Toasted Almond Snowballs Recipe (2024)

By Melissa Clark

Toasted Almond Snowballs Recipe (1)

Total Time
30 minutes, plus chilling
Read community notes

Browning almond flour for these cookies adds a deep layer of toasty flavor, intensifying their overall nuttiness. Feel free to substitute other nuts: Pistachios, walnuts and pecans work particularly well. Snowballs keep, stored airtight at room temperature, for about a week.

Featured in: How to Make the Perfect Cookie Box

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Yield:3 dozen cookies

  • cup/75 grams almond flour
  • ¾cup/170 grams unsalted butter (1½ sticks), softened
  • cup/305 grams confectioners’ sugar
  • 1egg yolk
  • 1tablespoon brandy, pastis or ouzo
  • ½teaspoon almond extract
  • cups/190 grams all-purpose flour
  • ¼teaspoon fine sea salt

Ingredient Substitution Guide

Nutritional analysis per serving (36 servings)

100 calories; 5 grams fat; 2 grams saturated fat; 0 grams trans fat; 1 gram monounsaturated fat; 0 grams polyunsaturated fat; 13 grams carbohydrates; 0 grams dietary fiber; 8 grams sugars; 1 gram protein; 17 milligrams sodium

Note: The information shown is Edamam’s estimate based on available ingredients and preparation. It should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist’s advice.

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Toasted Almond Snowballs Recipe (2)


  1. Step


    In a medium skillet over medium heat, toast the almond flour, stirring constantly, until golden brown and fragrant, 6 to 8 minutes. Immediately pour flour into a small bowl to cool. Watch carefully: Once the flour begins to toast, it will happen very quickly.

  2. Step


    Using an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment or a handheld electric mixer, beat butter and 1 cup confectioners’ sugar on low speed until fluffy, 1 to 2 minutes. Beat in egg yolk, brandy and almond extract until well combined.

  3. Step


    Reduce speed to low and gradually add all-purpose flour, salt and toasted almond flour until just incorporated.

  4. Step


    Scrape the dough into an airtight container and refrigerate for at least 2 hours or overnight.

  5. Step


    When ready to bake, heat oven to 350 degrees and line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper.

  6. Step


    Using your hands, roll dough into 1-inch balls and place balls 1 inch apart on the prepared baking sheets. Bake for 12 to 18 minutes, until cookies begin to brown at edges. Rotate cookie sheets halfway through for even baking.

  7. Step


    Place ¾ cup confectioners’ sugar into a sieve. As soon as the cookies come out of the oven, sift a thick layer of confectioners’ sugar over the tops. Once cookies are cool, put remaining ¾ cup confectioners’ sugar (plus any sugar in the sieve) into a shallow bowl and toss cookies again in confectioners’ sugar.



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Cooking Notes


What would be a good non-alcoholic substitute for the brandy, or can you just leave it out?


When making snowballs, my mother had a "method" so they came out fluffy-looking and beautiful. She had several large bowls of sifted confectioners' sugar on the counter. As cookies came out of the oven, she would drop them into a bowl (8 per bowl)of the sugar and cover them with the it until they could not be seen. The sugar would melt into the cookie right away. Then she would gently stir them so more sugar clung to the melted layer. And again until they were fluffy and cool. Perfection!


My mother was such a cookie perfectionist and would never pack a box of cookies with many varieties. Each variety had to first be enclosed in plastic wrap so the flavor of one cookie did not affect the others. Otherwise, all the cookies ended up tasting the same within a few hours.


Any reason I couldn’t use almond flour in place of all purpose (to make them gluten free)?


In the recipe intro, Melissa says "Feel free to substitute other nuts: Pistachios, walnuts and pecans work particularly well." However, there are no actual nuts in the recipe, only almond flour. Is she saying that there is such a thing as pecan , walnut, or pistachio flour? Or is the recipe missing an ingredient?


These are kourabiedes - Greek holiday cookies. My mother taught me how make them from my grandmother's recipe. Beat the butter by itself until it's light-colored and fluffy, about 20 - 30 minutes. Then continue with the recipe as written. You won't regret it.


