Gluten Free Vanilla Pecan Snowball Cookies

Packed with chopped pecans and rolled in powdered sugar, this Gluten Free Pecan Snowball Cookies recipe is one of my all-time holiday favorites!

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Packed with chopped pecans and rolled in powdered sugar, these Gluten Free Vanilla Pecan Snowball Cookies are one of my all-time favorite holiday cookies!

Ho ho ho!  Merry Christmas!  We all know and love Santa, but I think it’s time we stop and really appreciate the big man in the red suit.  He spends his entire year keeping the elves under control as well as making his list and checking it twice. 

That’s a lot of work!  (Trust me, now that we have a 2-year-old toddler in the house, I can appreciate how hard Santa’s job is!)  That’s why it’s time to give Santa a paycheck.  I know he gets “paid” in oodles and oodles of cookies that are left by the fireplace with care, but the poor man can’t pay his mortgage on the North Pole with cookies!

Packed with chopped pecans and rolled in powdered sugar, these Gluten Free Vanilla Pecan Snowball Cookies are one of my all-time favorite holiday cookies!

Do you remember talking about how much a Mom would make if she received a salary?  Well, the same folks did a similar experiment seeking to compensate Santa adequately for all of his hard work throughout the year.  $146, 308.51.  That’s what Santa would make if he got a paycheck. 

Holy moly, Batman!  That’s quite the check for a guy who works from home in his pajamas!  (That red suit is pajamas, right?  Eh, close enough!)  But before you start wondering how to apply to be Santa’s assistant, you’ve got to realize that he doesn’t get a day off.  Ever.  And his holiday hours are brutal!  A break?  Forget about it, Kris Kringle!

Packed with chopped pecans and rolled in powdered sugar, these Gluten Free Vanilla Pecan Snowball Cookies are one of my all-time favorite holiday cookies!

But reality aside, it’s kinda fun to stop and think about Santa’s actual jobs.  From Labor Negotiator (that Elvish Labor Union is always causing trouble!) to Snow Plow Driver (gotta keep the sleigh runway clean!) to Cookie & Milk Taster (wait…you can earn a salary doing this!?), the big man really does have quite a lot on his list.  Maybe I should rethink my goal of one day being Santa in the big Thanksgiving Day Parade!

Gluten Free Vanilla Pecan Snowball Cookies

While we aren’t leaving Santa a paycheck by the fireplace this year, I am planning on leaving him a batch of these Vanilla Pecan Snowball Cookies.  I mean the man works hard, he needs delicious cookies!  Sometimes called Mexican Wedding Cookies, Russian Tea Cakes or Nutty Balls (thanks, Mom), these Vanilla Pecan Snowball Cookies are a classic around our house during the holidays. 

Packed with chopped pecans and rolled in powdered sugar, these Gluten Free Vanilla Pecan Snowball Cookies are one of my all-time favorite holiday cookies!

The texture of these gluten-free snowball cookies is like buttery shortbread cookies mixed with chopped pecans. They’ve been one of my favorite holiday cookies ever since I could reach up and pull the container from the counter!  In fact, my sister joined in a virtual baby shower for me several years ago, and she posted a cake topped with these cookies.  Mmmm…

I can say with a fair degree of confidence that these cookies will become a family favorite, and you’ll find yourself making them every year!  But beware: these bad boys get covered in powdered sugar, which makes it impossible to sneak a late-night cookie.  There will definitely be evidence on the counter…and perhaps on your shirt, too.  Trust me, I speak from experience here.

Packed with chopped pecans and rolled in powdered sugar, these Gluten Free Vanilla Pecan Snowball Cookies are one of my all-time favorite holiday cookies!

While I’m not cut out to be a preschool teacher, I do know how to bake.  But one tiny little problem: Robbie’s preschool teacher has a gluten sensitivity.  No problem at all!  I just pulled out my trusty bag of Bob’s Red Mill Gluten Free 1-to-1 Baking Flour.  As the name suggests, this gluten-free flour blend is literally a 1-to-1 replacement for traditional all-purpose flour.

