Snowball cookies are a classic around Christmas time due to the fact that they look like adorable little snowballs.
These cookies are light and buttery and will immediately melt in your mouth.
If I had to describe these cookies, I’d consider them a cross between soft sugar cookies and buttery shortbread.
The main difference between this recipe and most traditional snowball cookie recipes is that this recipe is made without nuts. Traditionally speaking, snowball cookies contain chopped nuts, typically pecans or walnuts.
I have nothing against nuts, but I prefer snowball cookies to truly melt in your mouth without any crunch from nuts, so I opt for leaving them out. If you want to mix chopped nuts into this recipe, you certainly can!
Since we’re making snowball cookies without nuts, not only will these cookies melt in your mouth, but it also brings the calories down.
Each (you’ll sometimes see them referred to as or ) contains just 55 calories, only 3g of total carbs, and 3.5g of protein!
They’re , , egg free, and safe to consume raw!
Words cannot do these buttery cookies justice… I absolutely love these.
How to make healthy snowball cookies
If you’ve somehow landed on this recipe and you don’t care about making them healthy, then you can definitely take to Google to find a basic snowball cookie recipe! Since these cookies are usually just a combination of flour, sugar, and butter, you’ll find countless recipes for them.
In this case, I wanted to put my own healthy spin on them, so we’ll be making some changes. Don’t worry, they’re still going to taste incredible.
Unlike most cookie recipes, this recipe does not require chilling the cookie dough. That means you can whip these snowball cookies up from scratch in about 20 minutes!
The cookie dough is a combination of oat flour, vanilla protein powder, butter, and powdered sugar substitute.
The protein powder I use in all my recipes, PEScience, is a blend of whey & casein protein. I can’t guarantee that these snowball cookies will come out as soft and buttery with another type of protein powder (since protein powder tends to dry cookies out quite a bit) so I highly recommend using PEScience if you can! You can use the code “matt” to save 10% on any order with them, too.
Once you’ve mixed up all the ingredients into cookie dough, I like to add the mixing bowl to the fridge while the oven preheats. Even though it’s only a few minutes, it helps the dough to firm up a little bit to prevent the cookies from spreading too thin.
To be honest, I’ve skipped this step completely in the past, and the snowball cookies still come out great, they’re just a little bit less of a ball shape.
Once the oven is preheated, break the cookie dough into 16 pieces and roll them into balls before placing them on a cookie sheet.
Bake these cookies at 325 degrees for 8-10 minutes. I pulled my cookies at 8 minutes and they were still very soft, bordering on underbaked, but I actually prefer that (don’t worry, this recipe is safe to consume raw). If you prefer these cookies to be a little bit more firm, but still soft, 10 minutes will work best.
Allow the snowball cookies to cool for a minute or two, and then you should be able to handle them with no problem.
Fill a small bowl with powdered sugar (either sugar substitute or regular confectioners sugar) and carefully coat each snowball cookie in the sugar.
My cookies were soft, but I had no issues with them falling apart in the bowl. Just dip each side of the cookie, give it a little shake, and return the cookie to the baking sheet.
As you continue for all 16 cookies, you’ll notice that the powdered sugar starts to absorb into the cookie a bit…
In the photo above, you can see that the bottom left cookie was the very first cookie I dipped into the powdered sugar.
When this happens, all you have to do is dip the cookies into the powdered sugar once more, and they will be fully coated and ready to go! Place each cookie on a cooling rack after dipping them a second time, and the powdered sugar will remain coated on the outside.
Since I opted for soft cookies, I needed to allow my cookies to fully cool to firm up inside before eating. In this case, it takes about 15-20 minutes for these cookies to fully set.
You can bite into these snowball cookies right away, but the inside will be a little bit too soft. As is the case with most cookie recipes, the interior improves as the cookies set, so it’s important to allow that to happen.
These snowball cookies will remain incredibly soft throughout the week, too. Keep any leftover cookies stored in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 2 weeks (1 week to be safe, but I’ve gotten 2 weeks out of them) and they will be just as enjoyable as when you first made them!
