These cherry pistachio snowball cookies will melt in your mouth. The buttery shortbread cookies are flavored with vanilla and almond extract, and are packed with pistachios and maraschino cherries. Roll the cookies in powdered sugar for the perfect classic Christmas cookie recipe.
Ingredients for Cherry Pistachio Snowball Cookies
- Unsalted butter – Room temperature.
- Powdered sugar – Confectioners’ sugar or icing sugar. You will need powdered sugar for the cookie dough and for dusting onto the cookies.
- Vanilla extract + almond extract – This combination is the perfect compliment to the pistachios.
- All-purpose flour
- Pistachios – Coarsely ground pistachios. I recommend pulsing the pistachios in a food processor.
- Maraschino cherries – Finely chopped. Remove the excess moisture from the cherries with a paper towel.
How to Make Cherry Pistachio Snowball Cookies
- Make the cookie dough: Cream the unsalted butter, powdered sugar, vanilla extract, almond extract, and salt with an electric mixer until smooth. Add in the all-purpose flour and finely chopped pistachios. Mix on low speed until the dough is crumbly. Add in the finely chopped maraschino cherries and continue to mix until it comes together into a dough ball.
- Portion and chill: Scoop the cookie dough with a medium cookie scoop and place on a cookie tray. Chill the cookie dough balls for about 1 hour.
- Bake the cookies: Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F and line a baking sheet pan with silicone baking mat or parchment paper. Place the dough balls on the prepared cookie sheet. Bake the cookies for approximately 16 to 18 minutes. Allow the cookies to cool on the pan for 2 minutes and transfer to a wire rack to cool for an additional ten minutes.
- Roll the cookies in powdered sugar: Roll the warm cookies in powdered sugar and place on a wire rack to cool to room temperature.
- Use a medium cookie scoop to make uniform cookies. If you want a smaller cookie, use a small cookie scoop and reduce the baking time to about 14 minutes.
- A food processor is great way to quickly and easily make the finely chopped pistachios.
- Roll the cookies in powdered sugar when they are slightly warm. This helps the powdered sugar to adhere to the cookies. I like to roll the cookies again once they are completely cooled.
- If you love meltaway cookies, be sure to check out my other variations including pecan snowball cookies and chocolate snowball cookies.
- Store the cherry pistachio snowball cookies in an airtight container at room temperature for 2 to 3 days.
- Make the cookie dough up to 2 weeks ahead of time. Portion the cookie dough, chill until firm, and then store the cookie dough balls in a plastic storage bag in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks.
Cherry Pistachio Snowball Cookies
- Stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment or electric hand mixer
- Food processor
- 1 cup unsalted butter
- ½ cup powdered sugar
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 1 tsp almond extract
- ½ tsp salt
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 cup coarsely ground pistachios
- ¾ cup finely chopped maraschino cherries remove the excess moisture
- 1 ½ cups powdered sugar for coating the cookies
- Cream the unsalted butter, powdered sugar, vanilla extract, almond extract, and salt until smooth.
- Add in the all-purpose flour, coarsely ground pistachios, and finely chopped maraschino cherries. Mix on low speed. The dough will be crumbly at first and then will form into the cookie dough.
- Portion the cookie dough with a medium cookie scoop and place on a cookie tray. Chill the cookie dough balls for about 1 hour.
- Preheat the oven to 350°F and line a baking sheet pan with a silicone baking mat or parchment paper.
- Place the dough balls on the prepared baking sheet pan. Bake the cookies for approximately 16 to 18 minutes. Allow the cookies to cool on the pan for 2 minutes and transfer to a wire rack to cool for an additional ten minutes.
- Roll the warm cookies in powdered sugar. Place the cookies on a wire rack to cool to room temperature. Once they are room temperature, if desired, roll the cookies in more powdered sugar.