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Noel Nut Balls

Mrs. Kostyra's noel nut balls have been a Kostyra family favorite for as long as Martha can remember.

  • Yield: Makes about 5 dozen
Noel Nut Balls


  • 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • 1 teaspoon bourbon or orange juice
  • 2 1/4 cups sifted all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 cup chopped pecans (best if chopped by hand)
  • 1/2 cup sifted confectioners' sugar, plus more for rolling
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt


  1. In an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream butter and honey until fluffy. Add bourbon, and beat to combine. In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, pecans, confectioners' sugar, and salt. Add to the butter mixture, and beat to combine. Wrap in plastic wrap, and refrigerate for 3 hours.

  2. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line baking sheets with Silpats (French nonstick baking mats) or parchment paper. Roll the dough, 2 teaspoons at a time, into balls. Place on prepared baking sheets, leaving 2 inches between them. Bake until brown around the edges, 12 to 13 minutes. Transfer to wire racks to cool completely. Roll in confectioners' sugar to coat.

Reviews (9)

  • sfoust 8 Dec, 2013

    I used a melon baller and got 5 dozen wonderfully sized cookies with no problem. These have become my Christmas tradition. They remind me of Danish Wedding Cookies.

  • Dariah 23 Dec, 2010

    I saw a great tip on the show that is not mentioned here. Before wrapping the dough in plastic form it into a flat disk. When you remove the dough from the refrigerator cut it using a grid pattern into about 1 inch cubes. Then you can take each cube of dough and roll it between your two palms to form the ball. This doesn't make anywhere near 5 dozen, I got 3 dozen cookies.

  • lennycubfan 23 Dec, 2010

    This is a great recipe. Everyone loves them and they are easy to make. My only complaint is the claimed yield of 5 dozen. I don't make them too big and yet I've never got more than 3 dozen. To get 5 dozen you would need to make them the size of a marble.

  • Abramsbear 6 Dec, 2010

    Thanks for re-running this recipe on your Christmas Cookie Special! It is superb and will be our family favorite for years to come!

  • Abramsbear 6 Dec, 2010

    Thanks for re-running this recipe on your Christmas Cookie Special! It is superb and will be our family favorite for years to come!

  • TheresaXXX 18 May, 2010

    These are YUMMY!

    I made up my own variation of them, that I called "Noel Nib Balls"
    Make the cookies according to the recipe above, substituting 1/2 cup of cocoa nibs (roasted cocoa beans) and 1/4 cup of pecans for the 3/4 cup of pecans listed.

    Add cocoa powder to the powdered sugar used for coating the baked and cooled cookies.

    A chocolaty treat with no additional fat!!! These were the hit of my Christmas Cookie platters!

  • tnsnakewmn 19 Dec, 2008

    I made thse for Christmas thinking that these were a type of Bourbon Balls. They were ok...not great. Mine turned out like Cookies, Not at all what I was expecting. Don't overcook...take out of the oven before the edges turn brown...they taste good...just not expecting cookies!
    Merry Christmas!

  • Marthafan76 16 Dec, 2008

    I made these on Sunday,

  • Joannerobin 16 Dec, 2008

    I've been looking for this version for years. My mom made it with orange juice. But her version, i thought had passed with her in 86'. Thank you Martha for giving it back to me.

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