Podium! These sound amazing. Can I use Grand Marnier instead of ouzo?


I used one tablespoon of lemon juice instead of the brandy, they are delicious! Orange would work as well and would complement the almond nicely.

MA baker

We don’t have any alcohol in our house. Can we leave it out or sub in something else? How critical of an ingredient is it?


With the holidays fast approaching is it possible to give storage/freezing information for these cookies.


Taking this out of the refrigerator from sitting there overnight and trying to scoop them out is like trying to scoop out bits of brick from a slab. I’d imagine it’s better to shape this into a log, cut them, and then shape them into balls.


It feels like they left out a half-step: you should definitely start on low speed unless you want confectioners' sugar all over your kitchen! But after it's been incorporated, the speed should be increased to medium for that 'until fluffy' part. Good eye!


@Kyle: You can use a food processor to make any nut flour. I watched Jacques Pépin take 10 seconds to make his own almond flour for delicate financiers. I've made my own almond flour ever since.


it appears no chopped nuts are added to the recipe? I'm confused by the comment "Feel free to substitute other nuts: Pistachios, walnuts and pecans work particularly well"


I used Maker’s Mark and they smelled so delicious out of the oven I couldn’t wait for them to cool before tasting! Such an easy recipe! Great with an espresso the next morning too


These are so good! Mine did not spread too much (I put them outside for 2 hours instead of in the refrigerator and it's 20 degrees out) and the flavor is just perfect. These kind of remind me of cross between Russian Tea Cookies (also called snowballs) and those amazing Italian amaretti cookies that are a bit chewy and served alongside espresso.


I'm sticking with my traditional snowball cookie recipe next time. The brandy didn't do it for me, and the cookies spread a lot.


It’s waaaaay too sweet


Pernod is a super substitute.


My snowballs fattened out in the oven. I’m not sure what happened. I put the dough in the fridge overnight. Once I was ready to bake them, I did have to let the dough sit out for a little bit so I could handle them.


They probably sat out too long. Easiest way to form the 1 inch balls is with an appropriately sized cookie/ice cream scoop. Gently pack them in, give them a brief roll in your palm.Next time you can either shape them before you let them chill in the fridge if the dough is too firm to handle. Or work with half of the dough at a time, allow the shaped half to chill again while you shape the second portion.

Margaret R.

These cookies are so delicious. I do suggest that you follow the suggestion provided earlier. That is roll the dough into log shapes and then refrigerate. My two logs were approximately 8-9 inches long and 2 inches in diameter. When ready to bake, I sliced them into 1/3 inch rounds and once all were sliced I rolled these into 1 inch balls. It was quick and I had no waste.


For some reason my cookies didn’t hold their shape. They dissolved into an undifferentiated layer of baked cookie, 1/4 inch thick. Even though the dough was chilled. I rarely cook with alcohol. Maybe too much liquid?

Joko G.

Anyone tried this with gluten-free flour?


a cup for cup flour like King Arthur or bob's red mill will work just fine

Lisa H in Massachusetts

Can the recipe succeed with almond flour only (no white flour)? Has anyone tried this? Hope to hear back!


I subbed orange extract and Grand Marnier for the almond extract and brandy. The orange flavor came out extremely subtle. I'm trying to convince myself that these are more flavorful on Day 2, but not sure I actually believe myself. Nevertheless, they are surprisingly moreish for such meh cookies. Easy to make, though, and I did it entirely by hand.


I like simple cookies but found these bland and uninteresting. I do appreciate knowing about browning almond flour. I would suggest noting “divided use” for the confectioners sugar in the ingredient list.


These were great! My oven is not the best so next time I will bake only one tray at a time. The ones closest to the heat source let out some butter so that could be why some people’s flattened out


Did we ever get an answer to the questions around the nuts? Are there really no nuts in this recipe, just the almond flour and extract?

Pam Neuharth

my balls flattened...they ended up more like patties.:(


I’m going to attempt making these a chocolate snowball. Does anyone know how much cocoa powder I would substitute for powdered sugar in the recipe??

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Toasted Almond Snowballs Recipe (2024)
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