Mexican Wedding Cookies, also known as Russian Tea Cakes or Snowball Cookies, are delightfully nutty little balls of powdered sugar covered goodness! These classic holiday cookies come out every year at Christmas and everybody loves them!
These buttery pecan cookies getting rolled in a generous coating of powdered sugar TWICE after baking, just to be sure they are coated in plenty of powdered sugar. The first roll sort of melts into the cookie, but that second roll builds up a good layer of powdered sugar that makes these extra delicious.
I have no idea why these Mexican wedding cookies have so many names, if they are even from Russia or Mexico originally, if they really were/are served at weddings or at tea time (is there a Russian tea culture?) or what the story is behind them.
But what I DO know is that these are yummy and perfectly perfect at Christmas time. There is so much goodness going on in these cookies from the butteriness of the slightly crumby cookie to the sweetness of the powdered sugar to the ubiquitous chopped nuts.
But really the BEST thing about these Mexican wedding cookies (or Russian tea cakes or snowballs or whatever you want to call them) is their melt-in-your-mouth quality.
That quality is unique to Mexican wedding cookies because the butter-to-sugar ratio is 2:1.
In most cookie recipes, there is more sugar than butter, so switching that up creates a really unique, rich cookie experience unlike others.
They don't flatten and spread though because of the amount of flour in the dough that helps the cookies hold their signature round snowball shape.
I like to use pecans in Mexican wedding cookies, but you can use almost any nut you like: walnuts, macadamia nuts, pistachios, and almonds all would work well and can be used interchangeably in the recipe.
How to Make Mexican Wedding Cookies
- Beat the butter and vanilla in a mixer until light.
- Whisk together the flour, powdered sugar, and salt, then add to the butter and mix until combined.
- Stir in the chopped pecans then roll into small 1-inch balls and bake at 400 degrees F for 10-12 minutes.
- As soon as the cookies are cool enough to handle, roll in powdered sugar, then cool completely before rolling a second time.
- Store in an airtight container.
More Classic Christmas Cookies for Your Holiday Baking
- Hazelnut Lingonberry Linzer Cookies
- Chocolate Thumbprint Turtle Cookies
- Chocolate Andes Mint Cookies
- Lime Meltaway Shortbread Cookies
Did you make this recipe?
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Mexican Wedding Cookies
- 1 cup salted butter, softened (227g)
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 2 ¼ cups all-purpose flour, scooped & leveled (317g)
- ½ cup powdered sugar (60g) + more for rolling
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- 1 cup finely chopped pecans
- Preheat oven to 400°F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or a silpat mat.
- In a medium bowl, beat butter and vanilla until smooth and creamy, about 2-3 minutes.
- In a separate bowl, whisk together the flour, powdered sugar and salt, then stir into the butter, mixing just until combined. Mix in the chopped pecans.
- Roll dough into 1 inch balls, and place them 1 inch apart on the prepared baking sheet. Bake for 10-12 minutes until lightly browned on the bottoms. Remove from oven and wait just until they are cool enough to handle but still warm, then roll in powdered sugar and transfer to a separate plate of baking sheet. Wait until cool, the roll in powdered sugar again to generously coat.
- Store in an airtight container.