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

5 from 9 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!

Servings: 35
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Cooling time 25 minutes
Total Time 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

  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*
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.
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: Mexican
Keyword: Mexican Wedding Cookies
Author: Jaclyn

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42 Comments

  • Jennifer

    Be careful with a hand mixer. Making these cookies is how I broke mine. They’re not built for this kind of dough. As soon as it starts to get too tough to blend, turn it off and mix it by hand

  • Jennifer

    Absolutely delicious! I used chopped walnuts and 1 tsp each of vanilla and almond extract. They taste even better a couple of days later after the flavors have all had a chance to marry. Brought them to work and they literally vanished within an hour. Now I’m making batch #2.

    • Jaclyn

      Jaclyn Bell

      I love almond extract in cookies! So glad you enjoyed these, thanks for your review!

  • Diana W

    Increase powdered sugar to 3/4 cup in mix. Adhere to a level tablespoon when forming balls.

  • brendasrolls

    We tried your recipe this Christmas and it was one of our favorites among the 15+ treats we made this year! These are really delicious. Thanks for sharing:)

  • Erma J

    Oh yeah! This is a good one. Still warm and I will agree the best recipe I’ve made. My husband is napping and has a surprise in store when he goes wandering for a snack in the middle of the night. His favorite cookie.

  • Kathy DePalma

    Thank you so very much, for bringing me back to my blissful childhood! I used to make these cookies with my grandma, Monnie, at Christmastime!
    She passed away in 1999 and I have not had them since. This recipe tastes exactly like how she made them. Thanks again for the delicious cookies and the recipe, that will be passed down the generations.

    • Jaclyn

      Jaclyn Bell

      I’m so happy to hear that! I loved food that reminds me of my grandma who has passed too.

    • Jaclyn

      Jaclyn Bell

      You can use an electric hand mixer then as the dough gets thick you can mix in the rest of the flour mixture by hand if needed.

  • Michelle

    Love these cookies. Took them to work and they disappeared so fast. I made them with walnuts and they were fine. I have passed your recipe on to everyone that ate one, they were so popular. Just on my way to work with a fresh batch now.