Butter Ball Christmas Cookies


The air is crisp here in Michigan today, and Jack Frost made an appearance.  Winter is brewing, however, it’s getting up to 50 this week.  I am in the mood for snow, so maybe that’s why I wanted to post my grandfather’s recipe today.  These Butter Ball Cookies have always reminded me of snow balls…Butter Ball Cookie Recipe Redhead Can Decorate

I grew up watching my Mom & Dad make these for Christmas.  I remember being allowed to roll them in the sugar after they had cooled to a warm temperature.  The recipe comes from my grandfather, Cyril, whom I never got to meet because he passed away before I was born.

Papa Cy

Cy wasn’t only handsome, he was a great cook and he loved to decorate his home.

Here’s his original recipe…

Butter Ball Recipe

I hope you try them!

Butter Ball Cookies for Christmas

Butter Ball Cookies

Butter Ball Christmas Cookies

Rating: 51

Prep Time:

Cook Time:

Total Time: 35 minutes

Yield: 2 dozen at least

Butter Ball Christmas Cookies


  • 1 cup butter (2 sticks softened)
  • 1/2 cup confectioners sugar
  • 2 teaspoon vanilla
  • 2 1/2 cup flour
  • 1 cup nuts chopped fine (pecans or walnuts)
  • (extra confectioners suger for rolling balls in at end)


Preheat oven to 325 degrees.

Combine butter and sugar until light and fluffy.

Add vanilla, flour, and nuts.

Blend thoroughly until dough forms.

Roll into small balls, about the size of a walnut.

Place on ungreased cookie sheet.

Bake approx. 20 minutes or until lightly brown.

Roll the balls in confectionary sugar while they are still warm.

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25 Responses

  1. Doonna says:

    Is there supposed to be granulated sugar mixed with the butter?

  2. Barb J says:

    These are absolutely wonderful! My grandchildren call them “Moose Knuckles’! I have no idea how they ever came up with a name like that, but they are wanting ” Barber” (that’s what they call me ¿?¿?) to bmake them some “moose knuckles” for Santa Claus.

  3. Cheyanne says:

    These are my favorite cookies! I’ve always called them wedding cookies? But either way — To. Die. For.

  4. Doris says:

    My favorite cookies!

  5. Dad and Mom says:

    It’s your Mom, I will never forget how I waited for my Dad’s Butterball Cookie recipe, I was a new bride up in Plattsburg, N.Y. with my new husband who was in the Air Force at the time. He was stationed with The Strategic Air Command, it was during the Cold War era and the first time to be away from home. My good, faithful Dad came through with the recipe, then, almost 61 years ago; it had to be mailed. Good, faithful Dad came through, as always, thanks Dad, I love you. Joanne (then called Susie)

  6. Marlene says:

    I love these cookies. I have made them for years and have known them as”wedding cookies” and “pecan balls”. They are one of my favorite cookies and I think they also look so pretty.

  7. Sali Vaughn says:

    My mother also made these wonderful cookies only at Christmas time. First time I have seen them referred to as “Butter Balls” which is what she called them. I have been making them now for at least 60 years and still they are one of my favorites. My recipe calls for 1/2 tsp. almond extract along with the vanilla in your recipe.

  8. Dad says:

    You can see when I cut it to half rec
    ipe years ago, love, Dad

  9. Brenda Graver says:

    I so can’t wait to try these and love the fact both your mom and dad comment to add to the history <3

  10. Tina says:

    Hi Julie, I’m from Buffalo and had to chuckle about the Bills ornament!
    I make the Butter ball cookies every Christmas only my Mom called them Russian tea cakes . no matter what they are called they are fantastic! Merry Christmas.

  11. Stephanie says:

    My mom made at Christmas time also. She called them snowball cookies. Our whole families loves all the way down to the grand babies. Merry Christmas from our home to yours.

  12. Ivory says:

    Your late grandfather looks so yummy, LOL! and the cookies don’t look bad either. Can’t wait to make some.

  13. Marlene says:

    I have also made these cookies for years and they are one of my favorite cookies. They look so pretty.

  14. Ivory says:

    Unlike most of your readers/followers that commented, has made these butter ball cookies, I have not, but I will be changing that this weekend. I love all of your scrumptious recipes. Thank you for sharing them. Been a while since I’ve been able to comment, the boy got me running. Soccer games/practices 3-4X’s a week. Heaven help me

  15. […] all running around trying to get things done before Santa comes.  So, take a quick break, grab a Butter Ball Cookie, a cup of coffee, and find some cute ideas for your family members, friends, or even your hair […]

  16. […] all running around trying to get things done before Santa comes.  So, take a quick break, grab a Butter Ball Cookie, a cup of coffee, and find some cute ideas for your family members, friends, or even your hair […]

  17. Julie, i love the cherished memories and a recipe handed down. I must try these for a cookie swap I’m going to next weekend.

  18. Bette says:

    Hi Julie:
    I love the picture of your Dad, you look a little like him. I am going to make his butterball cookies for Christmas this year.
    Cheers, Bette

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