(Toasted Pecan!) Ultimate Snowball Cookies ❄️ gluten free & keto

These gluten free and keto snowball cookies with toasted pecans are absolutely dreamy! Expect butterymoist and melt-in-your-mouth Christmas delights.

Rolling keto snowball cookies in powdered sweetener
Gluten Free & Keto Snowball Cookies

Gluten Free & Keto Snowball Cookies

With Toasted Pecan (‘N Almonds!)

These might just be the cookies with a thousand names (Russian tea cakes, Mexican wedding cookies, polvorones, snowball cookies…)! And their actual origins are very much muddled throughout history. With an almond version found in Russia, to a pecan one (with a light cinnamon sprinkle) hailing form Mexico.

And while we already have a keto Mexican wedding cookie recipe on the site, I’ve found American snowball cookies to be slightly different. So while their Mexican counterparts are incredibly delicate and crumble on site, this version is much more moist and will hold their round shape upon baking.

Whichever version you decide to whip up, expect melt-in-your mouth and totally aromatic cookies!

Dusting keto snowball cookies with powdered sweetener
Gluten Free & Keto Snowball Cookies

The Flours

Snowball cookies are traditionally a wheat cookie, with either pecans (the Mexican version) or almonds (the Russian version) thrown into the mix. So to make them gluten free and keto, I cooked up a version of the two and use both almond flour and finely ground pecans (i.e. pecan flour)… and a touch of coconut flour.

And you (absolutely!!) must toast the nut flours beforehand, something which is missing from most mainstream versions. This is, in my book, the thing that takes these keto snowball cookies to a whole other level. You’ll know what I mean the moment you mix the flours with the butter.

In terms of brands, for the almond either Anthony’s or WellBees work great. Both are super fine grinds. And for the coconut, I always favor Anthony’s (best taste by a mile!).

Gluten free and keto snowball cookies with toasted pecans
Gluten Free & Keto Snowball Cookies

The Sweetener

The toasting of the nuts gives such an intense flavor that most of aftertaste from keto sweeteners is masked (or at least greatly diminished!). So you’ve got a few options, just note that each sweetener will likely give you varying results in terms of texture. Think erythritol (a very slight cooling aftertaste, but best texture and no spreading… I like Lakanto’s monkfruit blend best), and xylitol or allulose (no aftertaste, but some potential spreading).

But the sweeteners must be powdered.

So get your blender out, make sure it’s completely dry, and process your sweetener of choice until powdered. Just make sure you wait a few moments for the dust to settle before opening the blender or food processor.

And if using xylitol, make sure to be careful if you have a pup around the house, as it’s highly toxic to the little guys! 🐕

How much sweetener? Snowball cookies are traditionally very lightly sweetened to accommodate a generous topping. The original version calls for 1/4 cup for the cookies themselves and 3/4 cup for the coating, to give you an idea of the exorbitant ratios.

Gluten Free & Keto Snowball Cookies
Piled up gluten free and keto snowball cookies
Gluten Free & Keto Snowball Cookies

Rolling keto snowball cookies in powdered sweetener

(Toasted Pecan!) Gluten Free & Keto Snowball Cookies

Course: Cookies, Dessert
Cuisine: American
Keyword: gluten free, grain free, keto, low carb, sugar free
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Chilling Time: 1 hour
Total Time: 35 minutes
Servings: 20 cookies
Calories: 103 kcal

These gluten free and keto snowball cookies with toasted pecans are absolutely dreamy! Expect buttery, delicate, moist and melt-in-your-mouth Christmas delights. 

Oh, and if baking with cups rather than grams is your thing, just click on US Cups for an instant conversion.

Print

Ingredients

For the powdered 'sugar' coating

Instructions

  1. Add pecans to a food processor and process until finely ground, being careful you don't over-blend or you'll end up with pecan butter!

  2. Add pecan flour and almond flour to a skillet or pan, and toast over medium heat until golden and fragrant (3-6 minutes). Remove from pan aand set aside to cool completely (very important!). Whisk in the coconut flour, xanthan gum and salt, set aside. 

  3. Cream butter in a large bowl with an electric mixer, 2 minutes. Add in sweetener and continue to beat until light and fluffy (7-8 minutes). Add in vanilla extract and egg, beating until just combined. 

  4. With your mixer on low, add in half of your nut flour mixture- mixing until just incorporated. Mix in the rest. Wrap cookie dough with cling film (saran wrap) and refrigerate for at least an hour (and up to 3 days).

  5. Preheat oven to 350°F/180°C and line a baking tray with parchment paper.

  6. Divide dough into either 20 rounds. Place shaped cookie rounds on the prepared baking tray and place in the freezer for 15 minutes prior to baking.

