Delightful jam-filled Pecan Snowball Cookies are one of the easiest holiday cookie recipes you’ll try, with buttery pecan cookie dough and your favorite fruit preserves.
I’m a huge Raspberry Jam lover. We always have a jar on hand, and usually a few other colorful fruit preserves too. That’s why I originally made these jewel-toned pecan shortbread cookies for Christmas one year. They’re a scrumptious holiday treat that everyone enjoys.
I especially love to make these pecan snowball cookies because they’re so easy. Around the holidays, there are so many delicious things to make and try that it’s nice to have a few tried-and-true, simple recipes to turn to. Since these cookies are filled with premade jam or jelly and a simple pecan cookie dough, they’re fun and easy to make.
Update: I’ve updated the post and recipe with new photos and tips for the best buttery pecan and jam cookies you’ve ever made!
How to Make Pecan Snowball Cookies
This snowball cookie recipe is incredibly simple. It’s also a fantastic baking project to get kids involved in the kitchen. They can mix up the pecan cookie dough and fill the snowball cookies with their favorite jam or jelly after baking.
I like to think of this cookie recipe as a pecan sandies recipe for the holidays. The colorful and sweet jam filling gives them a festive look and flavor. But the buttery, nutty and crumbly pecan sandies qualities are all there.
Filling Ideas for Jam Thumbprint Cookies
You can use any jar of preserves that’s hanging out in the fridge to fill your pecan snowball cookies. We also love orange marmalade and cherry preserves. It’s also fun to use a mixture of different colored jams for a beautiful dessert presentation.
If you want to go all-out and make the cookies entirely from scratch, we have an excellent recipe for simple Blackberry Jam that’s perfect with pecan.
Making Pecan Snowball Cookie Cups
Cookie cups are our favorite way to enjoy tender, soft cookies with a special filling inside. They’re adorable, fun to eat and much easier to assemble than cookie cutter cookies.
There’s no need to roll out the dough or cut out delicate shapes. Instead, you simply chill the dough until it’s firm enough to handle then roll portions into muffin tin-sized balls. I like to use a #50 scoop to ensure evenly sized cookies. You can also use a tablespoon measure.
Place the cookie dough balls into a greased mini muffin tin and give each one a deep indent for jam. Then, when the baked cookies are mostly cool, shower them with powdered sugar and fill them up with plenty of jam!
More Cookie Cup Recipes
Once you’re hooked on cookie cups, give these recipes a try:
- Lemon Bar Cookie Cups are delicate, bright and the perfect balance of sweet and tart for a springtime dessert.
- Oatmeal Cookie Cups are a must-try vehicle for decadent ice cream sundaes.
- Turtle Peanut Blossom Cookie Cups are another pecan-flavored dessert with a peanut butter twist
- Caramel Cashew Cookie Cups are filled with a gooey, nutty caramel center.
- Sprinkle Chocolate Chip Cookie Cups, from Two Peas and Their Pod, topped with frosting are a fun and delicious dessert for parties, potlucks, or just because!
- 2/3 cup pecan halves, lightly toasted* and cooled
- 2 cups powdered sugar, divided
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature, cut into tablespoon-sized pieces
- 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1/4 to 1/3 cups red raspberry jelly, or any jam or jelly of your choice
- Preheat the oven to 350°F. Place pecans, 1/2 cup powdered sugar and salt in a food processor fitted with a metal blade. Pulse on and off to break up nuts, then process until the nuts are finely ground.
- Add butter a few pieces at a time, pulsing on and off to incorporate, then process until the mixture is smooth; pulse in vanilla. Add the flour and pulse machine on and off until incorporated, scraping the dough down once or twice. Process until the dough begins to form a ball.
- Remove the dough from the machine and shape into a flat disc. Wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 2 hours or until firm enough to roll into balls. Dough may be refrigerated overnight.**
- Drop one tablespoon dough (I used a #50 scoop) into each cup of a greased mini muffin tin. Using the end of a thick-handled wooden spoon make a small, deep well in the center of each cookie.
- Bake for 13 to 15 minutes or until light golden brown on the bottoms and around the edges. Remove from the oven and cool in the pan for 5 minutes before transferring to cooling racks to cool completely.
- Sift the remaining 1 1/2 cups powdered sugar over warm cookies. Immediately fill the indentations with jelly and allow to cool completely.
*To toast pecans, place the nuts in a dry nonstick skillet; cook over medium heat, shaking pan until the nuts are lightly browned.
**You may freeze dough up to 1 month; defrost in refrigerator overnight before proceeding
Cookies may be stored at room temperature in an airtight container for up to 2 weeks; these are best stored in single layers separated by waxed or parchment paper. Adapted from https://www.smuckers.com/recipes/desserts/jam-filled-pecan-snowballs
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Amount Per Serving: Calories: 105Total Fat: 3gSaturated Fat: 1gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 2gCholesterol: 1mgSodium: 27mgCarbohydrates: 19gFiber: 1gSugar: 10gProtein: 1g
Nutrition information is calculated by Nutritionix and may not always be accurate.