Chestnut Snowball Cookies

Chestnut Snowball Cookies

These chestnut snowball cookies are the ultimate, no-fuss Christmas cookie and they literally melt in your mouth!

They’re quick and easy to make, using just a few simple ingredients, creating the perfect soft, buttery shortbread centres with ground chestnuts and finished with a generous coating of icing sugar on the outside.

Traditional recipes use almonds, pecans or walnuts, but I made these with chestnuts. You can use whichever nuts you have in the larder, and they will still taste amazing.

These cookies are very similar to my walnut crescent biscuits, which are also really good and easy to make.

I love to bake a few different biscuits/cookies for Christmas and arrange them on a nice platter for when people drop by. If you’re looking for inspiration, check out these Christmas recipes: gingerbread, Viennese biscuits, cranberry lemon shortbread, cinnamon biscuits and Linzer Biscuits.

If you decide to give this recipe a try, let me know! Leave a comment below and rate it – it’s really helpful to me and the other readers. And don’t forget to take a picture and tag it #thegourmetlarder on Instagram. I love seeing what you come up with! 🙂


  • EASE: easy to make and you if you have a food processor it will be incredibly easy.
  • FREE-FROM: check my substitutions section for gluten-free, vegan and sugar-free options.
  • GREAT FOR: a treat, Christmas or friends and family visiting, they also make nice homemade gifts!
  • TASTE & TEXTURE: soft, butter shortbread centres, dusted in icing sugar.
  • SERVING: they are delicious on their own or with a nice cup of tea or coffee.
  • QUANTITY: 15 cookies
  • TIME: 19 minutes, plus 1 hour chilling.

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    © THE GOURMET LARDER. All images and content are copyright protected. If you want to share this recipe, please do so using the share buttons provided. Please do not republish the recipe or its content in full instead, include a link to this post for the recipe. Further information can be found in my FAQ’s.


    For this recipe all you need are these ingredients:

    • Butter – adds structure and flavour. I use salted butter for most of my baking as it intensifies the flavours, but feel free to use unsalted if you prefer. Make sure it’s at room temperature before using.
    • Caster sugar or icing sugar – adds sweetness and structure.
    • Egg – medium size weighing around 50 gram per egg out of the shell. The egg creates structure, make sure it is at room temperature before using.
    • Pure vanilla extract or paste adds flavour and enhances the other ingredient flavours in the recipe.

    Vanilla recommendations: pure vanilla extract or vanilla paste or vanilla pods.

    • Plain or all-purpose flour – to build structure, as we do not use any other raising agents.
    • Ground chestnuts – add flavour, moisture, texture and structure to the recipe. If you can’t find ground chestnuts buy ready to eat cooked chestnuts and grind them in a food processor.
    • Baking powder – is a raising agent that helps to create a light biscuit.
    • Icing sugar – these bite-sized treats wouldn’t look like cute little snowballs without a generous coating of icing sugar.

    TIP: I highly recommend adding a good pinch of fine salt to your biscuit doughs. In a seemingly absurd or self-contradictory way, salt intensifies the mouths’ ability to taste sweetness. It is the sodium that sends signals to move glucose into the sweet taste receptor cells, thus triggering the cells to register sweetness. The result is that salt not only alerts our ‘salt sensitivity’, but also triggers our ‘sweet sensitive’ taste buds.


    While I am making recommendations for alternative ingredients, I haven’t necessarily tried them. If you try making any adaptions, I would love to know how you get on and share it with the other readers.



    • Egg – replace the egg with 2 teaspoons of water. The biscuits will be a little crunchier but still taste great.


    • Sugar-free or calorie reduced options: try powder alternatives such as coconut sugar, natural erythritol, xylitol, stevia or fructooligosaccharide powder instead. There are also sweetener mixes available, that are 70% calorie reduced and low in carb. Avoid using liquid sweeteners as this will imbalance the recipe and cause the dough to be a big sticky mess.


    • Nuts – any type of nut that you have at home, almonds, walnuts, macadamia nuts, or hazelnuts all work well.
    • Citrus flavours – try adding orange or lemon zest for a citrus hit.
    • Spices – experiment with spices, such as cinnamon, nutmeg or cardamon.
    • Extracts – if you use almonds, you can add almond extract to add emphasise the taste.

    If you experiment, I would love to know how you get on and share it with the other readers.


    Serving: one cookie

    Nutrition information can vary for a recipe based on factors such as precision of measurements, brands, ingredient freshness, or the source of nutrition data.

    I strive to keep the information as accurate as possible but make no warranties regarding its accuracy.

    I encourage you to make your own calculations based on the actual ingredients used in your recipe, using your preferred nutrition calculator.

    Chestnut Snowball Cookies


    Store the coated and cooled cookies in an airtight container for 5-7 days at room temperature.

    Freezing the cookie dough – freeze the dough balls on a baking tray or plate, lined with baking paper. Once the cookies have frozen solid, approx. 30 minutes, transfer them to a freezer-safe, airtight container. They will last up to 3 months in the freezer. Bake them from frozen, adding an additional 1 minute to the instructions above.