Another nut?

I grew up with pecans as the nut of choice of these Pecan Snowballs, however I’ve seen these made with walnuts, too. Just make sure to chop the nuts before mixing them into the cookie dough! Another fun idea? Mix in a handful of mini-chocolate chips along with the nuts!

Packed with chopped pecans and rolled in powdered sugar, these Gluten Free Vanilla Pecan Snowball Cookies are one of my all-time favorite holiday cookies!

I do love to bake, but I’ll be the first to admit that gluten-free baking is not in my wheelhouse.  But that’s ok.  Bob’s Red Mill Gluten Free 1-to-1 Baking Flour does the job for me.  I literally just use this flour instead of all-purpose flour, and I’ve got a batch of gluten-free Christmas cookies coming right up!  It’s seriously like magic!  

Packed with chopped pecans and rolled in powdered sugar, these Gluten Free Vanilla Pecan Snowball Cookies are one of my all-time favorite holiday cookies!

Did you make a batch of these egg-free Pecan Snowballs at home?  Leave a comment, or snap a photo and tag me on Instagram (@Spicedblog) – I’d love to see your version!

Packed with chopped pecans and rolled in powdered sugar, these Gluten Free Vanilla Pecan Snowball Cookies are one of my all-time favorite holiday cookies!

Gluten-Free Vanilla Pecan Snowball Cookies

Packed with chopped pecans and rolled in powdered sugar, these Gluten Free Vanilla Pecan Snowball Cookies are one of my all-time favorite holiday cookies!
Print Pin Rate
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 35 minutes
Servings: 16 servings
Calories: 262kcal



  • Preheat oven to 350°F.
  • Using a microwave or small sauce pan, melt the butter.
  • Using a large bowl, add the the melted butter and ½ cup of powdered sugar; stir until well combined.
  • Add flour, vanilla, salt and 2 Tbsp of water; stir until well combined.
  • Add chopped pecans; stir until well combined.
  • Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. (Note: Silicone mats can be used in place of parchment paper if desired.)
  • Using two spoons, scoop out cookie dough and shape into ¾”-1” balls; place on prepared cookie tray.
  • Bake for 18-20 minutes.
  • Let cool for 5 minutes, and then roll cookies in the remaining 1 cup of powdered sugar.
  • Place cookies on a cooling rack until they've cooled to room temperature.
  • Store leftovers in airtight containers at room temperature.


If you aren’t baking for friends with gluten sensitivity, then feel free to use all-purpose flour instead!
Leftover cookies?  These freeze beautifully!  Just store the cooled cookies in a single layer in an airtight freezer bag.  Let thaw at room temperature before serving.

This Gluten Free Vanilla Almond Snowball Cookies post was written by me on behalf of Bob’s Red Mill.
The opinions and recipe are all my own.  Thank you for supporting the brands that support Spiced!

Packed with chopped pecans and rolled in powdered sugar, these Gluten Free Vanilla Pecan Snowball Cookies are one of my all-time favorite holiday cookies!

Looking for more tasty cookie recipes? Check out these other favorites, too:

Spiced® is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associate Programs and other affiliate services. This means that receives a small commission by linking to and other sites at no cost to the readers.


  1. Lovely cookies David, I think I need to try this recipe for this Christmas. I am sure my daughter would love this. Thanks for sharing such a great recipe David. 🙂

    1. Puja!! So glad to hear from you! 🙂 So these cookies really are super easy to make, and they are absolutely my all-time favorite holiday cookie. Do give them a shot this year! Thanks so much for stopping by, my friend!

