Mocha Pecan Butterball Cookies Recipe

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Avatar Author's default profile picture Team Published: September 13, 2021 Modified: September 14, 2021
Mocha Pecan Butterball Cookies Recipe

These butterball cookies are versatile treats that you can serve on any occasion. You can mix any ingredients into the dough and they will surely come out even tastier! We’re adding roasted pecan nuts to our dough in this mocha cookie recipe, to give these pecan snowball cookies a delightful flavor and contrasting texture. Aside from this sweet and nutty treat, another unique dessert that we recommend making is brownie cookies with cookie dough frosting.

Tips in Making Mocha Pecan Butterball Cookies

You might be asking,  “What are butterball cookies?” Also known as Christmas cookies, Italian cookies, and Russian tea cakes, butterball cookies are exactly what it sounds like butter rolled into a dough, baked and covered in powdered sugar. Sounds delicious, right? Let’s get right to the tips and start making these unique holiday treats.

  • Try adding spices to your soft mocha cookies. Cinnamon powder, nutmeg, or cloves give an earthy hint and an aromatic scent. For added sweetness, you can use chocolate chips or dates.
  • You can use white chocolate chips in your batter just like in our red velvet white chocolate chip cookies. Kids and adults alike will love this addition and won’t be able to say no to these mouthwatering chocolate nut balls. 
  • Add half a teaspoon of peppermint extract to make it more festive. You’ll be reminded of the smell and taste of the Christmas season.
  • If you can’t find any pecans or don’t want to use them, you can use macadamia nuts and walnuts instead. 
  • Refrigerate your dough for 5 minutes just before baking them. This will help them retain their shape while they bake. 

How To Make Mocha Pecan Butter Cookies

These soft and crunchy butterball cookies make the perfect sweet treat for Christmas Eve! They are made more exhilaratingly delicious with instant coffee and cocoa powder added in. You won’t be able to get enough of this Italian Christmas cookie recipe.

Prep: 20 mins
Cook: 17 mins
Total: 37 mins
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  • ½ cup unsalted butter, softened
  • 2 eggs, large
  • 2 cups powdered sugar, divided
  • 1 tbsp instant coffee granules
  • cup cocoa powder
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 4 tsp baking powder
  • 1 cup pecans, roasted, finely chopped

To Serve:

  • ½ cup powdered sugar, to coat


  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

  2. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

  3. In a mixing bowl, cream the butter and 1½ cups of powdered sugar together until smooth.  Add the egg and vanilla extract then set aside.

  4. In another bowl, whisk the instant coffee, cocoa, flour, and salt.

  5. Stir in the chopped pecans. Combine the dry ingredients and the butter mixture then mix until just incorporated.

  6. Shape the dough mixture into 1-inch balls and place on ungreased sheets 2-inches apart.

  7. Bake for about 14 to 16 minutes or until firm. Cool them down on the baking pan for 1 to 2 minutes.

  8. Roll them in the remaining powdered sugar while warm, let them cool on wire racks, then serve!

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Frequently Asked Questions

Why did my butterball cookies flatten?

It might be because you overworked the dough. Take note that once the dry ingredients are incorporated, you’re ready to roll them into balls. Additionally, adding too much butter and baking them at room temperature may cause them to come out flat. So don’t forget to chill the dough for at least 5 minutes before baking. This will ensure a successful batch of butterball cookies with pecans every time.

Can you freeze butterball cookie dough?

Any cookie dough with a lot of butter like in this recipe will be good for freezing. Just be sure to cover the dough in cling wrap or use a Ziploc bag and freeze for up to 3 months. When you’re ready to bake again, defrost the dough, shape it and you’re good to go for another batch!



You’ll soon be baking these soft mocha pecan butterballs as much as the classic chocolate chip. Soft yet crunchy, the contrasting texture will be a sure surprise to the family. Serve these soft snowball cookies with a warm chocolate drink for a classic Christmas combo.

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