These Mexican Wedding Cookies (also known as Snowball Cookies or Russian Tea Cakes) are buttery, melt-in-your-mouth delicious! Pecan cookies with a hint of cinnamon, dusted with powdered sugar.
“I bet I could eat 20 of those in one sitting” Ryan said to me after he tried one of these. LOL. I’m not about to take that bet for a couple reasons:
- The inevitable complaints about stomach aches later on.
- Fewer cookies for me.
Seriously though, these cookies are SO delicious. They literally melt in your mouth! We’ve made two batches of these cookies already (some for giving away) and I foresee another batch before the holiday season is over.
I bought a Costco size bag of pecans a few weeks ago to use for my Turtles Cookie Cups from last week. I didn’t need such a large bag, but I knew I’d need at least two small ones if I got them at the grocery store and the cost would be almost the same, so I figured I may as well get the big bag (plus it saved me a trip). Issue is, what to do with the excess pecans??
I could have whipped up my Pecan Pie Cake, but I didn’t have an occasion for it (it was Thanksgiving here last month) and I felt like it would be good to add some cookies to the menu, especially with the holidays coming and all, so these Snowball Cookies had to happen!
What are Mexican Wedding Cookies?
Mexican Wedding Cookies (also known as Snowball Cookies, or Russian Tea Cakes, among other names depending on where you’re from) are very simple and delicious cookies. The basic recipe consists of very few ingredients:
- powdered sugar
- ground nuts
Mexican wedding cookies traditionally use pecans, but you can make the cookies with walnuts or almonds, or even hazelnuts or pistachios if you like.
After baking, you roll the warm cookies in powdered sugar which gives them the snowball-like effect.
How to make Mexican Wedding Cookies
The process to make these cookies is very simple:
- cream butter and powdered sugar
- add dry ingredients
- add nuts
- roll into balls
Rather than using coarsely chopped nuts, I chose to pulse mine in a food processor until they were very fine and almost the consistency of almond flour. You can see them in the small bowl in the photos.
I added a bit of cinnamon to the cookies as well, as I thought it would go well with the pecans and add a bit more flavor. The cinnamon wasn’t very strong, just a nice hint. You could increase the cinnamon to 1 tsp if you’d like a stronger flavor.
I chilled the cookie dough before portioning and rolling into balls, and then again before baking them. I wanted to make sure the cookies didn’t spread too much, and chilling them helps with that. Chilling the dough before rolling them also made them less sticky and easier to handle.
I used a small cookie scoop to portion the dough. This worked out to be about 2 tsp of dough, or 15g if you have a scale. The rolled cookie dough balls will be about 1″ wide.
I used silicone mat lined baking sheets, but parchment would work well too. You can crowd the sheets since the cookies are small and don’t spread a lot — I did 18 cookies per sheet.
Baking time will vary slightly depending on how many cookies you bake at a time. You want to bake them until the bottoms just start to turn golden. You don’t want the actual cookies themselves turning golden though.
Once baked, cool on the baking sheet for 5mins, then roll in powdered sugar. Once the cookies are completely cool, roll in powdered sugar again.
You can store these Mexican Wedding Cookies in an airtight container at room temp for a couple weeks, or freeze them for a couple months. You may need (or want) to toss them in powdered sugar again if they’ve been frozen or sitting for a bit. Just depends on how pretty you want them to look!
I still have pecans left over from that giant Costco bag. I think the remainder is destined to become candied pecans for snacking on during the holidays.
These snowball cookies are perfect for the holidays. Easy, versatile, and delicious. What more do you need??
Looking for more Holiday Cookie Recipes?
- Dark Chocolate Candy Cane Cookies
- Chocolate Dipped Gingerbread Cookies
- Stained Glass Cookies
- White Chocolate Candy Cane Cookies
- Eggnog Cookies With Rum Sugar Glaze
Tips for making these Snowball Cookies
- You can use different nuts if you prefer — almonds, walnuts, or hazelnuts will all work well.
- I used a food processor to make sure my pecans were very fine, but you can chop them instead.
- I added a 1/2 tsp of cinnamon to the dough. You can skip this if you like, or increase it to 1 tsp for a stronger flavor.
- I used a small cookie scoop to portion the dough. This is about 2 tsp of dough, or 15g if you have a scale. The rolled cookies will be about 1″ wide before baking.
- The cookies can be stored in an airtight container at room temp for a couple weeks, or frozen for a couple months. You may need (or want) to toss them in powdered sugar again if they’ve been frozen or sitting for a bit.
- You can also freeze the cookie dough balls and bake at a later date.
Mexican Wedding Cookies (Snowball Cookies)
- Toast pecans in a 350°F oven for 5-10 mins or until fragrant. Cool completely. Pulse in a food processor until finely ground. Measure out 1 cup (115g), and set aside.
- Whisk flour, salt, and cinnamon in a medium bowl. Set aside.
- Cream butter and powdered sugar until smooth and fluffy. Add vanilla and mix until combined.
- Add flour mixture and mix until combined. Add finely chopped pecans, and mix on low until combined.
- Chill cookie dough for 30mins or until firm enough to roll into balls.
- Portion cookie dough using a small cookie scoop (2tsp, 15g) and roll into balls (about 1" wide). Place on baking sheet and chill for 15mins.
- Preheat oven to 325°F. Bake cookies (I did 15 per sheet) for 15-17 minutes or just until the bottoms are golden. Do not over bake.
- Cool cookies on sheet for 5mins, toss in powdered sugar and place on a cooling rack. Once cookies have cooled completely, toss in powdered sugar again.
- Store at room temperature in an airtight container for a couple weeks or freeze for 1-2 months. You may need to toss in powdered sugar again once thawed.
Originally published on Nov 25, 2019