Mexican wedding cookies are similar to Russian tea cakes, snowballs, and Italian wedding cookies. They are all butter cookies, usually made with finely chopped nuts—walnuts or pecans—which are finished with a powdered sugar coating.
These little melt-in-your-mouth butter and vanilla cookies are quick and easy to mix and bake.
The cookies are made without the addition of eggs, making the dough similar to shortbread dough. Instead of rolling or patting the dough, the cookies are shaped into balls before baking. See the variations below the recipe for a lemon version, one with cinnamon, and a chocolate filled version.
The recipe is easily scaled up or down. If you want just one pan of buttery cookies, cut all ingredients by half. Or scale it up for a party or gathering.
Let the cookies cool a bit before you roll them in the powdered sugar a second time.
- 1 1/2 cups powdered sugar (divided)
- 2 sticks/8 ounces butter (softened)
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract (pure)
- 1/8 teaspoon salt
- 2 cups/9 ounces flour (all-purpose)
- 1 cup walnuts (finely chopped, or pecans)
Gather the ingredients.
Heat the oven to 400 F. Line cookie sheets with parchment paper or leave them ungreased.
In a mixing bowl with an electric mixer, beat 1/2 cup powdered sugar and butter until smooth.
Add the vanilla to the sugar and butter mixture along with the salt and flour; mix until well blended. Fold in the finely chopped nuts.
With floured hands, shape the cookie dough into small balls. Arrange them on the baking sheets; bake in the preheated oven for 10 to 15 minutes.
Meanwhile, sift the remaining 1 cup of powdered sugar into a wide, shallow bowl.
When the cookies are still slightly warm, roll them in sifted powdered sugar to coat thoroughly.
Let the cookies cool thoroughly and roll them in powdered sugar again. Alternatively, use a shaker to coat the cookies the second time.
- Store the cookies in a tightly covered container at room temperature or freeze them for up to 3 months.
- This dough can be wrapped and frozen in a disk to shape and bake later. Or shape the dough into balls, freeze on a baking sheet in a single layer, then transfer to freezer bags for longer storage. Defrost and bake as directed.
- To freeze the baked cookies, roll them in powdered sugar while slightly warm, cool completely, and freeze on a baking sheet. When frozen solid, transfer the cookies to bags; label and date. Thaw at room temperature and then roll them in powdered sugar a second time.
- If you prefer, these cookies may also be flattened slightly using the bottom of a glass, the tines of a fork, or a spatula.
- Chocolate Filled: Shape each ball of cookie dough around a semisweet chocolate chunk.
- Cinnamon: Blend 1 teaspoon of cinnamon into the flour before you add it to the butter mixture.
- Lemon: Add 2 teaspoons of finely grated lemon zest to the butter mixture and omit the vanilla.