nuts you like. Pecans are the traditional nut used typically. I’ve tried this recipe with almonds and pecans as well, and all are equally delicious!

How to Make Nut Butterballs (step-by-step)

1. Gather your ingredients. You’ll need: butter, flour, sugar, chopped nuts, salt and powdered sugar. Preheat oven to 350 F. Grease baking sheets or line with parchment paper.

Ingredients: four sticks of butter, bowl of salt, bowl of sugar, powdered sugar, flour and ground nuts2. In a large bowl stir together flour, sugar, ground nuts and salt.

Bowl of flour, brown sugar, sugar & salt on a counter3. Add melted butter

4.  Mix with an electric mixer until stiff dough is formed.

5. Shape into 1-inch balls

6. Place onto prepared cookie sheets. Bake 15 minutes.

7. Immediately roll one at a time (being very gentle as they are delicate when warm) in powdered sugar while still warm and then once more after cooled.

8. Transfer to cookie sheet.

9. Enjoy!

 

 

Collage of step-by-step photos of how to make nut butterball cookies

What types of nuts can be used in this recipe?

  • Traditionally these cookies are made with pecans however you’re welcome to use your favorite (although I have not tried this recipe with cashews, peanuts, or pistachios).
    • Almonds will have a mild yet rich flavor
    • Pecans will have the highest fat content
    • Walnuts will provide a mild flavor
    • Have more questions about baking & nuts? This article from Betty Crocker “Baking with Nuts” is phenomenal and full of great information including whether or not nuts can be used interchangeably in recipes, why recipes call for toasted nuts, how to chop nuts & how to store nuts.

Can I use salted butter instead of unsalted?

  • The benefit of using unsalted in any recipe is that you’re able to control the salt. If you’re watching your sodium intake you can add as little as you want. If you’re a salt lover (like me) you can add a tiny bit extra. 
  • Joy The Baker has an excellent article about this topic (she’s quite passionate about butter!)!
  • There are lots of butter options out there. My favorite is the Kirkland (Costco) brand of salted and unsalted butter. It’s an excellent value and great quality. 

Can I sub all-purpose flour for another type of flour?

  • For these cookies you’re better off using all-purpose to achieve the results meant for this recipe. If you must make a swap, I would perhaps suggest whole wheat pastry flour as it cooks almost identically to all-purpose flour.
  • I would not recommend coconut flour, almond flour, or any other of the specialty flours for this specific recipe. For special dietary needs you’d be best to find a more fitting recipe.

Stack of nut butterball cookies on a brown rectangular wooden plate resting on a dish towel

Important Tips for making Nut Butterballs

  • A quick and easy way to chop nuts in a hurry is to use your blender. It’s a lot easier than pulling out your food processor (and easier to clean too).
    • Be careful though, you’ll just want to pulse on and off for about 15-20 seconds. If you blend too fast, you’ll end up with nut butter!
  • The dough will not become terribly “stiff” so you’re OK to move forward shaping into balls once the butter is incorporated with the flour.
  • Handle the warm cookies carefully when you’re doing the first covering of powdered sugar because they are very delicate until they harden once cooled.
  • Wait until they’ve completely cooled for the second coating of powdered sugar to be sure that it will coat the cookie entirely (and not melt from the warmth).
  • I highly recommend using C&H Powdered Sugar and not skimping on an off brand. The off brand, while cheaper, has an obvious lesser-quality taste. Often chalky. It’s not too much more for the brand name and I’d definitely avoid cutting corners here.
  • The dough for this recipe can be made a day ahead of time if you’re short on time to do all your baking in the same day. When you’re ready to use, simply take from the fridge 30 minutes before you’re ready to shape into balls.
  • I recommend using a cookie scoop for uniform cookies, this is my favorite one that you can find on Amazon.
  • Store cooled cookies in an airtight container for 2-3 days or in the freezer for up to 2 weeks

Stack of nut butterball cookies on a brown rectangular wooden plate resting on a dish towel

For more holiday cookie recipes check out these favorites:

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Stack of nut butterball cookies on a brown rectangular wooden plate resting on a dish towel

Nut Butterballs

Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Keyword: holiday cookies, mexican wedding cookies, Nut Butterballs, pecan snowballs
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 20 minutes
Servings: 36
Calories: 270 kcal
Author: Yvonne

Whether you call them Mexican Wedding Cookies, Snowball Cookies or Nut Butterballs, one thing is for sure they are delicious. A buttery shortbread-type cookie filled with your favorite chopped nuts and covered in a sweet powdered sugar coating!

Print

Ingredients

  • 1 lb. unsalted butter melted
  • 4 c. flour
  • 6 tbsp. sugar
  • 2 c. walnuts, pecans or almonds ground
  • Pinch of salt
  • 21/2-3 c. Powdered sugar

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 F. Grease baking sheets or line with parchment paper.

  2. In a large bowl stir together flour, sugar, ground nuts and salt.

  3. Add melted butter mix with an electric mixer until stiff dough is formed. Shape into 1-inch balls. Place onto prepared cookie sheets. 

  4. Bake for 15 minutes.

  5. Immediately roll one at a time (being very gentle as they are delicate when warm) in powdered sugar while still warm and then once more after cooled.

  6. Transfer to cookie sheet.

Recipe Notes

  • A quick and easy way to chop nuts in a hurry is to use your blender. It’s a lot easier than pulling out your food processor (and easier to clean too).
    • Be careful though, you’ll just want to pulse on and off for about 15-20 seconds. If you blend too fast, you’ll end up with nut butter!
  • The dough will not become terribly “stiff” so you’re OK to move forward shaping into balls once the butter is incorporated with the flour.
    Handle the warm cookies carefully when you’re doing the first covering of powdered sugar because they are very delicate until they harden once cooled.
  • Wait until they’ve completely cooled for the second coating of powdered sugar to be sure that it will coat the cookie entirely (and not melt from the warmth).
  • I highly recommend using C&H Powdered Sugar and not skimping on an off brand. The off brand, while cheaper, has an obvious lesser-quality taste. Often chalky. It’s not too much more for the brand name I’d definitely avoid cutting corners here.
  • The dough for this recipe can be made ahead by a day if you’re short on time to do all your baking in the same day. When you’re ready to use simply take from the fridge 30 minutes before you’re ready to shape into balls.
  • I recommend using a cookie scoop for uniform cookies, this is my favorite one that you can find on Amazon.
  • Store cooled cookies in an airtight container for 2-3 days or in the freezer for up to 2 weeks
Nutrition Facts
Nut Butterballs
Amount Per Serving
Calories 270 Calories from Fat 144
% Daily Value*
Fat 16g25%
Saturated Fat 7g44%
Cholesterol 27mg9%
Sodium 93mg4%
Potassium 128mg4%
Carbohydrates 24g8%
Fiber 1g4%
Sugar 2g2%
Protein 6g12%
Vitamin A 315IU6%
Calcium 21mg2%
Iron 1.7mg9%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
Update notes: This recipe was originally posted in 2009 but was published again in 2018 to include step by step photos & directions, nutritional information & expert tips.
Nut Butterballs // Whether you call them Mexican Wedding Cookies, Snowball Cookies or Nut Butterballs, one thing is for sure they are delicious. A buttery shortbread-type cookie filled with your favorite chopped nuts and covered in a sweet powdered sugar coating! | Tried and Tasty #butterballcookies #nutbutterballs #mexicanweddingcookies #pecansnowballs
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