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Nutty Spiced Snowdrop Cookies

Nutty Spiced Snowdrop Cookies are a tasty twist on a classic cookie. Plenty of nuts and a blend of spices make these irresistible!

Nutty Spiced Snowball Cookies in a pewter tray on a white plate with more cookies on plates in the background

Nutty Spiced Snowdrop Cookies

Snowdrop Cookies, Mexican Wedding Cookies, Russian Tea Cakes… Whatever you want to call these soft, buttery, beloved cookies, I am the first in line to grab one or a few. They always seem to be a popular choice around the holidays, thanks to their snowy appearance and irresistible flavor.

These Nutty Spiced Snowdrop Cookies offer a spiced twist on these favorite holiday cookies. Traditionally, these types of cookies are rolled in confectioners’ sugar. These are as well, but we’re bumping up the flavor with a blend of spices mixed with the sugar.

The result is a cookie that’s both familiar and different. It’s flavorful and soft and sweet and spiced. And – even better – they’re so easy to make. A lovely addition to your holiday baking!

overhead view of ingredients for Nutty Spiced Snowball Cookies

What You’ll Need

If you’ve got a stocked spice shelf, then you’ve probably got everything you need to make these Nutty Spiced Snowdrop Cookies!

  • All-purpose flour – Measure by weight for best results. See my note in the tips section below.
  • Salt
  • Butter – Set out the butter about half an hour before baking so it can soften.
  • Confectioners’ sugar – Using confectioners’ sugar helps prevent spreading so these cookies hold their shape. You’ll also use it for coating the cookies after they’ve baked.
  • Almond extract – This bumps up the nutty flavor of these cookies. Vanilla extract is a good choice, too.
  • Nuts – Be sure to chop these into small pieces so they’ll mix well into the dough.
  • Cinnamon – There’s cinnamon in the cookies and in the coating. Make sure yours is fresh.
  • Nutmeg
  • Ginger
  • Cardamom
  • Allspice
overhead view of Nutty Spiced Snowball Cookies in a pile

How to Make Nutty Spiced Snowdrop Cookies

These types of cookies are some of the easiest to make, but they’re also the kinds of cookies that seem to raise questions about mixing. It’s very important to be accurate in your measurements (more on that in the Tips section below) and to mix the dough well.

Combine the dry ingredients. Whisk together the flour, cinnamon, and salt.

Combine the wet ingredients. Beat the butter, confectioners’ sugar, and almond extract with an electric hand mixer or stand mixer until the mixture is light and fluffy.

Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients. With the mixer speed on low, gradually add the flour mixture and mix until the dough begins to come together.

Add the nuts. Stir in the nuts until well-distributed.

Chill the dough. Cover and refrigerate the dough for 30 minutes.

Prepare for baking. Heat the oven to 350°F. Line baking sheets with parchment paper or silicone liners.

Shape the cookies. Using a tablespoonful of dough at a time, roll the dough into balls. Place them about 2 inches apart on the prepared pans. I recommend chilling the dough again at this point for about 10 minutes, especially if your kitchen is warm. Keep the remaining dough chilled between baking batches.

Bake the cookies. Bake for 12-15 minutes, or until the cookies are lightly browned.

Make the coating. While the cookies are baking, combine the confectioners’ sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, cardamom, and allspice in a shallow bowl.

Coat the cookies. After the cookies have cooled about 5 minutes, roll them in the spiced sugar mixture. If necessary, re-roll them in the sugar once they’ve cooled.

