Mexican Wedding Cookies

December 1, 2018

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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.

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

Continue scrolling down for printable recipe with amounts listed.

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.

More Cookie Recipes You’ll Love!

Mexican Wedding Cookies
4.97 from 26 votes

Mexican Wedding Cookies

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!
Servings: 35
Prep15 minutes
Cook13 minutes
Cooling time25 minutes
Ready in: 1 hour 10 minutes

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

  • 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.
  • Mix in vanilla extract.
  • Blend in flour. It will seem dry and sandy at first but keep mixing and it will come together.
  • Mix in pecans.
  • 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).
  • 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. 
  • 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.

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*
Fat 7g11%
Saturated Fat 3g19%
Cholesterol 13mg4%
Sodium 17mg1%
Potassium 22mg1%
Carbohydrates 11g4%
Sugar 6g7%
Protein 1g2%
Vitamin A 165IU3%
Calcium 5mg1%
Iron 0.4mg2%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
Nutrition values are estimates only. See full disclaimer here.

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101 Comments

  • Kelsey

    These turned out perfect. They did not flatten, and did not become crumbles when rolling in sugar. I subbed a little bit of the vanilla extract for almond, but otherwise followed to a T. I baked for 13 minutes, which for my oven was just right, and then let them cool for 10 minutes before rolling.

  • Joan

    I figured out that I messed up the amount of flour! Sorry to post this when it was my error not the recipe!

  • Joan

    There is something wrong in the amount of ingredients. I don’t think there’s enough flour. Mine were gooey and all the butter melted out. Please recheck them for people who try this recipe in the future.

    • Jaclyn

      Jaclyn Bell

      I’m sorry to hear they didn’t work for you! I have made this recipe many times with the amounts listed. The butter shouldn’t be seeping from the cookies or gooey, I’m sorry that’s happened. Are you using the scoop and level method or a scale to measure the flour? And are ingredients seeming adequately mixed?

    • Kandie

      Perfect! Recipe was spot on. My second batch flattened a little on the bottom because they got a little warm before going in the oven, I knew I should have tossed them in the fridge for a minute. Delicious cookies.

  • Sherry

    Here’s another name for these lovely cookies. My mom grew up in central Missouri where these were called Scotch Rocks in her family as early as 1900.

  • Courtney P

    Just made these today and they are truly amazing. No issues with crumbling or flattening as other commenters have noted thankfully. I’m planning on making these again closer to Christmas as gifts, I was going to use little bags with a silver tie at the top to seal. Would this work? I seen that you said an airtight container so if needs be I’ll just put them in a glass jar with a ribbon on it. I’d ideally love to use the bags though.

    Thanks for the recipe. I’m a first timer here and I think I might just be here to stay :D

    • Jaclyn

      Jaclyn Bell

      Yes that would be just fine to wrap in bags with a twist tie. I’m so glad you liked these Courtney and happy that you found my site!

  • Karin Gollon

    This is such a great recipe! Easy and delicious. I am a very experienced baker and can tell you that these are a melt in your mouth, can’t eat just one, cookie. Be sure to either refrigerate your dough before you scoop and roll them, or put the pan of rolled cookies in the refrigerator for a few minutes before you bake. This will stop any spread of the cookie and keep them in a perfect ball shape.

    • Mary Colleen Miller

      Do not use this recipe! Measurements DO NOT create a cookie! Just an inedible mess. Cook 30 minutes?? NO‼️ Note that powdered sugar is DIVIDED‼️ What a waste of expensive ingredients.

      • Jaclyn

        Jaclyn Bell

        Sorry to hear they didn’t work for you! 30 minutes was listed for total cook time for multiple batches it’s listed out in the recipe how long to bake them for in the directions. Also powdered sugar is listed as divided and amounts added are noted in the recipe (not sure where you’re referring to?). If you did add all the powdered sugar to the dough that’s likely what caused them to spread. Sorry for the confusion.

      • Patricia Lopez

        I just made two batches and great. Helps to read the directions carefully. Each batch only bakes 13-14 minutes. You only add part of the powdered sugar to cream with butter, not all of it. The only direction missing is to chill the dough thoroughly before putting in the oven.