This Peppermint Snowball Cookie recipe is inspired by my classic Pecan Snowball Cookie recipe. Made with just 6 ingredients, these tender, buttery cookies are flecked with candy cane crunch, all dressed in a powdered sugar snowscape. The powdered sugar gives the cookie its signature snowball appearance, making them perfect for the holiday season.
These peppermint cookies have a delightful buttery flavor and the peppermint candy canes add a whole other level of flavor. Trust me when I say, if you love peppermint you'll love these cookies. And since we're talking about peppermint, definitely try my recipe for Peppermint Shortbread Cookies.
The base recipe for this cookie is a shortbread cookie recipe made up of flour, butter, and sugar. With just 6 ingredients and minimal prep time, these cookies are easy to make and perfect for busy bakers.
The classic snowball cookie has different names including Mexican wedding cookies and Russian tea cakes. The pecan snowball cookie is a classic variation you should definitely try in addition to this recipe. Your family and friends will be happy if you do.
Here's Why You'll Love These Cookies
- Festive and Beautiful: The snowy appearance, the minty flavor, and the red flecks from the crushed candy add a festive touch to your cookie plate.
- Deliciously Addictive: The combination of buttery shortbread and crushed candy canes simply irresistible. The additional sugar from the candy canes creates a soft chewy center.
- Perfect for Gifting: Are you planning to send cookies to friends and family? Then they will definitely be impressed by the look and taste of this delicious cookies
Peppermint Snowball Cookie Ingredients
Here are the ingredients you’ll need to make these peppermint snowball cookies:
- Unsalted Butter: Creamed butter forms the base of these shortbread-style cookies. Use room-temperature butter so it mixes well with the other ingredients.
- Powdered Sugar: Also known as confectioners’ sugar adds sweetness to the cookie dough The baked is then roll the baked cookies for that classic snowball appearance
- Pure Vanilla Extract: Adds flavor to the cookies
- Unbleached All-Purpose Flour: This is the structure of the cookie.
- Mini Candy Canes: Adds a delightful crunchy minty flavor to the cookie.
- Kosher Salt: It balances out the sweetness of the powdered sugar.
Full ingredients, measurements, and instructions are in the recipe card at the bottom of this post.
How to Make Peppermint Snowball Cookies
This recipe is made using a food processor, but if you don’t have a food processor you can use an electric mixer. The recipe card contains instructions for both mixing methods.
Step 1: Place the candy canes in a freezer bag and break them into small pieces using a rolling pin or a mallet.
Step 2: Place the butter, powdered sugar, and salt in the bowl of a food processor.
Step 3: Process the ingredients until they are combined and the mixture looks creamy.
Baking Tip: Rolling the cookies in powdered sugar while they are still warm causes the sugar to melt, and creates a sticky surface that will help the second coating of sugar stick to the cookies. The cookies taste amazing with the second coat of sugar.
Step 4: Add the flour and pulse until the mixture resembles large bread crumbs.
Step 5: Add the crushed candy canes and process until the dough starts to come together and form a ball.
Step 6: Form the dough into small balls, weighing about 20 grams each.
Step 7: Place the cookies on a parchment paper lined baking sheet or board and refrigerate for at least 2 hours.
Baking Tip: At this point in the recipe, you can also freeze the cookies. Place the baking sheet in the freezer and let the cookies freeze for 24 hours. Next place the cookies in a freezer-safe bag. The cookies can be frozen for up to 2 months.
When ready to bake the cookies, bake them straight from the freezer, no need to thaw them out first.
Step 8: Preheat the oven to 350°F (180°F). Place the cookies on a prepared baking sheet and bake for 15-17 minutes or until the cookies are lightly browned on the bottom edges.
Step 9: Remove the cookies from the oven. Let them cool on the baking sheet for 3 minutes then roll them in powdered sugar and place them on a wire rack.
Troubleshooting: If the cookies spread too much while baking it could be because not enough flour was used in the recipe, too much sugar was added, or the cookies weren't chilled long enough in the refrigerator.