If you only make one Christmas cookie this year, let it be these snowball cookies. But if you do want to try a different Christmas cookie recipe, I’ve got you covered…
More healthy Christmas cookie recipes
If I were casting my vote for my favorite Christmas cookies, it’s a toss-up between these snowball cookies and my Chocolate Crinkle Cookies. But since we all have different tastes, I’ll let you be the judge.
Here are my other Christmas cookie recipes that I highly recommend checking out:
- Chocolate Crinkle Cookies
- Santa’s Trash Can Cookies
- The Perfect Low-Calorie Sugar Cookies
- Edible Cut-Out Sugar Cookie Dough
- Healthy No-Bake Peanut Butter Blossom Cookies
- Molasses Crackle Cookies
- High-Protein Gingerbread Cookies
- Hot Chocolate Cookies with 10g Protein
Buttery Snowball Cookies (Low Calorie)
Soft, buttery snowball cookies without nuts may just be my new favorite cookie recipe. These healthier snowball cookies will completely melt in your mouth, and nobody would ever know these were a lower-calorie version.
- 62g (2 Scoops) PEScience Vanilla Protein Powder (or comparable whey/casein blend protein)
- 60g Oat Flour
- 35g Powdered Sugar Substitute (or regular powdered sugar)
- 4 Tbsp (56g) Butter (use REAL butter, not light butter)
- 1/4 Cup Milk of Choice
- 1 tsp Vanilla Extract
- Pinch of Salt
- Powdered Sugar Substitute for Coating
- Optional: 1/2 Cup Chopped Nuts (I prefer these cookies without nuts, but they are a popular addition)
- In a large bowl, mix together the protein powder, oat flour, sugar substitute, and pinch of salt. If you were adding chopped nuts, you can mix those in as well.
- Add the vanilla extract and milk, then mix everything up until you have a crumbly mixture.
- Melt your butter in the microwave for about 30 seconds, then add the melted butter to the bowl and mix up until cookie dough forms.
- Add the dough to the fridge and preheat the oven to 325 degrees F. This brief chill time will help prevent the cookies from spreading too thin, but the dough can be prepared ahead of time and chilled for longer as well.
- Once the dough has chilled and the oven has preheated (5-10 minutes), break the dough into 16 small pieces, roll them into balls, and place them on a baking sheet.
- Bake the cookies at 325 degrees for 8-10 minutes (8 minutes if you prefer softer melt-in-your-mouth cookies, 10 minutes if you prefer them slightly crunchy).
- Remove from the oven and let cool for a few minutes. If you opt for softer cookies, they may feel underbaked, but they'll firm up as they cool.
- Add some powdered sugar substitute to a small bowl and dip the cookies in while they are still warm. I dipped each cookie, then went back and dipped them an additional time as some of the powdered sugar absorbs the first time.
- Place on a wire cooling rack to allow the cookies to fully cool and firm up (about 20 minutes), then enjoy!
- Traditionally speaking, snowball cookies contain nuts, but I much prefer them without nuts. You can mix chopped nuts, either pecans or walnuts, directly into your dough if you prefer.
- Another popular variation of snowball cookies is making them as chocolate chip snowball cookies. If chocolate chip is your style, you can mix mini chocolate chips into your dough, but traditional Christmas snowball cookies won't contain any chocolate.
- How to make vegan snowball cookies: These cookies can be made vegan by using a vanilla plant-based protein powder and coconut oil in place of butter (you'll likely need some additional sweetener as well). However, you'll lose that classic buttery taste, so I'd recommend adding some butter flavor extract if possible.
- Note: Full disclosure, I did not chill my dough at all and they turned out delicious, but they spread more than I would have liked. So just know that if you want to skip the chilling, you can, they just won't quite be ball-shaped.
- I do not count the sugar substitute in my carb totals because it contains 0 calories, but if you're very strict about carbs, you can add those in.
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Nutrition InformationYield 16 Serving Size 1 Cookie
Amount Per Serving Calories 55Total Fat 3gCarbohydrates 3gProtein 3.5g