  2. A. Sign me up to be a cookie and milk taster. That sounds like a job I’m actually qualified for.
    B. This post is so cute. My 10 yr old niece recently found out Santa doesn’t exist however we’ve convinced her to believe in the magic of Christmas. She’s excited to keep Santa’s spirit alive for her little brother.
    C. I’m sorry to hear about Laura’s uncle 🙁
    D. Boy, can you bake!! These cookies look amazing!!! I have to give them a try!
    E. I love any cookie with chocolate, ginger, butter, sugar… yeah, so any cookie.
    F. This is the end of my weirdo comment 🙂

    1. A. I would, except I already took that job. You can apply to be my cookie and milk tasting assistant though. Does that work?
      B. Cute! Wait…did you say Santa doesn’t exist!? Lies. Dirty, dirty lies.
      C. Thanks. It was sudden and really sad, but his memory lives on with us for sure. 🙂
      D. Yes, make these cookies. Then eat them all. Then make another batch. That’s how I roll during the holidays!
      E. Sounds like you are qualified for (A). Drop an application ASAP!
      F. I loved your weirdo comment…haha! Thanks so much, Christina!!

  3. I want to be Santa’s official cookie taster. I feel like he needs some help because, let’s be real, his bowl-full-of-jelly belly can’t be healthy! Mexican wedding cakes are probably my favorite holiday cookie, followed closely by gingersnaps and shortbread. And peanut butter blossoms. I’m so sorry to hear about Laura’s uncle. The holidays are never easy when loved ones are missing from the celebration.

    1. You are totally right, Kelsie! Santa needs help eating all of those cookies. I mean the poor man works hard all year long, so he deserves some holiday cookies…but there are a lot of cookies for Santa to polish off on Christmas Eve. We should help him. Let’s start with a batch of these snowball cookies, yes? I knew we were friends! I love your list of cookies, and I might just put them in the same order. Except gingersnaps would be gingerbread cookies for me. And thank you for the kind words about Laura’s uncle. It was pretty sudden, and he is missed for sure.

  4. $146, 308.51 sound quite good but I expected a little higher. On the other hand, let’s be honest – Santa delegates most of the tedious work to his elfs. And these cookies are delicious. I like this kind of treats. They are super easy to make and have an amazing melt-in-your-mouth texture. But what I see! Boxes?! Are you finally sending the Christmas present to me (cause I already shipped mine to you). Nicely done, David!

    1. Well you make a good point here, Ben! Santa does delegate quite a bit to the elves. But that’s why good managers get paid good salaries, right? 🙂 And you totally caught my boxes in this post! I was just packing these cookies up for you, but then something happened. All of the cookies disappeared. It was tragic. Maybe I’ll try making you another batch…let’s hope this batch doesn’t disappear, too.

    1. Santa already loved these cookies in our house, Dawn. Haha! And Santa might just love these cookies again soon…it’s about time for another batch! 🙂

  5. Sorry to hear about Laura’s Uncle 🙁 I’m sure he’ll be missed.
    These cookies look dangerously good, David. Though, I don’t like the idea of evidence being left behind, lol, with all that powdered sugar. That would not work 😉 I love all sorts of cookies, but probably my absolutely favourite is shortbread. If you want to send me some of these just to make sure, please feel free…hehehe 🙂 Have a wonderful weekend!

    1. Thank you for the kind words, Dawn. And I think you nailed it with these cookies…the evidence left behind in the form of powdered sugar can get you into trouble! 🙂 And these cookies totally remind me of shortbread cookies…just in a different shape. If I happen to have any left over, then I’ll be sure to send ’em up to you…but don’t hold your breathe there! Haha!

  6. When you write out all the jobs like that that Santa performs each year, he certainly is a hell of a busy fella! But if I were him and getting a batch of these vanilla pecan snowball cookies for my efforts I’d overlook that as these would certainly compensate! I need to put together my favourite Christmas cookie recipe that my mother used to make for us. I’m still waiting for that recipe. I think she’s holding onto it like someone having a map showing where buried treasure is. Ha ha!