Recipe Variations

  • Try different nuts. Pecans are my go-to for baking, but another nut or a combination of nuts will also work. Hazelnuts, almonds, walnuts… whatever you like!
  • Change the spice blend. Feel free to change the spices in these cookies. Keep it simple by just sticking with cinnamon. Or use your favorite mixed spice blend, like my Fall Spice Blend.
  • Omit the spices in the coating for a simpler cookie. The hint of cinnamon in the cookies will still provide a bit of spice.
Nutty Spiced Snowball Cookies served in an oval pewter tray

Tips for Success

  • Measure accurately. This is always important in baking, and it’s especially vital in these types of cookies, particularly with the flour. Measure by weight if you can. Otherwise, use the spoon and sweep method.
  • Use softened butter. If your butter is too cold, you will likely end up over-mixing the dough. Softened butter should still be cold but hold a thumbprint when pressed. You can read more here: How to Soften Butter.
  • About the dough… This is probably the sticking point with these types of cookies because the dough isn’t like more commonly made cookies. This dough lacks eggs which often serve to help hold things together. The mixed dough will be crumbly but will hold together when pinched. If yours doesn’t hold together well and you measured the ingredients accurately, keep mixing a bit longer. If all else fails, sprinkle a little water on the dough and mix with a big spoon or your hands. Be careful, though, as too much water can make the cookies lose their signature texture.
  • Don’t skip the chill time. It helps the cookies hold their shape and not spread. Shaping the dough in your hands will warm it up a bit, too. So once the dough is shaped and placed on the pan, I recommend another brief trip to the refrigerator.
Nutty Spiced Snowball Cookies on a white plate with more cookies in a bowl in the background

How to Store Snowdrop Cookies

Place the cooled cookies between layers of waxed paper in an airtight container. They’ll keep up to a week, although they’ll be at their best within the first few days after baking.

Can These Cookies Be Frozen?

Yes! For best results, freeze the baked cookies without the coating, as it will be absorbed into the cookies when they’re frozen and thawed. Place them in an airtight, freezer-safe container for up to 3 months.

Thaw the cookies overnight in the refrigerator. Bring to room temperature and add the coating before serving. If you do freeze them with the coating, you’ll need to add more once they’re thawed if you want them to have that look.

To freeze the unbaked cookie dough, shape them as directed in the recipe and then place them on a rimmed baking sheet. Freeze until solid (about 2 hours); then transfer the balls of dough to an airtight, freezer-safe container. Stored properly, they should keep up to 3 months. There’s no need to thaw them first; simply add another minute or two to the baking time.

overhead view of Nutty Spiced Snowball Cookies in an oval pewter tray with more cookies surrounding

Nutty Spiced Snowdrop Cookies

Yield 40 cookies
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Additional Time 45 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 20 minutes

Nutty Spiced Snowdrop Cookies are full of buttery, nutty, spiced flavor. A holiday favorite!

Nutty Spiced Snowball Cookies in a pewter tray on a white plate with more cookies on plates in the background


For the cookies:

  • 2 cups (240g) all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup (226g) unsalted butter, softened
  • 3/4 cup (82g) confectioners’ sugar, sifted
  • 1/4 cup (50g) firmly packed light or dark brown sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon almond extract
  • 1 cup (120g) chopped pecans (or other nuts)

For the coating:

  • 1 cup (110g) confectioners’ sugar
  • 1 & 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cardamom
  • 1/4 teaspoon allspice


To make the cookies:

  1. Whisk together the flour, cinnamon, and salt. Set aside.
  2. Using an electric mixer on medium speed, beat the butter, confectioners' sugar, brown sugar, and almond extract until light and fluffy.
  3. Reduce the mixer speed to low. Gradually add the flour mixture, mixing well. Stir in the nuts.
  4. Cover and chill the dough for 30 minutes or up to overnight.
  5. Preheat oven to 350°F. Line baking sheets with parchment paper or silicone liners.
  6. Using a tablespoonful of dough at a time, roll the dough into balls. Place them about 2 inches apart on the prepared pans.
  7. Bake 12 to 15 minutes, or until the cookies are lightly browned.
  8. Cool the cookies on the pans on wire racks for 5 minutes.

To make the coating and finish the cookies:

  1. In a shallow bowl, combine the confectioners' sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, cardamom, and allspice.
  2. Roll each partially cooled cookie in the coating. If necessary, roll the cookies in the coating again after cooling.

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