Sweetened condensed milk snowballs are buttery, melt-in-your-mouth cookies featuring condensed milk and ground walnuts, dusted in powdered sugar. They are such a delicious Christmas cookie that you need to be on your holiday baking list!
Snowball cookies with condensed milk
Sweetened condensed milk snowballs are incredible, and you will love everything about these cookies. From the delicate, melt-in-your-mouth texture, to the buttery, nutty taste, to the snowy powdered sugar coating!
Snowball cookie with condensed milk is my favorite holiday cookie and always reminds me of Christmas and snow! They look so festive and taste so good that they will disappear fast from your cookie platters.
I created these condensed milk snowballs a couple of years ago, and they quickly became one of my family’s favorite Christmas cookies. I can’t tell you how many times my friends and neighbors have asked me for the recipe. And now I’m so happy to share it with you!
What are snowball cookies?
Snowballs are tender, buttery shortbread cookies rolled in powdered sugar, which gives them a snowy appearance. The cookies are the same style of treat as Mexican wedding cookies and Russian tea cakes. You can read more about the history of snowballs in my Danish wedding cookie recipe.
Can you make snowball cookies with sweetened condensed milk?
Absolutely! Snowballs with condensed milk are a fun spin on classic snowball cookies. Condensed milk adds sweetness and creates the super tender texture that is softer than regular sugar.
You might think cookies with condensed milk and powdered sugar are overly sweet, but that’s not the case at all. They taste only mildly sweet and buttery, similar to classic shortbread cookies.
Reasons to love sweetened condensed milk snowballs
- Holiday classic: Snowball cookies are a traditional Christmas cookie. They look pretty on a holiday goodie plate and are equally pretty to serve to family and friends.
- So easy: The recipe requires only a few minutes of prepping, bake time, and a quick roll in powdered sugar. You don’t even have to refrigerate the dough!
- Only 5 ingredients: The lineup is short and consists only of pantry staples.
- No cookie cutters: These condensed milk cookies are shaped by hand – no rolling pin and cookie cutters required.
The best thing about sweetened condensed milk snowballs is that you only need a few easy ingredients. Simple, delicious, and budget-friendly! You can see exact measurements in the recipe card at the end of the post.
- Sweetened condensed milk creates a tender texture and soft sweetness. For the best results, use full-fat condensed milk from Eagle Brand, Nestlé/Carnation, or Milk Maid.
- Butter: Let the butter sit out on the counter to soften. I like using salted butter in my baking because that’s what I always have at hand. Salt enhances the other flavors in these cookies. Of course, you can also use unsalted butter and add extra salt.
- All-purpose flour: Use whatever all-purpose flour you have on hand. Bleached or unbleached will work here. If measuring by volume, spoon and level the flour into your measuring cup, so you don’t accidentally add too much flour.
- Walnuts: You can buy whole walnuts and chop them yourself or buy a bag of finely chopped walnuts. Feel free to experiment with different types of nuts, such as pecans, hazelnuts, or almonds.
- Powdered sugar: The cookies are too sweet and taste even better when you roll them in powdered sugar.
How to make sweetened condensed milk snowball cookies
Snowball cookies with condensed milk are the perfect snowball cookies. They bake perfectly light and soft and literally melt in your mouth – exactly how a good snowball cookie should!
Step 1: Prepare for baking
Preheat the oven to 300°F / 150°C / gas mark 2 and position a baking rack in the center of the oven. Line 2 cookie sheets with parchment paper (baking paper).
Step 2: Cream butter and condensed milk
Place the softened butter and sweetened condensed milk into a large mixing bowl. Beat until the mixture is creamy and looks uniform. You can use a stand mixer with the paddle attachment or a hand mixer.
Step 3: Add flour and nuts
Slowly mix in the flour and ground walnuts until the dough just comes together. Scrape down the sides of the bowl as needed.
Step 4: Shape cookies
Using a 1-tbsp cookie scoop, divide the dough into individual portions. Roll each piece into a ball between the palms of your hands. If the dough is sticky, lightly dust your hands with flour.
Place the cookies on the lined baking sheets, spacing them 2 in / 5 cm apart.
Step 5: Bake snowballs
Bake the snowball cookies until slightly browned around the edges, for 18 to 22 minutes. Rotate the baking sheets halfway through baking.
Step 6: Cool
Take the cookies out of the oven and allow them to cool on the baking sheet for 10 minutes.
Then transfer the cookies to a wire rack and let them sit until they are cool enough to handle.
Step 7: Dust cookies
Add powdered sugar into a small mixing bowl. While the cookies are still warm, roll each cookie in the bowl until completely covered in sugar.
Tips for the best snowball cookies
Before you get started on making snowballs, read through these tips. They will ensure that your cookies turn out perfect!
- Cookie scoop: Using a cookie scoop is the easiest way to form uniform cookies. I shaped my cookies with the smallest scoop from this set of three, but you could also use the medium scoop.
- Toast the walnuts: To bring out more flavor, toast the walnuts. Place them in a single layer on a lined rimmed baking sheet (tray) and toast in a preheated 350°F / 180°C / gas mark 4 oven for 7 to 10 minutes.
- Finely ground nuts: For an irresistibly tender texture, use superfine walnuts, so they melt in your mouth. Use your food processor to create a finer chop.
- Chill cookie dough: You can chill the cookie dough in the fridge for 15 to 30 minutes before baking if you want your cookies as round as possible.
- Baking time: Condensed milk cookies brown quickly if baked too long. So watch the bake time and don’t bake them over 18 to 22 minutes.
- Second dusting: The first coat of powdered sugar can melt into the cookies. If that happens, simply give your snowballs a second dusting before serving.
