Russian Tea Muffins Recipe (Snowball Cookies)

Russian tea desserts are wealthy and buttery shortbread cookies full of crunchy pecans, rolled in powdered sugar to appear to be frosty snowballs. Each chew melts away in your mouth!

Should you love the tender, dissolving texture of those basic Christmas cookies, take a look at my Southern tea cakes, too.

Stacked Russian Tea Cakes on a black plate with one cut in half.

Why You’ll Love This Russian Tea Muffins Recipe

With the vacations developing, these Russian tea desserts are about to turn out to be a surefire favourite cookie recipe! Dense and cake-like within the heart, crisp and golden on the skin, studded with pecans, and coated in powdered sugar, each chew of those shortbread cookies tastes like magic. Right here’s why you’ll love them:

  • Traditional vacation cookies. Russian tea desserts are a few of the best vacation cookies you can also make. Lined in powdered sugar “snow”, they give the impression of being so fairly on a Christmas cookie platter!
  • Wealthy and buttery. Powdered sugar and a very good quantity of butter within the dough make the feel of Russian tea desserts just like meltaway cookies. The cookies dissolve in your mouth, abandoning satisfying sweetness and pecan nut crunch.
  • Simple to make. Russian tea desserts use easy substances and the dough requires just one bowl, with none fancy mixing or chilling. The baked cookies keep contemporary for days, in order that they’re great to make forward.
Russian Tea Cakes stacked on a plate

What Are Russian Tea Muffins?

Russian tea desserts are well-traveled cookies. Relying on the place you might be on this planet, you may know these as snowball cookies, Mexican wedding ceremony cookies, butterballs, or kourabiedes (Greek butter cookies). Tea desserts are a basic cookie recipe constructed from candy shortbread-style cookie dough, normally full of nuts for crunch and taste. The dough is rolled into balls, baked till golden, and coated in powdered sugar. They pair completely with a heat cup of tea!

Components You’ll Want

You want solely 6 straightforward substances to make these straightforward Russian tea desserts, so each is necessary. Discover some fast notes beneath, and keep in mind to scroll to the recipe card for the complete substances listing and recipe particulars. 

  • Butter – Dropped at room temperature.
  • Powdered Sugar – Additionally referred to as confectioner’s sugar. You’ll want it for the cookie dough and coating the cookies after they’re baked.
  • Salt 
  • Vanilla Extract – Pure vanilla extract has the very best taste.
  • Flour
  • Nuts – Chopped pecans or walnuts. You’ll be able to substitute the nuts with chocolate chips to make these cookies nut-free.

Easy methods to Make Russian Tea Muffins

Russian tea desserts are really easy to make, it’s no marvel they’re a basic Christmas cookie. There’s zero chilling time and the dough comes collectively in a short time:

  • Make the cookie dough. Cream softened butter with one cup of powdered sugar, salt, and vanilla. Slowly combine within the flour, and eventually, fold within the chopped nuts.
  • Form the cookies. Scoop and roll the cookie dough into small, even-sized balls, and organize the balls on a lined baking sheet.
  • Bake. Bake the tea desserts at 375ºF for 10-12 minutes, till they’re flippantly browned and set within the facilities. 
  • Roll in powdered sugar. Whereas the cookies are nonetheless heat (however not sizzling from the oven), roll every cookie fastidiously within the remaining powdered sugar. Place the completed cookies onto a wire rack to chill utterly. 
A snowball cookie that is bitten in half on a black plate

Recipe Ideas and Variations

These straightforward snowball cookies have you ever coated for all of your festive events, all season lengthy. Listed here are some closing ideas for tea cake success:

  • Use powdered sugar, and never granulated white sugar within the cookie dough. Granulated sugar will trigger the cookies to lose their snowball form.
  • The cookies must be heat once you roll them in sugar. After the cookies go away the oven, give them a few minutes to chill on the baking sheet earlier than you coat them in sugar. The heat of the cookie will soften the powdered sugar barely, for a easy, creamy coating. If the cookies are cooled utterly, the sugar coating gained’t stick.
  • Strive the double roll. For an additional snowy end, roll the cookies in powdered sugar as soon as whereas they’re heat as directed, and a second time after they’ve cooled additional.
  • Don’t overbake. Keep watch over these tea desserts and take them out of the oven once they’re simply set, and flippantly browned on the underside. Overbaked tea desserts might be dry and crumbly.
  • Toast the nuts. In case you have time, toast the pecans or walnuts in a skillet earlier than including them to the cookies for extra depth of taste.
  • Extra add-ins. Strive including crushed peppermint, chopped dried cranberries (like my orange cranberry meltaway cookies), cinnamon, or pumpkin pie spice.
  • Add sprinkles. Roll the nice and cozy cookies in coloured sprinkles for much more festive aptitude.

Why Did My Snowball Cookies Flip Out Flat?

In case your cookies unfold within the oven, it might be that the butter you used to make the dough was too heat. “Room temperature” means softened, however nonetheless cool to the contact. In case your cookie dough is just too tender and greasy, pop it into the fridge to sit back for 20-Half-hour earlier than baking.

Another excuse that Russian tea desserts end up flat is as a result of the oven temperature is just too low, and the cookies bake too slowly because of this. An oven thermometer is useful to know that your oven is working on the proper temperature.

Easy methods to Retailer Russian Tea Cookies

  • To Retailer. Preserve these Russian tea desserts hermetic at room temperature for as much as 7 days. 
  • Freeze. Retailer the baked cookies in an hermetic container or freezer bag and preserve them frozen for as much as 2 months. Defrost the cookies at room temperature. Get pleasure from!

Extra Vacation Cookie Recipes


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Russian tea desserts (or snowball cookies, amongst different names) are wealthy and buttery vacation cookies coated in powdered sugar. Add walnuts, pecans, or mini chocolate chips!

  • 1 cup butter, room temperature
  • 2 cups powdered sugar, divided
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 1/4 cups all objective flour
  • 3/4 cups finely chopped pecans or walnuts

  1. Preheat oven to 375°F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and put aside.
  2. Within the bowl of your stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment combine collectively the butter, 1 cup of powdered sugar, salt, and vanilla till easy, scraping the perimeters of the bowl as obligatory.
  3. Flip the mixer to low and add within the flour mixing till the combination holds collectively. Stir within the nuts.
  4. Utilizing a small (1- tablespoon) cookie scoop portion out the dough and roll into 1- inch balls.
  5. Place the balls onto the ready baking sheet and bake for 10-12 minutes till utterly set and flippantly browned on the underside.
  6. Enable the cookies to chill on the baking sheet for 2-3 minutes, till they’re cool sufficient to deal with, however nonetheless heat.
  7. Place the remaining cup of powdered sugar right into a bowl and roll every heat cookie within the powered sugar to coat. Switch to a wire rack to chill utterly.


  • Retailer hermetic for as much as 7 days.
  • Substitute mini chocolate chips as a substitute of nuts if most popular.


  • Serving Measurement:
  • Energy: 87
  • Sugar: 5 g
  • Sodium: 12.9 mg
  • Fats: 5.1 g
  • Carbohydrates: 9.7 g
  • Protein: 0.8 g
  • Ldl cholesterol: 10.2 mg

Key phrases: russian tea desserts, russian tea desserts recipe, snowball cookies

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