The other name for these delicious American cookies is pecan puffs, but with their coating of icing sugar, they look more like snowballs. In fact, they aren’t puffy but more like a nutty shortbread.


  • 125 g (4 oz) butter, softened
  • 50 g (2 oz) caster sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla essence
  • 150 g (5 oz) pecan halves, ground finely
  • 200 g (7 oz) plain flour
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • Icing sugar


Preheat the oven to 140°C, 275°F, Gas Mark 1. Grease a baking sheet. Beat the butter until very soft, then beat in the caster sugar until fluffy. Beat in the vanilla essence. Stir in the pecans. Sift in the flour and salt and stir until mixed in.

Form the dough into balls the size of large marbles. Arrange on the baking sheet. Bake for 35-40 minutes. Remove from the oven and leave for 1-2 minutes. Sift icing sugar into a bowl and dip each ball into it to coat with sugar – handle delicately as they are crumbly while still warm. Cool on a wire rack.