These Peppermint Snowball Cookies are easy, melt-in-your-mouth shortbread cookies filled with crushed candy canes, white chocolate chips, and pecans.
A delicious vegan snowball cookie recipe to celebrate the holiday season.
Snowball cookies are so cute on a Christmas cookie platter but even more filled with pieces of red peppermint candy cane.
Are Snowball Cookies Vegan?
No, an authentic snowball cookie recipe is not vegan-friendly because it contains butter. However, it’s pretty easy to adapt snowball cookies to be vegan by simply using vegan butter!
How To Make Peppermint Snowball Cookies
Here’s how we make these delicious crumbly vanilla shortbread balls filled with peppermint candy.
There are only 8 vegan ingredients needed for this recipe!
- All-purpose Flour – this is the best flour for these cookies, I didn’t try gluten-free all-purpose flour but it should work as well.
- Butter of Choice – we used vegan butter, but any softened butter works.
- Powdered Sugar
- Vanilla Extract
- Peppermint Extract – this adds a delicious peppermint flavor to your cookies.
- Finely Crushed Candy Cane
- Chopped Pecans
- Chopped White Chocolate – we used a dairy-free chocolate block finely chopped in pieces, but you can also use vegan white chocolate chips.
Combining The Dry Ingredients
First, crush the candy canes into small pieces using a mortar and pillar. You can also place the candy canes into a zip lock bag and smash them with a wooden stick.
In a large mixing bowl, stir in the flour, crushed candy cane, pecan pieces, and chopped white chocolate.
Set it aside. The candy pieces will be sticky, so you may have to use your finger to rub them into the flour and separate them evenly into the flour mixture.
Beating The Butter And Sugar
Beat the softened vegan butter and powder sugar until creamy and fluffy – it takes about 1 minute on the high-speed setting of a stand mixer with the paddle attachment.
Then, stir in the peppermint extract and vanilla and beat for a few seconds to incorporate.
Now, pour the dry ingredients into the bowl with the butter mixture and beat on the low-speed setting until a buttery, crumbly batter forms.
The batter shouldn’t be runny or too wet. It should hold in your hand if squeezed.
Chill the dough for 15 minutes.
Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 350°F (180°C). Then, line two cookie sheets with parchment paper and lightly oil the paper with coconut oil.
Remove the dough from the fridge and scoop about two tablespoons of cookie dough, roll with your hands and place each ball onto the prepared baking sheets leaving half a thumb of space between each ball.
Don’t flatten the cookie balls.
Bake the snowball cookies in the center rack of the oven until they are slightly golden brown on the edges.
Meanwhile, prepare a bowl filled with powdered sugar.
Remove the cookies from the oven and cool for 10 minutes. Then, use a fork to roll the lukewarm cookies into the powder sugar.
It’s crucial to roll snowball cookies hot or lukewarm into the powdered sugar, or the coating won’t hold very well.
Cool them down on a wire rack. Then, add a pinch of extra crushed candy cane on top of the cookies.
You can store these snowball cookies at room temperature for a few days in a sealed cookie jar. To make them last longer, store them in an airtight container in the fridge.
You can freeze snowball cookies for up to 3 months in a sealed bag and thaw them at room temperature the day before.
Of course, you can also use this snowball cookie recipe to create other snowball cookie flavors.
For example, you can swap:
- White chocolate chips for dark chocolate chips.
- Crushed candy cane for more chopped pecans or walnuts.
- Pecans for walnuts or almonds.
- Peppermint extract for almond extract or rose water.
Frequently Asked Questions
Below I listed some common answers to your questions about this recipe.
Can I Make It With Gluten-free Flour?
Usually, a gluten-free all-purpose flour blend that contains added gums and uses a 1:1 ratio on their instructions would work well here.
Why Is My Powder Sugar Not Sticking To The cookies?
This happens if your cookies are too cold, and therefore, there’s no more moisture left in the hot cookies for the sugar to stick.
To fix that, wet your hands and rub the cookies before dipping them into powder sugar.
Why Is My Dough Dry?
Add one or two extra tablespoons of melted butter until the dough hold together when squeezed.
Can I Use Coconut Oil?
No, oil won’t work in a shortbread cookie recipe. You must use a spreadable butter variety like vegan butter or vegan spread, softened at room temperature for 30 minutes.
Can I Use Almond Flour Or Coconut Flour?
No, this recipe needs a starchy type of flour like whole wheat flour or white spelt flour.
Try my almond flour shortbread cookie for an almond flour recipe.
Have you made these snowball peppermint cookies? Share a comment or review below to connect with me!
Your friend, Carine
Peppermint Snowball Cookies
- 2 ¼ cups All-purpose Flour
- 1 cup Softened Butter of Choice - we used dairy-free butter
- ½ cup Powdered Sugar
- ½ teaspoon Vanilla Extract
- ¼ teaspoon Peppermint Extract
- ⅓ cup Finely Crushed Candy Cane
- ⅓ cup Pecans - finely chopped
- ¼ cup White Chocolate Chips - or chopped tabs – we used dairy-free chocolate tab chopped in tiny pieces
- Preheat oven 350°F (180°C). Line 2 cookie sheets with parchment paper and lightly oil them with coconut oil. Set aside.
- In a large mixing bowl, combine flour, chopped pecans, crushed candy canes, and chopped white chocolate tab. Set aside.
- In another large mixing bowl, or the bowl of your stand mixer using the S blade attachment, beat softened plant-based butter and powdered sugar until light and fluffy.
- Stir in the vanilla extract and peppermint extract, then pour the dry ingredients into the bowl and beat on the low-speed setting to combine. The dough is ready when everything comes together. It should be slightly crumbly but easily stick together if pressed in your hand. If not, stir 1-2 extra tablespoons of melted butter.
- Chill the dough for 15 minutes in the fridge.
- Meanwhile, prepare a bowl with extra powder sugar to roll the cookies after baking.
- Remove the dough from the fridge, divide it into 15 balls of the same size – about 2 tablespoons of dough each. Roll each dough ball nicely between your hands and place it on the prepared cookie sheet, leaving half a thumb of space between each.
- Bake the cookies for 10-12 minutes or until just golden brown at 350°F (180°C).
- Cool them down for 10 minutes on the baking sheet, then roll the hot cookies into the bowl with powder sugar to fully coat.
- Cool the snowball cookies down on a wire rack.
- When cooled, decorate the cookies with an extra pinch of crushed candy canes on top.
- Store in a sealed cookie jar at room temperature for 4 days or for a week in the fridge.