Snowball Cookies with Pistachios and Cranberries are a must-make cookie for the holidays. They're light, softly crunchy, and buttery sweet. You can't go wrong with something described as buttery sweet!
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When you want a deliciously festive cookie that everyone will reach for, time and time again, then these Snowball Cookies with pistachios and cranberries are the ones to add to your baking list.
**Please Note - The printable recipe card with detailed instructions, complete ingredient measurements, and nutritional information for making the VERY BEST rolled snowball cookies is available at the end of this post. OR you can hit the "jump to recipe" button (found above) to be taken directly to the recipe.
This cookie recipe was originally shared in 2017. This post has been updated with additional information, including a recipe card, complete with nutritional information, but the recipe itself has remained unchanged.
The ingredient list:
**Note - The following lists of ingredients plus kitchen tools and equipment contain affiliate links (highlighted in blue) for your consideration and shopping convenience. #CommissionsEarned
- confectioners sugar
- all-purpose flour
- pure vanilla extract
- chopped pistachios (preferably unsalted)
- dried cranberries
Kitchen tools and equipment needed:
- hand mixer or stand mixer
- large mixing bowl (if using hand mixer)
- measuring cups and spoons
- baking sheets
- parchment paper
- small cookie scoop
- sieve or sugar shaker
- cooling rack
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How this recipe came to be:
I adapted this recipe from one I shared back in 2010 called pecan snowball cookies.
I was going to do a recipe re-do where I updated the photos in the original post.
However, before I knew it, my brain was adding the festive red and green elements of pistachios and dried cranberries, and omitting the pecans altogether.
The result is utterly delicious.
I do hope you'll make these easy holiday rolled cookies because I know you'll love them just as much as we do!
A nostalgic look back:
When I was little, my mom used to make the pecan snowball cookies I spoke of earlier, but she used to roll them into half-moon crescent shapes and called them pecan crescent cookies.
When I was newly married (many crescent moons ago, LOL) I made my pecan cookies into crescent shapes, too.
It's not that the crescent shapes are hard to make, it's just that they're a little more labor-intensive, and during the holidays every moment counts. Hence the easy round snowball shapes.
The importance of creaming butter and sugar:
When making cookies (any cookies), it's important to soften the butter to room temperature before starting.
The butter should be soft to the touch and easily pliable. Softened butter is ideal for creaming with sugar.
If you've been baking a lot of cookies this season, you'll notice almost every cookie recipe starts with the creaming of softened butter with some form of sugar or sweetener.
Do not skip the creaming stage! And make sure to cream the butter and sugar for at least 3-4 minutes. Having a well-creamed mixture is the foundation to the best possible cookies!
Salted vs unsalted butter:
My recipe for Snowball Cookies calls for three sticks of butter.
I always use salted butter in my baked goods because I feel the tiny pinch of salt in salted butter will in no way make baked goods overly salty.
It just doesn't happen. Unless, of course, the butter you're buying happens to be overly salty, but odds are, that's not the case.
I know my opinion on choosing salted butter over unsalted butter for baking goes against the norm these days, but what can I say? I'm a rebel that way! LOL
Can these holiday cookies be frozen?
Yes! Most definitely!
Store them in an airtight freezer container for up to 4-5 months.
You may want to freshen them with an additional dusting of confectioners sugar when you're ready to serve them, however.
How to make Snowball Cookies with Pistachios and Cranberries:
- In the bowl of a stand mixer or a large bowl with a hand mixer, cream 3 sticks of softened butter along with 1 cup of confectioners sugar.
- Add the vanilla and cream.
- Add 1 cup of shelled, chopped pistachios and 1 cup of dried cranberries and mix to combine.
- Slowly incorporate 2½ cups of all-purpose flour into the bowl and mix well to combine, scraping down the sides of the bowl with a spatula as needed.
- Roll the cookie dough into approximately 1" round balls and place them on a parchment-lined (optional) baking sheet.
- Bake the cookies in a preheated 350-degree oven for approximately 20-22 minutes.
- Cool the cookies completely before sprinkling liberally with confectioners sugar.
Additional holiday cookie recipes you'll also enjoy:
*No-Bake Peppermint Buttercream Wafer Cookies (shown below)
No-Bake Peppermint Buttercream Wafer Cookies are the perfect holiday cookie. Homemade peppermint buttercream is sandwiched between two crispy wafer sheets, sliced, and then dipped into white chocolate and festive sprinkles.
*Christmas Cookie Recipes Roundup (not shown)
What would Christmas be without the smell of homemade cookies baking in the oven? I, personally, don’t want to find out! This colossal Christmas cookies recipe roundup will keep your house smelling delicious every day of the month… and then some!!
*Christmas Cream Cheese Sprinkle Cookies (shown below)
Christmas Cream Cheese Sprinkle Cookies are tender on the inside and crunchy on the outside thanks to the fun and colorful sprinkles.
*Fried Rosette Snowflake Cookies (shown below)
Part of the fun of eating a Fried Rosette Snowflake Cookie is the dusting of confectioners sugar that will inevitably snow down the front of your shirt as you crunch into these crispy little holiday treats. There’s no way around it, so just give in and let it snow!
*Snowball Cookies with Pistachios and Cranberries (shown below) THIS IS THE PLACE!!
Below is the printable recipe card along with the exact ingredient measurements and nutritional information for making today's best and easy rolled snowball cookies.
When you make this recipe, and I hope you do, I'd appreciate it if you'd take a moment to leave a star rating on the recipe card and briefly comment on why you rated it as you did. FYI - Google appreciates recipe ratings and, in turn, will share my recipes with more people. Thank you so much!!
Printable Recipe Card
Snowball Cookies with Pistachios and Cranberries
- 3 sticks butter softened to room temperature (I use salted butter)
- 1 cup confectioners sugar plus additional for dusting
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 1 cup chopped pistachios
- 1 cup dried cranberries
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 2½ cups all-purpose flour
- Preheat oven to 350-degrees.
- Cream together the softened butter and 1 cup confectioners sugar.
- Add the vanilla and mix.
- Add the chopped pistachios, cranberries, salt, and all-purpose flour.
- Mix until thoroughly combined.
- Roll the cookie dough into 1" balls and place on parchment lined (optional) baking sheets.
- Bake in a preheated oven for 20-25 minutes or until the bottoms are lightly golden brown.
- Remove the cookies to a cooling rack and cool completely.
- Once the cookies are completely cool, sprinkle them liberally with confectioners sugar.
parchment paper (optional)
stand mixer or hand mixer
cutting board and chef's knife (for chopping pistachios)
fine mesh sieve (for dusting cookies) (optional)
I sincerely hope you've enjoyed today's fast and easy holiday dessert recipe for Snowball Cookies with Pistachios and Cranberries as much as I've enjoyed bringing it to you!