Okay friends, I’ve got one last cookie recipe to share before Christmas! Actually, I shared this recipe back in 2012, but the photos weren’t so hot and the recipe directions weren’t great so I’ve updated both!

Coming from an Italian family, we call these cookies Butterballs. Some people may call them snowballs and I’ve also heard some people refer to them as Russian tea cookies. I’ve only ever really known them as Butterballs though so that is what I’m going with here!


I bet you can’t guess the main ingredient in these cookies…BUTTER! Lots and lots of butter. So you know these are good. They are pretty simple to make and the ingredient list is quite minimal. These cookies do not require any eggs, baking powder, or baking soda. They really couldn’t be easier and are so tasty and look like pretty little balls of snow when rolled in powdered sugar!


I do recommend using sifted flour for these. It improves the texture and lightness of the cookie, though I have also made them without sifting and they still turn out to be equally as delicious.

You can also stir in finely chopped walnuts or mini chocolate chips to kick these up a notch!


Yield: About 2 dozen



This classic Italian Butterball cookie is a staple for holidays!

Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 35 minutes


  • 2 cups unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 cup powdered sugar (plus extra for rolling the cookies in after they bake)
  • 4 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla


  1. In a large mixing bowl of a stand mixer or hand mixer, cream together the butter and powdered sugar until smooth.
  2. Sift together the flour and salt. Add the flour gradually to the butter and sugar mixture until well-combined.
  3. Blend in the vanilla (and the walnuts or chocolate chips, if using) using your hands. Chill the dough for about 30 minutes in the fridge or 15 minutes in the freezer.
  4. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Prepare a baking sheet with parchment paper or a baking mat. Form the dough into balls (or into crescent shapes) and place on the baking sheet.
  5. Bake cookies for about 14-17 minutes or until a very light golden brown.
  6. Allow the cookies to cool for about 7 minutes. Roll each one in extra powdered sugar.

Nutrition Information:



Serving Size:

1 cookie

Amount Per Serving: Calories: 245Total Fat: 16gSaturated Fat: 10gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 5gCholesterol: 41mgSodium: 51mgCarbohydrates: 23gFiber: 1gSugar: 5gProtein: 3g




  1. We clearly think along the same lines : ) I hope that my snowballs made it to you without breaking into a million pieces!

    • Ashley! Yes, we do! I have been meaning to stop by your blog. I laughed when I opened your package and saw you made snowballs! Great minds do think alike! :)

  2. Don’t you just love the Great Cookie Swap? Nothing beats gettign a dozen or more cookies in the mail! Your Butter Balls look tasty!!!

  3. Tis the season for butter. Lots and lots of butter. These look so good.

  4. I’m a frim believer that you can never have too much butter…

    There look quite tasty! I love that your family calls them butterballs – so cute! I bet your cookie swap peeps were happy to get these!

  5. I wish I could bake something so I can join this kind of cookie swap (in order to get someone’s delicious baked goods!). Your butterballs look so pretty!

  6. Pop.. pop.. pop… that’s just what I would do with these into my mouth. My tummy would thank you…

  7. These are one of the cookies that we make every single year and have been for…well, more years than I want to admit hehe. They are soooo good… buttery and sugary and and and… I think it’s time to go make these now. :-D

  8. Oh my – these look dangerous to have around the house! I could eat a dozen of these and still want more!

  9. I would definitely be happy receiving these cookies! My recipe is called pecan crescents, but I make them into balls, too! So yummy!

  10. I’m sad I missed out on the swap this year – I was afraid I would be too swamped, but seeing all these amazing cookies is making me jealous :) Great choice, these look delicious!

  11. What fun! Would love swapping cookies anytime and these butterballs looks so good..could imagine them melting in my mouth.. Happy holidays!!!!

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