Looking for a holiday taste that reminds you of home? These Vegan Snowball Cookies are the answer to your prayers then! Just like Grandma used to make with two-thirds less sugar and 100% vegan when made with a plant-based butter (like an avocado oil based!)
I know you’re here for the recipe, but please give me a minute to explain why these cookies are so special to the Shaw Kitchen. Food is a big provider of memories, and I firmly believe we need to stop and cherish them!
Grandma’s Snowball Cookies are without question the most memorable cooking recollection I have from my childhood.
She’d whip up around Christmas season and hands down, these little balls of joy could seriously brighten anyone’s day.
I remember so fondly how we’d gather in the kitchen and create a “winter wonderland” in sunny Southern California from the amount of powdered sugar we’d get everywhere.
Sure, I know my mom probably wanted to slap us for being so messy, but neither her nor my grandma would yell.
They just cherished the moment of sharing their passion of creating devilishly good food with us.
Over the last 5 years these cookies have remained absent from the holiday gatherings, largely in part due to my grandma’s passing (more on that here for those who’ve been here a while.)
But, my wonderful grandma did a VERY important thing when she realized her memory was fading quickly:
She gifted each one of the Zabel girls a handwritten Snowball Cookie recipe and wrote a kind, gentle note on the back.
This snowball cookie recipe has hung in my kitchen ever since!
What I Need to Make this Recipe
How to Make this Recipe
(1) Preheat the oven. Then pulse walnuts in a food processor or high powered blender until a rough coarse powder is formed. Add the vanilla, sugar, melted butter and salt.
(2) Stir until combined.
(3) Add in the flour, then continue to mix until the dough looks like (4). It will be crumbly but when you use a one ounce scoop to portion into balls.
(5) If you’re having a hard time forming the balls, then add 1 teaspoon more of melted butter. Form into 16-20 balls, then place on a baking sheet sprayed with cooking spray and bake for 45 minutes.
(6) When baking completes, let cool about 10 to 15 minutes, then roll in powdered sugar.
(7 + 8) Make sure to coat the entire cookie ball! Use a fork to help.
Repeat until all cookies are coated! I highly recommend storing in an airtight container with the extra powdered sugar to maintain freshness.
Then of course serve on a festive plate!
And dive in with a bite!
Here are a few simple swaps you can make!
- If you don’t mind if vegan or not, then you can use any stick of butter you have.
- Swap in a gluten free flour to make these gluten free. I haven’t tried with almond flour (it may be harder to form into balls), but a simple 1-1 gluten free flour mix works!
- You can swap walnuts for pecans!
- To add a fun twist, feel free to add in a teaspoon of pumpkin pie spice or the DIY gingerbread spice mix!
Can I make these ahead of time?
Absolutely! They stay fresh for up to two weeks on the counter or pop them in the freezer for up to 3 months.
I recommend transporting them in a container versus a sealed bag as you want them to stay in their ball shape and not crack or crumble!
Though, I highly recommend saving any crumbled pieces to top your parfaits for a fun, holiday treat! Or, let your eager toddler snack on them!
But be careful, they may steal a few more!
Other Healthy, Vegan Desserts You May Enjoy
If you liked this recipe, you’ll love these other vegan treats!
- Gluten Free Vegan Chocolate Chunk Cookies
- Chocolate Walnut Rugalach Cookies (made with a vegan pie crust)
- Sweet Hummus Recipe
Vegan Snowball Cookies
- 2 cups walnuts finely chopped
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 1/4 cup plant based butter 1 stick
- 1/3 cup packed brown sugar
- 3/4 cup white whole wheat flour sifted
- 1/2 cup powdered sugar
- Preheat oven to 275 degrees F.
- In a food processor, pulse walnuts for 10 to 20 seconds, until finely chopped.
- Add to a large bowl, mixing in vanilla extract, nut butter, vegan butter and brown sugar. Stir for 2 to 3 minutes using a spatula.
- Add in the sifted flour until uniform and mixture resembles a dough.
- Portion into 1 tablespoon balls and place on a large baking sheet lined with parchment paper or sprayed with cooking spray.
- Bake for 45 minutes.
- Remove and let cool. Dust with powdered sugar. Store in an airtight container on the counter in extra powder sugar for about 10 days, or freeze for up to 3 months.