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!
If you love holiday baking, be sure not to miss my collection of 35+ of The Best Christmas Cookies and Easy Homemade Christmas Candy Recipes!
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?
Let me know what you thought with a comment and rating below. You can also take a picture and tag me on Instagram @houseofnasheats or share it on the Pinterest pin so I can see.
Mexican Wedding Cookies
- 1 cup butter softened
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 2 ¼ cups all-purpose flour, scooped & leveled (317g)
- ½ cup powdered sugar
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- 1 cup pecans chopped fine
- Additional powdered sugar
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees 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.
Reader questions and reviews
Something is wrong with this recipe. Initially it refers to creaming butter and sugar and vanilla. but in the actual instructions it does not include the sugar, just butter and vanilla. Cookies are not particularly sweet
No, these are not an overly sweet cookie since they are rolled in powdered sugar twice. The cookie itself is buttery and pecan flavored. I found the mistake in the post and corrected it, but the recipe card was correct where the butter and vanilla are beaten, and then the powdered sugar is added with the flour. Thank you for pointing out the inconsistency for me!
Tips for making these ahead of time? How long do they last on the counter/freezing?
Yes (clearly I need to update this post with this info, lol!). These are usually good for about 5 days at room temp but you can definitely freeze them for about 2 months! You could also freeze the dough after it has been shaped into balls but before baking and bake straight from frozen.
I did this for the December Challenge to try out a new cookie! Sort of like some Russian cookies I had before. I like how they are not overly sweet!
Question: How long can they be stored in the freezer before sharing? I would like to make mine ahead of time for Christmas, etc and thank you!
I usually don't like to store cookies for longer than a month or two in the freezer. If you are sharing with friends, I would suggest about 1 month.
how far in advance can these cookies be made... it is Sept.18 and i need them for Oct 8th.
You can make and freeze them now, although you might need to reroll in powdered sugar after thawing before serving. If you don't want to freeze them, I would wait until just a couple days before so they are fresh.