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Pecan Meltaways

This sweet, nutty pecan balls recipe is a tradition in our house at Christmastime, but the treats are great any time of the year. —Alberta McKay, Bartlesville, Oklahoma
  • Total Time
    Prep: 15 min. + chilling Bake: 10 min./batch
  • Makes
    4 dozen


  • 1 cup butter, softened
  • 1/2 cup confectioners' sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2-1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 cup chopped pecans
  • Additional confectioners' sugar


  • In a large bowl, cream butter and confectioners' sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in vanilla. Combine flour and salt; gradually add to creamed mixture and mix well. Stir in pecans. Refrigerate until chilled.
  • Preheat oven to 350°. Roll into 1-in. balls and place on ungreased baking sheets. Bake 10-12 minutes or until set. Roll warm cookies in additional confectioners' sugar; cool completely on wire racks. Roll cooled cookies again in confectioners' sugar.

Test Kitchen Tips
  • This recipe will taste great with almost any nut. Try adding chopped almonds, hazelnuts or macadamia nuts.
  • Pecans have a higher fat content than other nuts, so they’re more prone to going rancid. They’ll stay fresh for twice as long in the freezer as they would at room temperature.
  • Check out more of our favorite snowball cookie recipes.
  • Nutrition Facts
    1 each: 73 calories, 5g fat (3g saturated fat), 10mg cholesterol, 39mg sodium, 6g carbohydrate (1g sugars, 0 fiber), 1g protein.
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    Average Rating:
    • mrscessna
      Jan 3, 2021

      These were easy to make, taste and look great!

    • debora
      Dec 23, 2020

      I lost my recipe book but these cookies are so close to my Moms Russian Teacakes. I'll give them 5 stars. Always loved them at Christmas. She would stack them like a Christmas tree and add a few green colored raw sugar shakes. Too me they looked like snow covered Christmas.

    • Charwynne
      Dec 23, 2020

      No comment left

    • Angie
      Dec 13, 2020

      We call these Russian Teacakes. Make with almond extract and the woman that wouldn't give her secret ingredients, I bet it's cream of tartar...what we use.

    • Chris
      Dec 12, 2020

      These cookies go by a variety of names (snowballs, mexican wedding cookies, pecan dainties, and on and on). The more you cream them before you add the flour the more they will melt in your mouth. One of my favorites.

    • Tricia
      Dec 12, 2020

      Mine didn't stay in a ball, they spread out and you can't pick them up, they just fall apart

    • Paige
      Dec 12, 2020

      A family favorite! We have always called these cookies “NUNFARTS”! ??.. we make them every Christmas and love them!

    • Mountaintb
      Dec 10, 2020

      I make these cookies every Christmas. One of my husbands favorite and so simple to make. They really do melt in your mouth.

    • Katy's mom
      Dec 8, 2020

      I make these cookies in the food processor. Very fast and easy. You also get a more cohesive dough than you get by using a mixer. Just make sure to put the butter and vanilla on top of the other ingredients. No need to cream anything. Don't under-process. Pulse until the ingredients begin clumping together and starting to form a soft dough. The nuts will be finely ground. Makes lovely, sandy, melt-in-the-mouth cookies.

    • 5717rees
      Dec 7, 2020

      I have been making this cookie for more Christmas seasons than I can recall. I got the recipe from a very old cookbook that was my Grandmother’s. It was called a “Kiflin” a Swedish cookie. I have always used pecans and almond extract. I am sure going to toast the pecans this year like was suggested by Cindy Jim. I am sure they will be even better!!