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These chocolate chip snowball cookies are a quick and easy to make Christmas cookie for the holidays. These bite-sized soft, buttery shortbread cookies with chocolate chips are made with just six ingredients!
It’s Christmas cookie baking season! Rejoice! Break out the cookie sheets and mixers and let’s get to baking some cookies. Ok, I’m a tad excited forgive me. But I seriously love this time of year – the decorating, the baking, and all the fooooooods.
I can’t help but want to make all the classic Christmas cookies – like my Raspberry Almond Thumbprints, or my super easy Snickerdoodle Cookie Recipe, or these Cream Cheese Sugar Cookies. But Russian Tea Cakes might be one of my all time favorites that I have to make every single Christmas.
This year I wanted to put a few fun twists on some classic favorite cookies. Like my all time favorite the Russian tea cake cookies (or pecan snowball cookies). I grew up making and gobbling up these buttery, pecan cookies.
It was a cookie my grandmother always made and one my Father would always fight over to get to them first. So I thought why not put a twist on the classic and instead of toasted pecans use mini chocolate chips instead.
Like the original, these chocolate chip snowball cookies are made with just six simple ingredients, and take about 10 minutes to mix up the cookie dough. The buttery dough gets baked and then rolled in powdered sugar to give the cookies their snowball appearance. These little round morsels are just as easy to make as they are to devour.
- Snickerdoodle Cookie Recipe is another classic Christmas cookie to make and share with family and friends during the holiday season!
- Whip up an easy batch of this Marshmallow Cream Fudge and gift to friends this holiday!
- Are you a fan of everything like lemon? Then make my favorite Lemon Cookie Recipe with a lemon glaze.
What is a snowball cookie?
A snowball cookie, or a Russian Tea cake cookie, as I grew up knowing them as, is an bite-sized melt in your mouth shortbread-like cookie recipe, that is rolled in powdered sugar after baking. Usually pecans or walnuts are stirred into the snowball cookie dough, but today I’m swapping out the nuts for mini chocolate chips instead!
So if you want to make snowball cookies without nuts because of an allergy or just have a chocolate craving, these chocolate chip snowball cookies are the perfect solution.
Why You Will Love These Chocolate Chip Snowball Cookies
- Only six ingredients – Just six simple ingredients that you may even have in your pantry and fridge right now to make this chocolate chip snowball cookie recipe.
- Quick Prep Time – The cookie dough takes about 10 minutes to mix up in your mixer.
- Bakes up in 30 minutes or less – Not only is the dough quick to make, they also bake up in about 10 minutes as well. So in under 30 minutes you have a perfect Christmas cookie to share with friends and family.
- One bowl recipe – You can make the entire recipe in just one mixing bowl! Hooray for less dishes!
- Butter – I like to bake and recommend using unsalted butter so I can control the amount of salt. But if you don’t have unsalted butter, you can use salted butter if that’s what you have on hand and either reduce the salt or omit completely if you want.
- Powdered sugar – Powdered sugar, or confectioners sugar, will be used in your dough, and the cookies will also be rolled in powdered sugar when they finish baking.
- Vanilla extract – I prefer pure vanilla extract for the best flavor, but you can also use imitation vanilla extract.
- Flour – You will need all-purpose flour for this cookie recipe. Be sure to measure properly by either weighing your flour, or scooping the flour into your cup and leveling it off. Do not pack it down.
- Salt – I like to add a little bit of salt to help balance out the sweetness of these chocolate chip snowball cookies.
- Mini chocolate chips – If you don’t have any mini chocolate chips, you can use regular chocolate chips, but you may want to chop them up first to make them smaller.
How To Make These Chocolate Chip Snowball Cookies
Prep oven and pans. Position a rack in the center of your oven and preheat oven to 400°F (205°C). Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper (or you can use a silicone baking mat).
In a large mixing bowl with an electric mixer (I prefer my stand mixer with paddle attachment but a hand mixer will also work) cream together on medium speed, the butter, 2/3 cup powdered sugar, and vanilla until light and fluffy, about 2 to 3 minutes.
On low speed, stir in flour, chocolate chips, and salt until a dough forms.
The dough will be very stiff.
Using a small cookie scoop, or two spoons shape dough into 1 inch balls. (I like to scoop the dough then roll into a ball with my hands to smooth).
Place about 1 inch apart on an ungreased cookie sheet.
Bake in the preheated 400°F oven for about 10-12 minutes until set on edges but not brown. Remove the oven and allow to cool slightly on cookie sheet before removing to a wire cooling rack. Cool slightly on a wire rack.
