Soft and crumbly cookies with hints of orange and pistachios mixed in and covered in a blanket of powdered sugar. These Orange Pistachio Snowball Cookies are the perfect holiday treat you can share.
Orange Pistachio Snowball Cookies
Though they’re not as prevalent in my life I always remember receiving the tiny tin containers designed in a holiday motif and filled with a mixture of Christmas cookies and treats. It seemed there was always one or two that came home from my Mom’s class each year. I’ve never made them before or rather always put making Christmas cookies on my holiday bucket list but never seem to cross it off.
This year I’m planning early and starting with those things that never seem to get completed. These Orange Pistachio Snowball Cookies are going in this year’s cookie tin. They’re soft and crumbly with a super sweet blanket of powdered sugar coating the outside. Slight hints of orange and crushed pistachio create a delicious snowball cookie flavor.
How to Make Snowball Cookies
Orange Pistachio Snowball Cookies are extremely easy to prepare and they store well making them perfect for Christmas cookie tin gifts.
In the bowl of an electric mixer or using a handheld mixer beat the butter for 1 to 2 minutes, until fluffy. Add both sugars, orange zest, and salt, continuing to beat another 2 minutes. Scrape down the sides of the bowl.
Add the flour to this mixer and mix until combined.
Fold in the pistachios until mixed completely into the dough.
Shape the dough into 1-inch sized balls and place onto an ungreased baking sheet 1 inch apart.
Bake at 350℉ for 12 minutes and let cool completely on a cooling rack.
Toss the cookies in powdered sugar until fully coated.
PRO TIP: Make sure the pistachios are ground very finely for a more even flavor.
Do I Need to Chill the Dough Before Cooking?
No. If you would like a more perfectly shaped cookie then you can chill the dough for 20 minutes before cooking them.
Can these Orange Pistachio Snowball Cookies be Frozen?
Yes. Freeze them in an airtight container for up to 2 months.
How to Store the Cookies
These cookies are best kept at room temperature in an air-tight container, which makes them perfect for holiday cookie tins.
Other Snowball Cookie Combinations
There are many variations of these classic Christmas cookies. You can swap the nuts out for your favorites, such as macadamia nuts, pecans, walnuts, or even peanuts. Some other flavor combinations to try are listed out below.
- Lemon Walnut: just swap the orange zest for lemon zest and the pistachios for walnuts.
- Bourbon Pecan: drop the lemon zest and add a teaspoon of bourbon and swap the pistachios for pecans.
- Cinnamon Chocolate Chip: remove the orange zest and add 1 teaspoon cinnamon, and swap the pistachios for chocolate chips.
- Peppermint Mocha: remove the orange zest and add 1 tablespoon cocoa powder, and swap the pistachios for crushed peppermint. Then add 1 tablespoon cocoa powder to the powdered sugar before rolling the cookies.
- 1 cup Butter softened
- 1/4 cup Sugar
- 1/4 cup Brown Sugar packed
- 1 teaspoon Orange Zest
- 1/4 teaspoon Salt
- 2 teaspoon Vanilla
- 2 cups Flour
- 1 cup Crushed Pistachios
- 2 cups Powdered Sugar
- Preheat the oven to 350℉.
- In a large bowl beat the butter with a mixer set to medium speed for 1 to 2 minutes, until fluffy. Add both sugars, orange zest, and salt. Beat another 1 minute until well combined, scraping down the sides as needed. Add the flour and continue to mix.
- Stir in the pistachios until fully mixed into the dough.
- Shape the dough into small 1-inch sized balls and place on an ungreased cookie sheet 1 inch apart. Bake for 12 minutes and cool on a baking rack.
- Place the powdered sugar in a bowl and toss the cookies until full coated.