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 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 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.
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…
…and pulse until they form a coarse meal.
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.
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.
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!
More Favorite Holiday Treats
If you love these Mexican wedding cookies, try one of these holiday treats next:
- Easy Sugar Cookies
- Chewy Molasses Cookies
- Thumbprint Cookies
- Lemon Shortbread Cookies
- Best Peanut Butter Cookies
- Or any of these 17 Easy Cookie Recipes!
Mexican Wedding Cookies
- 1 heaping cup pecans
- 1¼ cups powdered sugar, divided
- 1¾ 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
- 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.
I loved these they tasted so good! Can I store them in an airtight container in the fridge or does it have to be on the counter?
Hi Grace, sorry for my slow reply, I think they’ll dry out in the fridge.
These were definitely a step up from the Betty Crocker ones I’ve made for 50 years, with the added cinnamon and almond extract. I used Kerrygold butter since it’s such an integral part of the recipe. The only suggestion I would have is to cool the pecans before processing. They could’ve gone quickly into a paste if I hadn’t been watching, and they also warmed the butter mix, making it harder to work with, even after an hour in the refrigerator. But very yummy!
Great tip, Jane! So glad you loved the cookies.
I loved it so much I made three batches.
Aww so glad you loved the recipe!
Would these work if you used 1/2 cake flour and 1/2 AP flour?
Hi Sandra, I think this would be fine, but we haven’t tried it, so I can’t say for sure.
Has anyone tried freezing the dough? Would it dry it out?
What is the best way to store these yummy cookies and for how long?
Hi Elvira, in an air tight container on the counter for about 5 days.
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?
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.
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! 😫
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.
Would it be possible to make the dough in advance and refrigerate it overnight?
Yes, that totally works.
If I just get ground pecans, how much should I use?
Hi Claire, I don’t think the packaged ground ones come as finely as they need to be for the recipe.
Will this work with vegan butter
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/
I tried it with Vegan butter and they turned out great!