Sparkle Snowball Cookies
Now that the holidays are over, my kids are dreaming of snow. We don’t get snow often where we live, which makes it a big deal when the snow does fall. Every January, my older kids scout out the best sledding hills while my younger ones ask to make paper snowflakes and fake snow.
With many cold days of playing inside ahead, I’m up for all the snow-themed crafts and activities. That’s why my older daughters and I created this snow-themed cookie recipe. After finishing our tactile alphabet cookies using sugar cookie playdough, we were in full cookie mode.
These sparkle snowball cookies make everyone in the house happy.
I love them because they don’t take all afternoon to make and are simple enough for everyone to help with. My older kids love them because they satisfy their sweet tooth. The glitter coating makes my younger kids giggle with delight.
If you’re looking for a simple cookie recipe that will add a little fun to the bleak days of winter, this is it. Grab some edible glitter, snowflake sprinkles, and your kiddos. These sparkle snowball cookies are delicious and fun.
Sparkle Snowball Cookies: What Tools You’ll Need
These snowball cookies come together in a flash using a couple of tools.
Stand Mixer or Hand Mixer and Bowl
If you have a Kitchenaid Stand Mixer it will make this job simpler. We love our stand mixer and use it almost daily. I can let all the ingredients mix while I’m holding a baby on my hip.
You can make this with a hand mixer and a bowl as well.
A wire rack will allow you to cool the cookies after rolling them in the powdered sugar. You can cool them on a plate or the counter as well, you just might lose more sugar. I’ve found the wire rack produces a more evenly coated cookie and helps them to cool faster.
What Ingredients Do You Need?
These cookies are made with basic ingredients. If you bake often, you likely have all of these on hand. I love how simple these cookies are to make.
Here are the ingredients we used:
- Flour: For these cookies, we chose unbleached all-purpose flour. Feel free to experiment with a gluten-free flour blend.
(I’ve also made this recipe as one of my go-to protein snacks for kids in the past by using almond flour instead. I cut the sugar down by using powdered erythritol and included grass-fed butter.)
- Butter: Butter is a healthy fat essential for kids’ health. However, it’s important to use real butter and not margarine. I like to buy grass-fed butter since it’s full of vitamins like A, E, D, and K.
- Powdered sugar: Any powdered sugar will do. Don’t try and substitute granulated sugar in this recipe, as the consistency won’t turn out the same.
- Pecans: Pecans are one of our favorite nuts to use in baking. The flavor is the perfect addition to cookies. However, walnuts, almonds, or hazelnuts would be delicious as well.
- Salt: Himalayan sea salt is our favorite choice.
- Vanilla: We use pure vanilla extract for the best flavor and to avoid artificial ingredients.
- Sprinkles or edible glitter: These are optional but make these cookies even more fun. I have a little one who is sensitive to food dyes. So white sprinkles were the best choice.
How to Make Sparkle Snowball Cookies
My kids and I made these cookies in about an hour from start to finish. That’s not too bad, considering I have five sets of helping hands in the kitchen. These steps are easy to follow and hard to mess up.
Step 1: Cream Butter
Using your stand mixer or hand mixer, cream the butter. You’ll want to get it nice and smooth before adding in the sugar and vanilla.
If you forgot to take out your butter to soften, don’t worry. You’ll just need a little more patience creaming the butter until it’s soft.
Step 2: Add Sugar and Vanilla
Add in the powdered sugar and vanilla. Continue to blend it with the mixer. You’re looking for a smooth, consistent mixture.
Step 3: Add Flour, Pecans, and Salt
Gradually add in the flour, pecans, and salt. Continue to mix until evenly combined.
Hint: To chop the pecans, you can use a knife and cutting board or a food processor for faster results. I have a mini food processor I use to chop nuts. Just be careful not to turn them into flour.
Step 3: Roll into Balls
Using your hands, you can roll the dough into balls for baking. I like to use a tablespoon measuring spoon to scoop out the balls so they turn out the same size. A cookie scoop would work well too.
Step 4: Bake
You’ll want to keep an eye on these cookies while they bake. If you bake them too long, they’ll end up too hard. This will make it difficult to roll in the toppings.
These cookies are perfectly baked when the bottoms are a light, golden brown.
Step 5: Cool and Roll
The final steps include letting the cookies cool for a minute or two and then rolling them in powdered sugar and sprinkles. Afterward, you’ll set them on the wire rack to cool further.
If you don’t have a wire rack, just let them cool on the counter. Even if you lose a little powdered sugar, they’ll still taste excellent.
Can I make this nut-free?
Yes, these cookies can be made nut-free! If your little one has a nut allergy, you can simply omit the nuts in this recipe. They will still turn out delicious.
What ingredients can I add to these sparkle snowball cookies for variation?
We’ve tried a few add-ins in this recipe and loved the variation. If you want to experiment, try adding lemon zest, chocolate chips, coconut shreds, or sprinkles. You can also try these drizzled in icing or melted chocolate.
Can making cookies benefit my child’s development?
Yes, it can! Everyday tasks like making healthy peanut butter cookie bites or cleaning the kitchen are often the best opportunities for advancing your child’s development.
Fine motor skills are sharpened as your child rolls the dough, mixes the batter, and shakes the sprinkles. Language skills are developed as your child describes how the ingredients smell and taste. Cooperation skills are learned as they work alongside you to create the recipe.
What can I do with my child while we wait for the cookies to cool?
While you’re waiting for the cookies to cool—and possibly the snow to fall—enjoy these snow-themed activities:
- Messner, Kate (Author)
- English (Publication Language)
- 44 Pages – 09/09/2014 (Publication Date) – Chronicle Books (Publisher)
- Make a sensory snow table.
- Read the book Over and Under the Snow by Kate Messner.
- Do some finger painting to create an adorable snowman.
- Make paper snowflakes.
Sparkle Snowball Cookies
- Prep Time: 15 minutes
- Bake Time: 15 minutes
- Servings: 2 dozen cookies
- 2 1/4 cups flour
- ¾ cup finely chopped pecans
- ½ tsp salt
- 1 cup softened butter
- 1 tsp vanilla
- ½ cup powdered sugar (plus more for rolling)
- Glitter sprinkles
- Stand mixer
- Wire rack
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
- In a stand mixer, cream the butter.
- Add in the powdered sugar and vanilla and beat until smooth.
- Gradually mix in the flour, pecans, and salt.
- Using a cookie scoop or spoon, scoop out small amounts of dough and form into balls. Place on a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper.
- Bake for 12–15 minutes until the bottoms are light brown and the tops are pale.
- Remove from the oven and allow to sit for 2 minutes.
- Roll in a shallow bowl of powdered sugar and glitter sprinkles.
- Place cookies on a wire rack and allow to cool.
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