Mexican Wedding Cookies

12.01.2018

Mexican Wedding Cookies are one of the most dreamy cookies! Beautifully round, buttery, pecan dotted cookies are rolled in sweet blizzard of snowy white powdered sugar and they’ll leave you savoring every tender bite. Easily one of my favorite holiday cookies and they couldn’t be easier to make!

Mexican Wedding Cookies

Mexican Wedding Cookies

Who knew one cookie could go by some many different names! You may have also heard these called:

  • Italian Nut Balls or Italian Wedding Cookies
  • Russian Tea Cakes or Swedish Tea Cakes
  • Pecan Sandies
  • Sand Tarts
  • Butterballs
  • Polvorones
  • Viennese Sugar Ball
  • Snowballs or Snowdrops

I think in the U.S. they’re most commonly they’re known as Mexican Wedding Cookies so that’s what we’ll go with here.

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I’ve actually already shared several snowball/wedding cookie recipes but this one is my favorite. They have a melt-in-your-mouth texture, a good moistness, and I can’t resist the classic nutty vanilla flavor.

I’m yet to meet someone who doesn’t love these!

Mexican Wedding Cookies ingredients shown. Flour, butter, sugar, salt, vanilla, pecans, powdered sugar

Only 6 Ingredients Needed for These Cookies!

  • Butter
  • Powdered sugar
  • Salt
  • Vanilla
  • Flour
  • Pecans

Mixing butter and powdered sugar in stand mixer bowl for Mexican Wedding Cookies

How to Make Mexican Wedding Cookies

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line two baking sheets with silicone baking mats or parchment paper.
  • In the bowl of an electric stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment cream together butter, 1/2 cup (60g) powdered sugar and salt until well combined.

Mixing flour into Mexican Wedding Cookie dough.

  • Mix in vanilla extract.
  • Blend in flour.

Sandy flour mixture coming together in mixing bowl. For Mexican Wedding Cookies.

  • It will seem dry and sandy at first but keep mixing and it will come together.

Adding Pecans to Mexican Wedding Cookie batter in stand mixing bowl.

  • Mix in pecans.

Finished Mexican Wedding Cookie dough in mixing bowl.

  • Scoop dough out 1 even tablespoon at a time and shape into balls.
  • Transfer to baking sheet (keep remaining dough balls chilled until ready to bake unless you have a double oven).

Shaped rounds of Mexican wedding cookie dough balls on baking sheet before baking.

  • Bake in preheated oven until nearly set, about 13 – 14 minutes.
  • Let cool on baking sheet until cool enough to handle, about 5 – 8 minutes.

Twenty Mexican Wedding Cookies after baking on baking sheet.

  • Pour remaining 1 1/4 cups (150g) powdered sugar into a small mixing bowl, roll warm cookies one at a time through sugar to coat with a light layer (this layer will seem to melt and get sticky).
  • Transfer to cooling rack and let cool completely then roll in powdered sugar once more to cover. Store in an airtight container.

Can I Freeze These Cookies?

Yes you can freeze them but I’d probably only roll in one layer of powdered sugar, then freeze. After thawing roll again in powdered sugar.

Rolling baked Mexican wedding cookies in powdered sugar after baking.

Tips for Perfect Mexican Wedding Cookies

  • Don’t use fully softened or room temperature butter. Butter should be cool. They’ll spread less using colder butter way.
  • Scoop and level flour to measure, if you use the spoon and level method here cookies will spread more.
  • Chop pecans into small bits. This way they’re more evenly distributed and it just gives the cookie a better overall texture.
  • Don’t bake on greased cookie sheets, that will encourage spreading. Silicone baking mats or parchment paper work best.
  • Roll in powdered sugar while cookies are warm so it sticks.
  • Roll in powdered sugar twice. The first layer will end up being a bit wet and sticky, so roll again and it helps dry it out, plus it gives you a sweeter outer layer.
  • You shouldn’t have issues with spreading cookies (I live at fairly high altitude and these don’t spread on me), but if you do you can try chilling them for 30 minutes after shaping (before you bake them).