Step 10: Once the cookies are cool, roll them a second in powdered sugar.
How to Store the Cookies
Room Temperature: Store the cookies at room temperature in an airtight container for up to 3 weeks. If you are storing the cookies before serving them or gifting them, it's okay to reroll them in powdered sugar up to several hours before serving.
- Weigh the Ingredients. Use a kitchen scale to weigh the flour and sugar for the best results. Using too much flour will produce a dry crumbly cookie. Too little flour will result in a flat cookie.
- If you don't have a kitchen scale, use the spoon and sweep method to measure the flour.
- Use room-temperature butter. Room temperature butter is 65-68°F. If your butter is too soft when you start, it won’t form a sturdy base for your cookie dough. The cookies will over-spread.
- Coat the cookies with powdered sugar twice, once when warm and again when cool, because the first layer melts and makes the second coat stick.
Recipe - Frequently Asked Questions
I have not made these with gluten-free flour, but if you decide to experiment with gluten-free flour let me know how it turns out.
I have not tested this recipe with vegan butter, but one of my readers tried it with vegan butter and said it tasted great.
If you make this peppermint snowball cookie recipe please leave a rating and a comment below.
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If You Like This Cookie Recipe, Try These Recipes
Peppermint Snowball Cookies with Crushed Candy Canes
- 3/4 cup (90 grams) powdered sugar
- 1 cup (227 grams) unsalted butter room temperature
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 2 1/4 cups (281 grams) unbleached all-purpose flour
- 48 grams mini candy canes about 12 mini candy canes
Powdered Sugar Coating
- 1 cup (120 grams) powdered sugar
- Place the candy canes in a freezer bag and use a rolling pin to crush the candy canes into small pieces. Add the candy canes to the dough and mix on low speed until the candy bits are evenly distributed throughout the dough.
Food Processor Method
- In a food processor with the metal blade, process the powdered sugar, butter, and salt until it looks creamy. Scrape down the sides of the bowl.
- Add the vanilla, and flour and pulse until dough resembles large crumbs or small peas. Add the crushed candy canes and process until the dough starts to come together and forms a ball.
- Scrape the dough into a large bowl.
Electric Mixer Method
- Chop the nuts into fine, small pieces. Place the softened butter, powdered sugar, and salt in the bowl of a stand mixer. With the paddle attachment, mix the ingredients on medium speed, until they are well combined and the butter and sugar mixture looks creamy and fluffy, about 2 minutes.
- Beat in the vanilla extract and scrape the sides and bottom of the mixing bowl.
- Add all of the flour and mix on low speed just until the flour is incorporated. Add the crushed cand canes and mix on low speed until the candy is evenly distributed throughout the dough. Scrape the sides of the bowl and mix in any flour clinging to the sides of the bowl by hand.
For Both Methods
- With a 1-1/4 inch scoop measure out the dough and use your hands to shape the dough into balls. Each ball should weight about 20 grams.
- Place the balls on parchment-lined board or quarter baking sheet and refrigerate for at least 1 hour.
- Freezing the cookies: At this point you can also freeze the cookies if you want to bake them later. Place the baking sheet in the freezer and freeze the unbaked cookies overnight. The next day place the cookies in a freezer bag and store them for up to 1 month. When ready to bake the cookies, bake the cookies directly from the freezer.
- Place 12-15 cookies on the baking sheet, about 2 inches apart. Bake the cookies for about 15-17 minutes until they just barely begin to brown on top (the bottoms should be golden brown).
- Remove the cookies from the oven. Roll them in powdered sugar while they’re still hot (but not too hot to handle) and place them on a wire rack to finish cooling.
- If using more than one baking sheet, place the second baking sheet in the oven. If only use one baking sheet wait until it is cool before baking the next batch of cookies.
- Once the cookies are cooled, roll them in powdered sugar a second time. The first coating of sugar will help the second coating of sugar stick the cookies.
- Store the cookies in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 3 weeks.
- If you are storing the cookies before serving them of gifting them, it's okay to reroll them in powdered sugar up to several hours before serving.