Roll in powdered sugar. Place remaining 2 cups of powdered sugar into a bowl. Roll warm cookies in powdered sugar.
Cool completely , then roll again in additional powdered sugar when cool.
- Measure Your Flour Correctly – Too much flour will result in very dry, crumbly cookies. I recommend using a kitchen scale and weighing your flour so there’s no guessing. If you’re using measuring cups, then be sure to spoon the flour into the cup and then level it off. Do not pack it down or scoop directly from the bag, which can result in too much flour.
- Use softened butter. You want softened butter that will cream together easily with the sugar. I like to soften mine in the microwave to speed up the process. Place your butter in the microwave for 30 seconds at 20% butter, the flip over and repeat. Every microwave is different so yours may only take 15-20 seconds at a time. But this works the fastest for me! Here are more ways to soften your butter quickly.
- Bake in the center of your oven. You want to place an oven rack in the center of your oven and place your baking sheet in the center, so they bake evenly.
- Do not overbake. These cookies only about 10 minutes in the oven. They will still be very pale on top but have golden brown bottoms. So it’s important to make sure they don’t bake too long.
These will keep for a week in an airtight container for up to a week. These cookies will freeze very well, once baked, for up to 3 months in an airtight container or bag. Just thaw at room temperature before enjoying. For best results, I recommend freezing without rolling in powdered sugar.
If frozen having been rolled in powdered sugar, you may need to re-roll them again once they are thawed if some of the powdered sugar has dissolved.
To freeze the dough, I like to make and scoop the dough out onto a parchment paper lined baking sheet and freeze solid, which usually takes about an hour. Once frozen, I transfer the cookie dough balls to a freezer bag and freeze for up to 3 months. Once ready to bake, I simply bake frozen and add on a few extra minutes of baking time.
These cookies because there is no egg or leavening, do not spread much in the oven and hold their shape. However if you are finding your snowball cookies with chocolate chips have gone flat, this is probably because your butter was too warm when creaming. If the butter is too warm, it will melt in the oven quickly before the edges of the cookies are set.
Also make sure you are using REAL butter. Margarine, or butter spread in a tub, contains oil and other added ingredients which can affect how these cookies hold their shape.
You can always try chilling your cookie dough for an hour or more to help firm up the butter. Here are 10 reasons why your cookies are flat and how to fix them.
More Cookie Recipes To Try
Chocolate Chip Snowball Cookies
- 1 cup (2 sticks. 226 g) unsalted butter softened to room temperature
- 2 2/3 cups (300 g) powdered (or confectioners) sugar *divided
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 2 1/4 cups (270 g) all purpose flour
- 1 cup miniature chocolate chips
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- Prep oven and pans. Position a rack in the center of your oven and preheat oven to 400°F (205°C). Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper (or you can use a silicone baking mat).
- Cream butter, sugar and vanilla. In a large mixing bowl with an electric mixer (I prefer my stand mixer with paddle attachment but a hand mixer will also work) cream together on medium speed, the butter, 2/3 cup powdered sugar, and vanilla until light and fluffy, about 2 to 3 minutes.
- Add remaining ingredients. On low speed, stir in flour, chocolate chips, and salt until a soft dough forms. Dough will be very stiff.
- Scoop cookies. Using a small cookie scoop, or two spoons shape dough into 1 inch balls. (I like to scoop the dough then roll into a ball with my hands to smooth). Place about 1 inch apart on an ungreased cookie sheet.
- Bake cookies. Bake in the preheated 400°F oven for about 10-12 minutes until set on edges but not brown. Remove the oven and allow to cool slightly on cookie sheet before removing to a wire cooling rack. Cool slightly on a wire rack.
- Roll in powdered sugar. Place remaining 2 cups of powdered sugar into a bowl. Roll warm cookies in powdered sugar. Cool completely , then roll again in powdered sugar when cool.
- Storage: These will keep for a week in an airtight container for up to a week.
- Freezing: Freeze baked, cooled cookies in an airtight bag or container for up to 3 months.
- Unsalted Butter – I always recommend unsalted butter so you can control the amount of salt in the cookie dough. But you can also use salted butter, simply omit the added salt in the recipe. Do not use margarine or tub butter which is not pure butter and has added oils and ingredients which can affect the texture.
- Powdered Sugar – You will use this in your cookie dough and also again to roll them in after they are baked.
- Vanilla extract – I recommend pure vanilla for best flavor, but imitation vanilla extract will also work.