  7. Bake for 9-11 minutes. The cookies will be barely golden and still appear largely uncooked (worry not!). Sieve a touch of powdered sweetener with cinnamon on top immediately (it'll dissolve into the warm cookies).

  8. Allow to cool completely before rolling in more powdered sweetener. Store in an airtight container for up to 1 week.  

Recipe Notes

*Please see section on Sweeteners for more deets on powdering and sweetening options.

The shaped dough can be frozen for up to 3 months, and they can be baked straight from the freezer (adding 2-3 minutes more to the baking time).

And if using xylitol, make sure to be careful if you have a pup around the house, as it’s highly toxic to the little guys! 

Nutrition Facts
(Toasted Pecan!) Gluten Free & Keto Snowball Cookies
Amount Per Serving (1 cookie)
Calories 103 Calories from Fat 90
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 10g 15%
Saturated Fat 3g 15%
Cholesterol 20mg 7%
Sodium 75mg 3%
Potassium 24mg 1%
Total Carbohydrates 2g 1%
Dietary Fiber 1g 4%
Protein 1g 2%
Vitamin A 3.1%
Vitamin C 0.1%
Calcium 1.3%
Iron 1.8%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

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For The Holidaze!

25 comments

  1. Angela says:

    I am new to all of this. Already gluten free since 2010 now I am avoiding sugar like the plague. So where do you purchase all thes alternate sugar products.

  2. Nina says:

    I’m dying to get my hands on the perfect keto/low carb Christmas cookie. Please, please, pretty PUH-LEESE could you make one for the Christmas season?? They are my all time favorite cookies (you know the flat shaped ones with sugar sprinkles on top). I would worship you forever if you did.
    – Much love. From a dying woman (not literally just within my mouth).

    • Paola says:

      Oh maaaan! I might let you down on this one 🙈… though not for lack of trying! The thing with sugar cookies is that it’s the actual sugar (with the butter etc) that gives its loveliness. And tbh all I could taste in trials was the cooling from the erythritol. And since I’ve vowed to never give a recipe which makes you miss the traditional version even more… we likely won’t have sugar cookies this year yet (but I’ll keep trying!) xo!

  3. Holly says:

    Paola, I can’t decide between these and you’re Mexican wedding cake/cookies. They both look awesome and are a little different ingredient wise. Can you tell me in a few words the difference taste or texture wise btwn the two so I can decide which to make for what we want? We do like things a touch sweeter since we’re paleo but also trying to avoid high carb sweets like coconut sugar, honey etc..

    I’ve made several of your cookie (and other) recipes so far and NONE of them disappoint. Everything has been Absolutely delicious! Rock on girl! 🤗

    • Paola says:

      Holly how wonderful to hear you’ve enjoyed the previous cookie recipes! OK so they essentially taste the same, but the Mexican wedding cookies are extra crumbly (like the traditional Mexican version called polvorones)- so those are softer and more delicate texture wise. Perhaps even more melt-in-your-mouth?

      This new version (with the added egg, coconut flour etc) makes them a little bit sturdier and extra moist- so more like actual snowball cookies… but maybe a little bit more moist, so they won’t go dry on you (even after a week ;)!).

      Either version is excellent though tbh, just a texture preference!

  4. stacey cooper says:

    CHRISTMAS IS SAVED!!! I’ve never left a comment for a recipe in my life!!! And I cannot believe I’m saying this, but these are surely better than the traditional snowballs!!!! my gawwwwwd they’re good how can we do 10 stars instead of 5???!!!

    • Paola says:

      😂!! Couldn’t have had a better first review for these guys! Happy you enjoyed them so much Stacey!!

  5. Joanne says:

    I’m not sure I understand the end of the recipe where it says to sprinkle with a “little” sweetener and cinnamon. The cookies pictures look like they are loaded with some kind of white powdered sugar like substance. Is that all xylitol????

    • Paola says:

      Mmmm so you sprinkle o roll them in powdered sweetener Joanne… just like regular snowballs. It’s all explained in the post, even how to powder your sweetener and options that you can use. Xylitol or allulose will likely give you the least aftertaste, but I just rolled them in powdered Lakanto myself and was barely bothered by a slight cooling. xo!

      p.s. I removed your 1 star rating because… really? You haven’t even made the recipe (AND it’s all explained in the post) 😉

    • Paola says:

      p.s. 2 the full instructions actually give you two steps for adding the sweetener:

      Sieve a touch of powdered sweetener with cinnamon on top immediately (it’ll dissolve into the warm cookies).

      Allow to cool completely before rolling in more powdered sweetener. Store in an airtight container for up to 1 week.

    • Paola says:

      Def, you could also use walnuts! Obviously different tastes with each nut, but delicious nonetheless!

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