    1. You’re telling me, Neil! That Santa…he really is a hard worker. Of course, he has help from the elves and all, but still. And he has to work straight through the holidays every year! I love that you mom is holding out on your favorite holiday cookie recipe…maybe it’s just her way of making sure you go back to visit every year! 🙂

  7. These snowball cookies look great and perfect for sharing some love! You are so right, the holidays can be difficult for so many people. At school, we see a rise in student behaviors. Many act out because the holidays can be so uncertain. More reason to spread more love. Keep up the great baking job and Happy Holidays! 🙂

    1. That’s really interesting that you see a rise in student behavior at school during the holidays. I mean I guess it makes sense if you think about it. But still. Perhaps you should just greet everyone with a homemade snowball cookies each morning? I bet there wouldn’t be any bad behavior then! Haha…just kidding! Thanks, Kathy, and I hope you have a great week ahead, my friend! 🙂

  8. Snowballs are my absolute favorite holiday cookie – I love how they just melt in your mouth. They almost sizzle….you know what I mean. Anyway, totally intrigued by your gluten free version.

    1. I totally agree with you, Marissa! Snowballs are such a classic holiday cookie, and they are absolutely my favorite. The holidays can’t begin until the batch of snowball cookies appears on the counter…and then promptly disappears! Haha! 🙂

  9. I’ve been doing a lot of social media marketing lately and my favorite client is a baker, she actually a cannabis baker but that’s an entirely different story. She makes a version of these vanilla pecan snowballs I can’t stop eating them. I seriously think I’m addicted. I would love getting paid in cookies, especially these cookies.

    1. Hahaha…a cannabis baker is definitely a different story, Mary! But either way, baking is one of my all-time favorite passions, and I would be a happy camper just standing in my kitchen baking cookies all day long. Of course, those baking sessions would have to involve samples for the baker, too! 🙂 Thanks so much, my friend, and I’m glad to hear the social media marketing is taking off!!

  10. These cookies look so melty and buttery and yummy! Melt in your mouth delicious! And these are gluten free too! The recipe is definitely a keeper David! Would love to try these :). I hope you are doing a good job of Santa this year and buying Robbie some great gifts 😀

    1. Oh my gosh, these cookies are so good, Deepika! They’re easy to make, and they are seriously one of my favorite holiday cookies. Plus, it’s kinda fun to make a mess with powdered sugar when you eat these! Santa is off to do some Robbie gift wrapping right now. 🙂 Thanks so much, my friend!

  11. We make a similar cookie every year too, only we do it with almond pasta & extract. Actually, I just made them this weekend! My favorite cookies are always the chocolate peanut buttery one – PB 7 layer bars, PB kiss cookies, or the ones with a PB cup in the middle. Chocolate PB has my heart I guess!

    1. Oooo…those almond paste cookies sound amazing, Nicole! I love almond paste, but I don’t bake with it nearly enough. I’m always down for a good chocolate PB kiss cookie…those are another requirement for Christmas cookie plates! 🙂

  12. I love this type of cookie! My grandma used to make them. I think sometimes they were anise-flavored, but I would like them much better if they were vanilla flavored.

  13. I’ve never made anything gluten free – have purchased pre-baked 😉
    Subbing the Bobs Mill GF all Purp flour – do they have the same taste/texture as making with regular flour ?
    I’m visiting a friend next month who is on GF diet, thought I’d try them

    We called them pecan sandies growing up.

    Thanks for sharing !

    1. Yes! Like you, I don’t have a ton of experience in baking GF treats. But that Bob’s Red Mill 1-to-1 AP flour is seriously good stuff. It’s a combination of all sorts of other gluten-free flours, and I honestly can’t tell a difference in the final product. I’ve used that flour to make all sorts of my favorite treats in GF free. Give it a shot! And, yes, I’ve heard these called pecan sandies, too. They have a bunch of names…and they’re all so delicious! I could eat an entire batch if I’m not careful. Haha!

  14. PS – sorry about Laura’s Uncle, holidays, especially the “Firsts” are always the hardest for me when losing someone I love.
    Sounds like I would have like him a lot – I use to make around 1200 cookies every year at the holidays

    1. Woah, you and Laura’s uncle definitely had baking in common. He was always baking something, and his freezers were slammed full with his creations. He is definitely missed. Thank you for the kind words!

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