- Snow effect: For an extra pretty snow effect, first roll the cookies in powdered sugar and then use a fine-mesh sieve or flour sifter to sprinkle more powdered sugar across the top.
Sweetened condensed milk snowball cookies are super versatile, and there are so many options you can customize the recipe. Here are a few tasty ideas to get you started!
- Nuts: Swap out the walnuts for pecans, hazelnuts, almonds, or macadamia nuts.
- Vanilla: For an extra-warm, cozy flavor, add 1 tablespoon of vanilla extract to the cookie dough.
- Spices: 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon brings out a delicious Christmas aroma.
- Cocoa: For chocolate snowball cookies, add 1/4 cup cocoa powder and 2 to 3 additional tablespoons of condensed milk to adjust the texture.
- Chocolate chips: Fold 1/2 cup mini chocolate chips into the batter.
Sweetened condensed milk snowballs are perfect for cookie platters and taste delicious with a mug of steaming hot chocolate. They are also great for cookie exchanges and perfect for gifting and even shipping!
Sweetened condensed milk snowballs are the perfect treat for a holiday cookie exchange or party, and you can make them ahead of time. Here are some tips for storing your snowball cookies to keep them fresh and tasty.
- Store: Keep your snowball cookies in an airtight container and place sheets of parchment (baking) paper between layers. Make sure they are completely cooled before storing, or the condensation will soften them. Snowballs will last for 1 week at room temperature or 2 weeks in the fridge.
- Freeze: Make a double batch and freeze some for later. Once fully cooled, place the cookies in a freezer-friendly container or bag and freeze for up to 2 months. They will thaw on the counter in 30 minutes to 1 hour. I recommend freezing the cookies without the powdered sugar and dust them before serving.
- 1 cup / 230 g / 8 oz butter, softened (salted or unsalted)
- 1/2 cup / 150 g / 5.3 oz sweetened condensed milk
- 2 cups / 240 g / 8.5 oz all-purpose flour (plain flour)
- 1/2 cup / 110 g / 3.8 oz finely chopped walnuts
- 1/2 cup / 50 g / 1.3 oz powdered (confectioner's/icing) sugar, for dusting
- Prepare for baking. Preheat the oven to 300°F / 150°C / gas mark 2 and position a baking rack in the center of the oven. Line 2 cookie sheets with parchment paper (baking paper).
- Cream butter and condensed milk. Place the softened butter and sweetened condensed milk into a large mixing bowl. Beat until the mixture is creamy and looks uniform. You can use a stand mixer with the paddle attachment or a hand mixer.
- Add flour and nuts. Slowly mix in the flour and ground walnuts until the dough just comes together. Scrape down the sides of the bowl as needed.
- Shape cookies. Using a 1-tbsp cookie scoop, divide the dough into individual portions. Roll each piece into a ball between the palms of your hands. If the dough is sticky, lightly dust your hands with flour. Place the cookies on the lined baking sheets, spacing them 2 in / 5 cm apart.
- Bake snowballs. Bake the snowball cookies until slightly browned around the edges, for 18 to 22 minutes. Rotate the baking sheets halfway through baking.
- Cool. Take the cookies out of the oven and allow them to cool on the baking sheet for 10 minutes. Then transfer the cookies to a wire rack and let them sit until they are cool enough to handle.
- Dust cookies. Add powdered sugar into a small mixing bowl. While the cookies are still warm, roll each cookie in the bowl until completely covered in sugar.
- Store. Keep your snowball cookies in an airtight container and place sheets of parchment (baking) paper between layers. Make sure they are completely cooled before storing, or the condensation will soften them. Snowballs will last for 1 week at room temperature or 2 weeks in the fridge.
Nutrition Information:Yield: 30 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 129Total Fat: 9gSaturated Fat: 4gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 4gCholesterol: 19mgSodium: 57mgCarbohydrates: 10gFiber: 0gSugar: 4gProtein: 2g
How many sweetened condensed milk snowballs does the recipe yield?
The recipe yields approximately 30 snowball cookies when you use a tablespoon cookie scoop. That number can vary if you form larger cookies. If you need more cookies, simply double the ingredient amounts.
Why did my cookies turn out flat?
If you find your batch of snowballs coming out a bit flat, chill the cookie dough for 15 to 30 minutes. The dough doesn’t need chilling, but everyone keeps their home at a different temperature. So it might be that your kitchen is warm and soften the dough a little too much.
Why did my cookies have dark bottoms?
The sweetened condensed milk snowballs can get brown on the bottom for 2 reasons: the baking temperature was too high, or you used a dark cookie sheet. To avoid this from happening, follow these tips:
- Oven temperature: For light, tender cookies, be sure to bake the cookies only at 300°F / 150°C / gas mark 2.
- Light aluminum sheets: Dark baking sheets bake hotter, so bake your cookies on light cookie sheets.
Can I use coconut condensed milk or condensed oat milk?
Yes, you can replace regular condensed milk with the same amount of sweetened condensed coconut milk or condensed oat milk. The flavor of the cookies will shift slightly but still be delicious.
Is it possible to replace the butter with a dairy-free alternative?
Although I haven’t tested this, I assume you could replace the butter with vegan butter. Coconut oil might also work if you don’t mind the cookies having a subtle coconut aroma.
Can I make these snowball cookies with gluten-free flour?
Yes! I recommend a 1-to-1 gluten-free flour blend such as Cup4Cup’s multipurpose flour, King Arthur’s gluten-free measure-for-measure flour, or Bob’s Red Mill’s gluten-free 1-to-1 baking flour.