Pecan Snowballs

Disclaimer: This is not my recipe all the credit goes to Ottolenghi and Goh the recipe is from their Sweet cookbook linked: here

This recipe is from one of my favorite books, Sweet by Ottolenghi & Goh. They are the perfect crowd pleaser and a cookie that screams Christmas. The texture is perfect, hard on the outside and like a pillow on the inside.


Makes: 21 snowballs

Disclaimer: This is not my recipe all the credit goes to Ottolenghi and Goh the recipe is from their Sweet cookbook linked: here


  • ¾ cup (90 g) pecan halves
  • 8 ½ tbsp (120 g) unsalted butter, at room temperature, cubed
  • ½ cup plus 1 tbsp (65 g) powdered / confectioners’ sugar, plus ⅓ cup plus 1 tbsp/50g
  • Scraped seeds of ¼ vanilla pod
  • ¼ tsp vanilla extract
  • ½ tsp brandy (optional)
  • ⅛ tsp salt
  • 1¼ cups plus 1 tbsp/165 g all-purpose flour, plus extra for dusting


  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F/180°C
  2. Spread the pecans out on a rimmed baking sheet and roast for 8-10 minutes,until they have taken on some color and smell nutty, then leave to cool. Transfer to a food processor, process until fine-stopping the machine before the nuts turn into an oily paste-and set aside.
  3. Place the butter and confectioners’ sugar in the bowl of an electric mixer with the paddle attachment in place. Beat on medium-high speed, scraping down the side of the bowl a few times to ensure even mixing, until the mixture is light. With the machine still running, add the vanilla seeds, vanilla extract, brandy (if using), salt and gound pecans. Finally, add the flour and beat on low speed until everything comes together and there are no longer any bits of flour visible. Tip the mixture onto a clean work surface and knead gently for 30 seconds, then form into a ball. Cover loosely in plastic wrap, press to flatten into a disk and chill in the fridge for 30 minutes to firm up.
  4. Increase the oven temperature to 375°F/190°C. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  5. Roll the dough into balls, about ⅔ oz/20g each. Spread out on the lined baking sheet and bake for 16-18 minutes; the underside of the cookies should be firm and a light golden brown. Remove from the oven and allow to rest for 3 minutes on the baking sheet.
  6. Sift the ⅓ cup plus 1 tbsp/50g confectioners’ sugar into a bowl, then, one at a time, gently roll the warm cookies in the sugar. Return them to the still hot baking sheet to allow the confectioners’ sugar to set into a thin coating. Leave for 5 minutes before coating the cookies for a second time (you may need another tablespoon or two of confectioners’ sugar)

Notes: These will keep well for up to 7 days in an airtight container. They also freeze well for up to a month (after baking) and are uncommonly good eaten straight out of the freezer.

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