Mexican Wedding Cookies

More Mix In Ideas

You can also try replacing pecans with:

  • Chopped slivered almonds or walnuts.
  • Mini chocolate chips.
  • 1/2 cup rainbow jimmies, then also use 1/2 tsp almond extract and just 1 tsp vanilla extract.
  • Stuff with a Hershey’s Kiss or mini Reese’s.
  • Chopped peppermint chunks (like these diced smaller), then also add 1/4 tsp peppermint extract and just 1 tsp vanilla extract.
  • Macadamia nuts and finely shredded coconut (and a little coconut extract too).
  • Add cinnamon or pumpkin pie spice, in addition to the pecans.

Close up image of 14 Mexican Wedding Cookies in a bowl. One broken in half to show texture.

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Mexican Wedding Cookies

5 from 3 votes

These are one of the most dreamy cookies! Beautifully round, buttery, pecan dotted cookies are rolled in sweet blizzard of snowy white powdered sugar and they'll leave you savoring every tender bite. Easily one of my favorite holiday cookies and they couldn't be easier to make!

Course: Dessert
Cuisine: Mexican
Keyword: Mexican Wedding Cookies
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 10 minutes
Servings: 35
Calories: 118 kcal
Author: Jaclyn

Ingredients

  • 1 cup (226g) unsalted butter, softened slightly but still firm, diced into 5 pieces each*
  • 1 3/4 cups (210g) powdered sugar, divided
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 3/4 cups (249g) all-purpose flour**
  • 1 cup (110g) pecans, chopped into small bits

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line two baking sheets with silicone baking mats or parchment paper.

  2. In the bowl of an electric stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment cream together butter, 1/2 cup (60g) powdered sugar and salt until well combined.

  3. Mix in vanilla extract.

  4. Blend in flour. It will seem dry and sandy at first but keep mixing and it will come together.

  5. Mix in pecans.

  6. Scoop dough out 1 even tablespoon at a time and shape into balls. Transfer to baking sheet (keep remaining dough balls chilled until ready to bake unless you have a double oven).

  7. Bake in preheated oven until nearly set, about 13 - 14 minutes.

  8. Let cool on baking sheet until cool enough to handle, about 5 - 8 minutes. 

  9. Pour remaining 1 1/4 cups (150g) powdered sugar into a small mixing bowl, roll warm cookies one at a time through sugar to coat with a light layer (this layer will seem to melt and get sticky). 

  10. Transfer to cooling rack and let cool completely then roll in powdered sugar once more to cover. Store in an airtight container.

Recipe Notes

  • *To soften the butter you can soften in the microwave about 5 seconds per side or let it rest at room temperature about 20 minutes (it should still be fairly firm, it helps the cookies spread less if cold).
  • **Scoop flour into measuring cup and sweep top with butter knife to measure. Or use a kitchen scale for the most consistent results.
  • Tip: if powdered sugar is clumpy always sift. Sift after measuring.
Nutrition Facts
Mexican Wedding Cookies
Amount Per Serving
Calories 118 Calories from Fat 63
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 7g 11%
Saturated Fat 3g 15%
Cholesterol 13mg 4%
Sodium 17mg 1%
Potassium 22mg 1%
Total Carbohydrates 11g 4%
Sugars 6g
Protein 1g 2%
Vitamin A 3.3%
Calcium 0.5%
Iron 2.3%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

7 comments

  • Kelly | Foodtasia: Perfect for the season! One of our favorites! December 3, 2018 at 9:26am Reply

  • Shelly: My husband and I have these every Christmas. We call them butter balls, so many names for these cookies, ha! They are so addicting, yikes! Thanks December 2, 2018 at 6:05pm Reply

  • Laura | Tutti Dolci: I need these buttery cookies in my life, so pretty! December 2, 2018 at 3:22pm Reply

  • AnnW: Are you ready for one more name? ;-)
    My family has always called these Crescent Cookies. But who cares? They’re so good, we just get busy eating them! December 2, 2018 at 8:11am Reply

  • Cheryl: MUST use butter! Using margarine or any other butter substitute and the flavor just isn’t the same! (Actually, that’s my personal baking rule for most cookies!) December 2, 2018 at 7:20am Reply

    • Jaclyn: Yes I totally agree! Butter is 100 times better in cookies, and everything else :). December 2, 2018 at 9:53am Reply

  • Melinda Delano: absolutely love these! December 1, 2018 at 2:24pm Reply

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