Chocolate snowball cookies are a delectable holiday classic that never goes out of style. These bite-sized delights are perfect for any winter gathering, with their rich chocolate flavor and melt-in-your-mouth texture.
What are chocolate snowball cookies?
Chocolate snowball cookies are sweet, bite-sized treats infused with rich cocoa flavor. They consist of a buttery, crumbly dough studded with mini chocolate chips shaped into small balls and baked to perfection. After baking, they are rolled in powdered sugar, resembling snowy orbs of deliciousness. They are perfect Christmas cookies!
Protip: A cookie by any other name!
While we know these chocolate cookies as snowball cookies, you may have also seen them called Mexican wedding cakes or cookies or Russian tea cakes.
What are chocolate snowballs made of?
Chocolate snowball cookies are surprisingly simple to make, and the ingredients list is short and sweet:
- Butter: The butter is the foundation of these cookies, providing that delightful buttery flavor and contributing to their melt-in-your-mouth texture.
- Powdered Sugar: Powdered sugar sweetens the cookies and gives them their characteristic crumbly texture. The finished cookies get rolled in powdered sugar, making them look like snowballs!
- Cocoa Powder: Cocoa powder adds the chocolatey goodness to these cookies, giving them their rich and indulgent taste.
- Flour: All-purpose flour is the binding agent that holds the cookie dough together. It ensures the cookies have the right structure while remaining delicate and crumbly.
- Mini chocolate chips: Many traditional recipes call for chopped nuts for crunch. Instead, this recipe uses a whole cup of mini chocolate chips for crunch and extra chocolate flavor.
- Vanilla Extract: A touch of vanilla extract enhances the overall flavor profile of the cookies.
- Salt: A bit of salt brings out the chocolate flavor.
Protip: Mini chips are a must!
Regular-size chocolate chips will not work for this recipe because they are too big to roll into such small, round cookies. If standard chocolate chips are all you have, chop them with a sharp knife or pulse them in a food processor before adding them to the cookie dough.
How do I make these cookies gluten-free?
We’ve made these chocolate snowball cookies with a gluten-free flour blend in place of the all-purpose flour, and they were just as delicious as the gluten-containing ones!
Why do my snowball cookies go flat?
This doesn’t happen often with a shortbread-based cookie like this one, but if they do go flat, there could be a few culprits:
- The dough was overmixed. We add the flour last in this recipe to avoid this, but you also want to make sure that once the flour is added, you are mixing just until it is fully incorporated into the dough.
- The dough got too warm. If the dough feels overly soft while you are rolling it, stick the bowl in the fridge for 15-30 minutes to firm back up. You may also want to chill the dough in between filling cookie sheets.
Can I make these chocolate cookies ahead of time?
Yep! You have two options for making these in advance:
- Make the dough up to three days in advance. Cover and refrigerate until you’re ready to bake.
- Bake the cookies and store them in an airtight container at room temperature for up to a week.
Can snowball cookies be frozen?
They sure can! Roll the dough into cookie-sized balls and freeze them in a single layer on a baking sheet. Move the frozen dough balls to a zip-top freezer bag or a freezer-safe container until you are ready to bake. When you’re ready to bake, take the cookies straight from the freezer to a lined cookie sheet. Bake as directed, but note that you may need to add a minute or two to the baking time.
Want more delicious Christmas cookie recipes like this one?
We have over two dozen Christmas cookie recipes that we’ve gathered in one place, including favorites such as 4-Ingredient Peanut Butter Blossoms, Classic Nanaimo Bars, and Lemon Snowdrop Cookies. Happy baking!