Mexican Wedding Cookies

These Mexican wedding cookies are tender, delicate, and full of rich, buttery pecan flavor. Dusted in powdered sugar, they're a perfect holiday treat.

Mexican wedding cookies

Mexican wedding cookies are one of my favorite holiday treats. They have a rich, nutty flavor and a texture so delicate that they practically melt in your mouth. This recipe makes a decent batch – about 40 cookies – but I still wouldn’t expect it to last long. The last time I made these Mexican wedding cookies, they all vanished in two days flat!

Mexican wedding cookies recipe ingredients

Mexican Wedding Cookies Recipe Ingredients

Mexican wedding cookies go by many different names: snowballs, Russian tea cakes, Mexican wedding cakes, polvorones, and more. I did some digging on their history while I was working on this recipe, and it turns out, we don’t really know where they originated.

Because of their high nut to flour ratio, some historians believe they were first made in the Middle East or Eastern Europe. Either way, they likely came to Mexico through Spanish migrants in the 16th century. Today, cookies like these are still made in countries across the world!

At their most basic, Mexican wedding cookies consist of flour, butter, finely chopped nuts, confectioner’s sugar, and vanilla extract. I add a few extra ingredients to my recipe for an even cozier, Christmasy taste. Here’s what you’ll need to make it:

  • Toasted pecans: Nuts are a key ingredient in any Mexican wedding cookies recipe, and pecans are always my top pick. They add rich, nutty flavor to the simple dough.
  • Butter: For moisture and additional richness.
  • All-purpose flour: It brings the dough together.
  • Powdered sugar: You’ll add some to the dough and dust the rest on top of the cookies. You can use store-bought, or make your own.
  • Vanilla and cinnamon: They add warm depth of flavor to the rich, buttery cookies.
  • Almond extract: It’s not a traditional ingredient in Mexican wedding cookies, but I love how it brings out the pecans’ nutty flavor.
  • And sea salt: To make all the flavors pop!

Find the complete recipe with measurements below.

Toasted pecans in a food processor

How to Make Mexican Wedding Cookies

Heads up: you’ll need soft, room temperature butter to make this recipe! If you store your butter in the fridge or the freezer, make sure to let it soften on your countertop for an hour or two before you get to work.

For me, remembering to allow the butter to soften is the toughest part of making this Mexican wedding cookies recipe. After that, it’s easy:

First, prep the pecans. Toast them in a dry skillet over low heat for 5 minutes, or until they’re nice and fragrant. Then, place them in a food processor…

Finely chopped pecans in a food processor

…and pulse until they form a coarse meal.

cookie dough in a stand mixer

Next, make the dough. You’ll cream together the butter, 1/2 cup powdered sugar, and the salt until light and fluffy. Then, mix in the vanilla and almond extracts and gradually add the flour and cinnamon. Finally, mix in the pecans.

Hands rolling cookie dough into balls

Then, form the cookies. Use a 1-tablespoon cookie scoop to scoop the dough, and use your hands to roll it into balls. Arrange the balls on two parchment-lined baking sheets.

Tip: If the dough is too sticky to work with, pop it in the fridge for 30 minutes to firm up before you roll the cookies.

Hands dusting Mexican wedding cookies with powdered sugar

Finally, bake! Bake the cookies for 13-16 minutes, or until they’re just golden. Allow them to cool on the baking sheet for 15 minutes before rolling them in powdered sugar. That’s it!

Add the cookies to a holiday cookie plate, or enjoy them with a cup of hot chocolate. Happy baking!

Mexican wedding cookies recipe

More Favorite Holiday Treats

If you love these Mexican wedding cookies, try one of these holiday treats next:

Mexican Wedding Cookies

rate this recipe:
5 from 22 votes
Prep Time: 20 mins
Cook Time: 20 mins
Cooling Time: 15 mins
Serves 40 cookies
These Mexican wedding cookies have an irresistible melt-in-your-mouth texture and rich, buttery pecan flavor. They're perfect for the holidays or any time you're craving a sweet treat.

Ingredients

  • 1 heaping cup pecans
  • cups powdered sugar, divided
  • cups all-purpose flour
  • ¼ teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • ½ teaspoon sea salt
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon almond extract

Instructions

  • Preheat the oven to 350°F and line two baking sheets with parchment paper.
  • In a medium skillet over low heat, toast the pecans for about 5 minutes, until fragrant. Transfer the nuts to a food processor and pulse to form a coarse meal.
  • Measure ¾ cup of the powdered sugar into a medium bowl and set aside for rolling.
  • In another medium bowl, mix together the flour and the cinnamon.
  • In the bowl of a stand mixer, cream the butter, the remaining ½ cup powdered sugar, and the salt until light and fluffy. Mix in the vanilla and almond extracts. Gradually add the flour mixture and then the pecans and mix until combined.
  • Use a 1-tablespoon cookie scoop to scoop the dough. Then, use your hands to roll it into balls and place them on the baking sheets. If the dough is too sticky to handle, chill it in the fridge for 30 minutes before rolling.
  • Bake for 13 to 16 minutes, until just golden. Let cool on the baking sheets for 15 minutes, then roll the warm cookies in the reserved powdered sugar.
  • Transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.

14 comments

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Rate this recipe (after making it)




  1. Ashley
    11.06.2022

    Has anyone tried freezing the dough? Would it dry it out?

  2. Elvira
    10.12.2022

    5 stars
    What is the best way to store these yummy cookies and for how long?

    • Jeanine Donofrio
      10.21.2022

      Hi Elvira, in an air tight container on the counter for about 5 days.

  3. Cari
    01.29.2022

    They’re super yummy but my scoop was definitely bigger than yours as my yield was 24. Are they supposed to retain their round shape. Mine kept a domed top but flattened on the bottom. Should I have put them in the fridge first?

    • Jeanine Donofrio
      02.01.2022

      Hi Cari, they do flatten a bit at the bottom – the smaller scoop could have made a difference. 30 minutes in the fridge would probably help too.

  4. R
    01.07.2022

    I was so excited about these, but 13-16 minutes is too long! I had mine in for 12 minutes and they were so dry and crumbly. Had to throw them out! 😫

  5. Allie
    12.21.2021

    Just made these! I used King Arthur Gluten Free flour… I did think they were a little more crumbly/dry than the non gf version, but they tasted great.

  6. Madi
    12.16.2021

    Would it be possible to make the dough in advance and refrigerate it overnight?

    • Liz
      12.23.2021

      Yes, that totally works.

  7. claire de wit
    12.05.2021

    If I just get ground pecans, how much should I use?

    • Jeanine Donofrio
      12.06.2021

      Hi Claire, I don’t think the packaged ground ones come as finely as they need to be for the recipe.

  8. Laura
    11.30.2021

    Will this work with vegan butter

    • Jeanine Donofrio
      12.05.2021

      Hi Laura, I haven’t tried, but I think it could spread too much, it often reacts so differently. But check out this post about our vegan desserts, there are a lot of cookie recipes in here: https://www.loveandlemons.com/vegan-desserts/

      • Christle
        12.19.2021

        I tried it with Vegan butter and they turned out great!

A food blog with fresh, zesty recipes.
Photograph of Jeanine Donofrio and Jack Mathews in their kitchen

Hello, we're Jeanine and Jack.

We love to eat, travel, cook, and eat some more! We create & photograph vegetarian recipes from our home in Chicago, while our shiba pups eat the kale stems that fall on the kitchen floor.