Mexican Wedding Cookies Recipe

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Mexican Wedding Cookies

By Maria Lichty

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Quick Summary

Mexican Wedding Cookies (snowballs) are buttery pecan cookies rolled in confectioners sugar. They are a classic Christmas cookie, add them to your holiday baking list this year. 

Mexican Wedding Cookies are a Christmas cookie favorite, but there are SO many different names for these little buttery pecan cookies.

  • Snowballs
  • Russian tea cakes
  • Pecan balls
  • Sand Tarts
  • Mexican wedding cakes
  • Southern pecan butterballs

What do you call them? I call them Mexican Wedding Cookies because that is what my family calls them. To be honest though, when I was little I didn't really like them. I always went for the snickerdoodles, gingersnaps, and chocolate chip cookies instead. BUT now, I LOVE these cookies, because I have found the BEST Mexican Wedding Cookie recipe EVER! You want to know my secret ingredient? It is a game changer! You HAVE to try this recipe!

This is the BEST Wedding Cookie recipe because I use a secret ingredient…CANDIED PECANS.

Traditionally, snowball cookies are made with pecans or walnuts. I prefer pecans so I made them with pecans and they were delicious. But then I made a batch of my favorite candied pecans and decided to try them in the cookie recipe. I don't want to toot my own horn, but it was a pretty genius idea:)

I tried the cookies right away and yep, best idea ever! I used half regular pecans and half candied pecans and I am telling you these are hands down the BEST Mexican Wedding Cookies…snowballs, Russian tea cakes, pecan balls, sand tarts, and southern pecan balls…whatever you want to call them, they are the BEST!

The candied pecans add a little extra sweetness with a hint of cinnamon and brown sugar and that extra candied pecan crunch is SO good! The cookies are buttery, crisp, and they melt in your mouth! They are the perfect holiday cookie.

And it is ok if you make a powdered sugar mess because it looks like snow. You can call it “decorating” for the holidays:)

Tips for making Mexican Wedding Cookies

  • I use half pecans and half candied pecans. You can use all pecans or even walnuts, but I think the pecan/candied pecan ratio is the best.
  • There are equal amounts of nuts and flour in this recipe so you can really taste the pecans.
  • Grind half of the pecans in a food processor so the nuts can release their natural oil. This will help hold the cookies together and the cookies won't be dry.
  • Chop the other half of the nuts so you get the perfect texture and nut crunch.
  • Roll the cookies in confectioners' sugar twice to make sure the cookies are well coated.
  • You can freeze these cookies. Defrost and roll in confectioners' sugar again before serving.

These are a classic Christmas cookie and I promise you will LOVE them. Make these pretty and delicate cookies a holiday tradition!

Find MORE cookie recipes HERE and in my cookie cookbook, Let's Eat Cookies!

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Mexican Wedding Cookies

Mexican Wedding Cookies are the perfect Christmas cookie, add them to your holiday baking list this year and every year!
4.84 from 31 votes



  • Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper or a Silpat baking mat. Set aside.
  • Place 1 cup pecans (plain pecans) in a food processor and process for about 15 seconds or until the texture is similar to coarse cornmeal. Transfer the pecans to a medium bowl. Place the candied pecans, if using, in the food processor and process until coarsely chopped, about 10 seconds. Add the chopped pecans to the bowl with the ground pecans.
  • Stir the flour and salt into the pecans. Set aside.
  • In the bowl of a stand mixer, beat the butter and sugar at medium speed with the beater blade until fluff, about 3 minutes. Beat in the vanilla extract.
  • Reduce the speed to low and slowly add in the nut mixture. Mix until combined, about 30 seconds. Scrape down the bowl with a spatula and mix until the dough comes together. Give the dough a final stir by hand to mix in any remaining flour.
  • Roll the cookie dough into balls, about 1 tablespoon of dough per cookie. Place the balls on the prepared baking sheets, spacing them 1 inch apart.
  • Bake for 18 minutes or until cookies are pale golden and the bottoms are beginning to brown. Remove from the oven and let the cookies cool on the baking sheet for 5 minutes. Transfer to a cooling rack and cool completely.
  • Pour confectioner's sugar in a small bowl and roll the cookies in the sugar until the are well coated. Before serving, reroll cookies in sugar and gently shake off the excess sugar.
  • Notes-you can use just regular pecans, but I love using half candied pecans. They are SO good in these cookies. You can also use walnuts if you wish. To make super fine sugar, place the sugar in the food processor and process for about 30 seconds.


Calories: 116kcal, Carbohydrates: 11g, Protein: 1g, Fat: 7g, Saturated Fat: 3g, Cholesterol: 11mg, Sodium: 42mg, Potassium: 26mg, Sugar: 6g, Vitamin A: 140IU, Vitamin C: 0.1mg, Calcium: 5mg, Iron: 0.4mg
Keywords Mexican wedding cookies

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