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Mexican wedding cookies are a good cookie. They are tender and buttery and crumbly and topped with powdery soft sugar that melts in your mouth. I think that’s the best part!
Mexican wedding cookies by any other name are still cookies. However these powdered sugar delights are also known as snowballs, polverones, Russian tea cakes, butterballs, Swedish tea cakes, melting moments and well…I’m sure I could come up with more names if I tried.
But I’m tired! I just wanted to gift you one final cookie recipe and make sure you had a happy holiday.
I’ve never met anyone that didn’t like this cookie of many names. It’s hard to go wrong with a cookie that can be made in many varieties. Yes, you can add cocoa to make Chocolate Mexican wedding cookies as well as sub in your favorite nut. You can add in cinnamon or anise or nutmeg or pepper. The list keeps growing with countless versions for this simple cookie.
The dough for this cookie is not overly sweet. It is buttery and floury and has the flavor of the nuts of your choice along with the dash of vanilla, I used. It isn’t the kind of dough you eat out of the bowl.
After a chilling period, the dough is scooped into balls and after they are baked, rolled in sugar. Now it’s time for a little taste, if you choose.
But one thing always remains the same. That simple dusting of sweet powdered sugar that melts in one’s mouth upon that first bite. I dust mine twice. First when warm and then again after they have cooled. The dogs love licking the powdered sugar off the floor, because yes; it will end up on the floor.
As there are countless flavor variations for this simple cookie, there are also countless Mexican wedding cookie recipes that are so similar but also so different. I have made many versions over the years and probably will make many more, but this time I managed to bake Dorie Greenspan’s version and also one from the Kitchn. Two totally different methods, that still ended up at the same cookie.
Upon taste testing both, I will tell you that they still taste the same, which honestly surprised me. So. I will give you what I thought was the easier version, because at this point in the year, I really need easy.
But when are Mexican Wedding Cookies more than a cookie?
And the answer is….When they celebrate an engagement!
After what seems a very long 12 years I am happy to announce that my sweet Zoe is engaged to the man of her dreams. Soon, but not that soon, Evan will become part of our nuclear family.
Finally after 12 years, they are no longer boyfriend and girlfriend. They have become fiances! (And no, I have never figured out how to add the accent over the e!)
Zoe and Evan drove a long way after our wonderful Thanksgiving where unbeknownst to me, Evan planned a surprise for my darling daughter. After a long snowshoe hike, in the middle of an open meadow he got down on one knee and well, you know the rest.
Actually, you don’t. Apparently Zoe was so tired she could barely say yes. She also did not want to put the ring on in the middle of this snow covered meadow, for fear she might drop it and then never find it again until Spring!
Evan said he’s never seen her snowshoe so fast getting down the mountain…and all because she wanted that ring on her finger! Yes, it is a pretty ring!
And now this engagement will be followed by a wedding. Of course, not until 2021 which sounds very faraway to me. As long as they don’t wait another 12 years to have children, I think I’ll be OK.
We did manage a small impromptu engagement party in between emergency room visits and hospital room visits with Alex…yes we were quite busy. All turned out well for everyone.
Somehow I did manage to make these Mexican wedding cookies to go with our cheese and charcuterie platters. The future Mr. and Mrs. something were quite pleased. In fact, I do believe they were walking on air.
Kind of funny but when I think abut marriage, these Mexican wedding cookies seem fitting. These nutty, crumbly cookies held together by rich butter, coated in fragile powdery sugar, just might be an analogy for a future life.
Life isn’t always walking on air; sometimes it needs the butter, the stamina and persistence to keep it together, and the sweet richness of sugar to help remember all that is good.
May your lives be coated in sweet glorious sugar. May you always treat each other tenderly with sweetness.
So. Don’t ever forget the butter. And don’t ever forget the sugar. A cookie can’t exist without both.
And either can you.
When I bake these are a few things I rely on:
I had a Hamilton Beach for years. Until I gave it to Alex. Then I bought a Kitchen Aid. Big mistake. I’d happily go back to this one. And it is cheap!
I don’t use them often but when I do I get excited. I know. I’m a bit strange that way. Since they last almost forever, I just might have to try this version next!
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Everyone needs a Mexican wedding cookies recipe. These glorious tender bites, coated with powdered sugar go by many names, but I just call them good!
1 1/2 cups pecan halves (about 5 1/2 ounces), or equivalent weight in
2 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 sticks (8 ounces) unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 1/2 cups powdered sugar, divided
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Colored Sugar (optional)
Finely chop the nuts or transfer the nuts to a food processor fitted with the blade attachment and process into a fine meal; set aside.
Combine the dry ingredients. Place the flour, chopped nuts, and salt in a medium bowl and whisk to combine; set aside.
Cream the butter and 1/2 c of the powdered sugar. Beat on medium-high speed until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes.
Beat in the vanilla. Stop the mixer and scrape down the paddle and sides of the bowl with a rubber spatula.
Add the flour mixture to the butter mixture on low speed and gradually beat in the flour mixture until just combined. (I always cover the mixer with a dish towel during this step so I don’t have flour flying all over the kitchen!)
Chill the dough. Transfer the dough to a piece of plastic wrap, form into a 1-inch-thick disc, and wrap completely in the plastic. Refrigerate until firm but still soft enough to scoop, 45 minutes to 1 hour.
Preheat the oven to 350 with oven rack in middle position. I always bake my cookies one sheet at a time. Prepare your baking sheets by lining with parchment or Silpat liners.
Form the dough into 1 tablespoon balls and place on the baking sheets, spacing them at least 1 1/4-inches apart. (If you choose to use colored sugar, now is the time to roll them in it. You will still coat them with powdered sugar after they bake. This just gives them a touch of sparkle!)
Bake for 8 minutes.
Cool for 10 minutes. While still warm, gently coat each cookie completely in powdered sugar and place on a rack. Let cool completely, about 15 minutes more, then coat again in the powdered sugar.
Make ahead: The dough can be made, formed into balls, and frozen directly on the baking sheet. Store the frozen cookie dough balls in freezer zip-top bags or an airtight container for up to 2 months. Bake frozen, adding 1 to 2 minutes to the bake time, and continue with coating with powdered sugar.You can also freeze the fully baked cookies without powdered sugar; thaw completely before coating in powdered sugar.
Storage: The cookies can be stored in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 3 days.
Keywords: Mexican Wedding Cookies Recipe, Mexican wedding cookies, recipe for Mexican wedding cookies
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