Make Showstopping 3D Snowball Cookies at Home!

Last week, I shared my butter cookie dough recipe and encouraged you to improvise with whatever you have in your fridge. I hope some of you had fun making your own butter cookies at home. You can do so much with this versatile cookie dough recipe during the holidays. This past Friday was a cookie exchange at Weston Country School. It’s our tradition to make cookies to show our appreciation for the teachers. Last year, I made French macarons, and they were gone in seconds. Since the teachers and the students know I am a professional baker, I cannot get away with bringing some Kit Kat bars and calling it a day.


This year, I wanted to make some showstopping cookies that are hard to find in bakeries. Since we’ve already had a ton of snow this December in Boston, I wanted to make some cookies that were festive and relevant to snow. It suddenly occurred to me that ever since Amber was little, she has always liked snowballs! We collect snowballs from different cities when we travel. Her favorite one is from the airport in Sicily. I decided to use the butter cookies to create 3D Snowball Cookies!


First, you will make butter cookies. To learn how to make 1 batch of butter cookie dough, read my blog “Tis the Season for Holiday Cookies!


Basic Butter Cookie

Prep Time30 mins
Cook Time15 mins
AuthorMelissa Lee


  • 3 sticks unsalted butter softened
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 3-3/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt


  • Preheat the oven to 350 F.
  • In a large bowl, cream the butter and sugar until mixed. Switch to a fork and beat the butter mixture until light and fluffy. (Use the same motion you would use for whisking scrambled eggs.)
  • Switch back to the spoon and beat in the eggs and vanilla. Beat in flour gradually, mixing just until dough it's combined. If your hands are clean, ditch the spoon and get in there with your fingertips!
  • Flatten the dough into a disc and wrap in cling wrap. Refrigerate for 2 hour.
  • Slice the cookie dough and place the cookie dough on the sheet pan. Since the butter cookie dough spreads out a little bit in the oven, place each cookie dough at least 1 inch apart from each other.
  • Bake for 10–12 minutes. Rotate the sheet pan in the middle of baking, so the cookies get brown evenly.
  • Let the cookies cool down on a rack.


This makes 2 lbs dough. You can make 6 dozens of butter cookies from this dough. 

Did you make this recipe?


Tag @cookingbeautifullee on Instagram and hashtag it #cookedbeautifullee.


To create the snowball (or background) part of these tasty cookies, you’ll make Homemade Marshmallow Fondant (1/2 pound).


Homemade Marshmallow Fondant

Prep Time10 mins
Cook Time0 mins
AuthorMelissa Lee


  • 10 ounces miniature marshmallows
  • 1 pound of powdered sugar plus extra for dusting
  • 1 tablespoon water


  • Spray a rubber spatula with cooking spray or smear it with some Crisco shortening.
  • Place the marshmallows and the water in a large microwave-safe bowl. Microwave on HIGH for 1 minute, until the marshmallows are puffy and expanded.
  • Stir the marshmallows with a rubber spatula until they are melted and smooth. If some marshmallow pieces remain intact, return them to microwave for 30–45 seconds, until the marshmallow mixture is entirely smooth and free of lumps.
  • Scoop the sugar into the melted marshmallow. Stir slowly with the spatula to form a ball like bread dough.
  • Spread a little sugar on the counter. Transfer the dough to the counter and knead it until it’s smooth and no longer sticky. Do this for about 5 minutes. (It will be hot at first, so be careful!)
  • Once the fondant is a smooth ball, it is ready to be used. Use immediately or wrap it well in cling wrap and store in the fridge. You will have to knead it to make it supple again.

Did you make this recipe?


Tag @cookingbeautifullee on Instagram and hashtag it #cookedbeautifullee.


Once cookies and marshmallow fondant are complete, you can assemble the 3D Snowball Cookies.


3D Snowball Cookies

Prep Time20 mins
Cook Time0 mins
AuthorMelissa Lee


  • Circle cookie cutter
  • Small paintbrush
  • Pastry brush
  • Fondant roller


  • Corn syrup
  • Royal icing
  • Crushed candy canes
  • Assorted sprinkles
  • Christmas cupcake decorative candies such as mini gingerbread men, mini Santas, mini Christmas trees, etc.


  • First, count your cookies. Each 3D Snowball Cookie calls for 2.25 cookies—one for the front, one for the bottom, and ¼ as the back support. We will cut the cookies into quarters for the back, and it’s normal that some will crack when you cut them. So always minus two to three from your final cookie count. For example, the math for two dozen cookies looks like 24/2.25=10.66. But plan to make seven or eight 3D Cookies rather than ten.
  • After you do the count, pick the nicer looking ones and use them as the front. Use the okay looking ones as the bottom. Use the worst looking ones as the back support. Put them into three categories: good, okay, and the worst.
  • Roll out the marshmallow fondant, so it’s 1/8-inch thick and cut out circles that match the size of the cookies.
  • Use the pastry brush to paint corn syrup on the top of the cookies. Attach the marshmallow fondant to the cookies.
  • Use the small paintbrush and the corn syrup as glue to stick some cupcake decorative candies onto the marshmallow fondant.
  • Brush some corn syrup at the edge of the cookies and dip the cookies into the sprinkles or candy canes to get a nice decorated frame.
  • Trim the bottom of each front cookie.
  • Cut support cookies into quarters.
  • Use royal icing to secure the front cookies and make it stand. Viola! Your 3D cookies are done!

Did you make this recipe?


Tag @cookingbeautifullee on Instagram and hashtag it #cookedbeautifullee.


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Melissa Lee

Melissa Lee

Cheif Entertainment Officer

Melissa is 100% MIT (Made in Taiwan), where she worked as a food writer. She’s also worked alongside renowned chefs like Ming Tsai and Joanne Chang, honing her craft and gathering stories along the way. Part story-teller, part educator, and part food lover, Melissa brings a special blend of experience, skill, and enthusiasm to her work. She blends her Asian background, her new home of New England, and love of food and culture to bring joy, optimism, and inspiration to food lovers and fun-seekers everywhere.

What sparked your passion for the industry?
The desire to make things by hand. The joy of sharing delicious, hearty food with students. The opportunity for people to get connected via cooking and baking. When a child smiled broadly and told me it’s the best scone he has ever made and eaten, it really made my day!

In your opinion, what’s the most important course?
Well, I usually take a peek at the wine list first. I like tapas style, so the course doesn’t really matter. Cheese and charcuterie are always a good place to start. And since I’m a pastry chef, there is always room for dessert!

Bill Gates is picking up your tab, where would you go?
Noma, Copenhagen.

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