    Freezing the baked cookies – roll the baked cookies in icing sugar and leave them to cool completely, then place them on a lined baking tray and place them in the freezer. When they have frozen solid, approx. 30 minutes, store them in a freezer-safe, airtight container for up to 1 month. When ready to serve, allow the cookies to reach room temperature.

    © THE GOURMET LARDER. All images and content are copyright protected. If you want to share this recipe, please do so using the share buttons provided. Please do not republish the recipe or its content in full instead, include a link to this post for the recipe. Further information can be found in my FAQ’s.


    Here are some kitchen equipment that I use and recommend for this recipe.

    I like the sturdiness of this bowl and its 4 litre capacity means I can use it for mixing just about everything in the kitchen. It is also microwave, freezer and dishwasher safe.

    These different size mixing bowls are really useful depending on the amount of food you are preparing. They also have airtight lids that fit snugly to seal and keep food fresh, so this set can be used as dry storage bowls with lids on. The plastic lid of the largest bowl has a removable centre. Where one of 3 graters can be used.

    I do own a plastic mixing bowl but I am personally not a big fan of them. These 3 bowls are on the smaller size but good for the odd cake making.

    I love using these baking mats. They stop everything sticking to the baking tray and are really easy to clean.

    This is a really good food processor, I have used Maggie mix before, I think they are one of the best processes on the market. The blades are very sharp and I use it for breaking down biscuits, nuts and getting very smooth creams or dips. It does a really good job and its very quiet not as noisy some other brands. I recommend it to anybody who enjoys baking and cooking. They are a little on the expensive side but you pay for what you get.

    The Gourmet Larder is an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases.

    TIP: I highly recommend using metric measurements and a digital kitchen scale, rather than cup measurements. If you have ever ended up with dry, dense or crumbly baked goods, it might be because of inaccurate volume measurements, not all measuring cups are made equally. All my recipes on this blog are carefully developed so that you can easily recreate them in your own kitchen with success, using metric measurements. It is also a lot easier, less messy and you will get far better, consistent results. 🙂
    If you are interested in understanding conversions, here you will find the best conversion chart.


    Use room temperature ingredients – this is really important; it makes it easier to work with and allows the ingredients to emulsify properly.

    Avoid over baking the cookies – by keeping an eye on them towards the end of the baking time. All ovens are different and if these get over baked, they end up quite dry.

    The dough should be a little sticky – avoid adding more flour to the recipe. Placing the dough in the fridge to rest for an hour will help it firm up and make be easier to roll.

    Chestnut Snowball Cookies

    Chestnut Snowball Cookies

    Preparation:5 minutes
    Baking:14 minutes
    chilling:1 hour
    Total:1 hour 19 minutes
    Servings: 14 cookies
    These chestnut snowball cookies are the ultimate, no-fuss Christmas cookie and literally melt in your mouth!


    • 125 g butter
    • 100 g granulated sugar
    • 1 medium egg (50g)
    • 1 tsp pure vanilla extract or 1/4 tsp of vanilla paste
    • 200 g plain flour (all-purpose)
    • 100 g chestnuts (ready to eat)
    • 1 tsp baking powder


    • 50 g icing sugar (US powdered sugar)


    • Food processor method: If you are using a food processor you can place all the ingredients into it and pulse until you have a crumbly texture and then finish by hand to form a dough ball. Then wrap in cling film and chill for an hour in the fridge. Follow on from step 6.
    • Traditional method: In a medium mixing bowl, beat the butter and sugar together until light and fluffy.
    • Add the egg, the vanilla extract and rum essence, if using. Mix until well combined.
    • If your chestnuts are not already ground, grind the chestnuts using a food processor. I like to use the mini processor of my Braun MultiQuick blender.
    • Add the ground chestnuts, flour and baking powder to the butter mixture and mix thoroughly to form a dough ball. until smooth and creamy.
    • Divide the dough into 14 pieces, rolling them into nice little balls. Place them on tray or plate that will fit in your fridge and chill them for 1 hour. the lined baking tray, allowing some space between them.
    • Pre-heat the oven to 180°C / 160°C fan / 350°F / Gas 4. and line a baking tray with baking paper or a silicon mat.
    • Remove the dough balls from the fridge, roll them in some icing sugar and place them on the lined baking tray.
    • Baking: Place the tray in the middle of the oven for 14-16 minutes, or until the cookies are a pale golden-brown.
    • Allow them to cool completely on a wire rack. Once completely cooled, I usually like to roll the cookies one more time in the icing sugar to ensure they are completely coated prior to serving. Enjoy!
    KEYWORDS biscuit and cookie recipes, christmas recipes, nut recipes


    If you tried this Chestnut Snowball Cookies or any other recipe on my website, please let me know how you got on in the comments below. I love hearing from you. Also, please leave a star rating whilst you’re there!

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    Chestnut Snowball Cookies

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