Mexican Wedding Cookies

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Soft, buttery pecan Mexican Wedding Cookies are a traditional cookie recipe idea for the holidays or for special occasions. The powdered sugar coating makes them look like snowballs!

mexican wedding cookies in a bowl

Mexican Wedding Cookies

We thought it was about time we shared the recipe to one of our traditional Christmas cookie recipes, Mexican Wedding Cookies (or Snowballs!). These shortbread-style cookies taste just like a pecan sandie, but instead of being hard and crunchy they are soft and buttery. I’m a sucker for their simple not-too-sweet flavor. These festive Christmas snowball cookies make a great addition to your holiday cookie plate!

What are Mexican Wedding Cookies?

This snowball cookie recipe has only 6 ingredients, most of which you probably have in your pantry.

  • butter
  • powdered sugar
  • flour
  • vanilla
  • salt
  • pecans

There is only ½ cup powdered sugar in the cookie dough itself, making it more buttery than sweet. Most of the sweetness comes after baking when you roll the cookie balls in powdered sugar.

Snowball Cookies and Butterball Cookies

This is the cookie with many names. Most times of the year they are called Mexican Wedding Cookies. At Christmas? They’re known as snowballs and bring such a pretty, bright white addition to holiday dessert tables. In my old recipe book, they were actually called butterball cookies. What does your family traditionally them?

Snowball Cookies with Pecans

These cookies traditionally are made with finely chopped pecans. I like to chop the pecans really finely so that the dough inside is smooth. You can keep the pecans in bigger chunks if you’d like. Feel free to also test this recipe with almonds (and almond extract) or walnuts if you have them, too!

And yes, you can make these cookies without nuts. Simply leave them out and you’ll end up with a cookie that almost tastes like you’re eating sugar cookie dough. Mmmm…it’s that good!

A close up of mexican wedding cookies

How to Store Mexican Wedding Cookies?

I like to store these cookies at room temperature in an airtight container. They can be frozen, but you may need to reroll the cookies in powdered sugar before serving as sometimes the powdered sugar “melts” into the cookie. A third rolling of sugar? No one minds that. 🙂

Tools to Make Cookies

  • Stand Mixer: A hand mixer will work, but I always find it easier to make frostings with a stand mixer.
  • Silpat: For all of your non-stick, cookie-making needs. This is in the top 3 must-have kitchen tools. I don’t know what I’d do without them!
  • Baking Sheet: I like to use flat baking sheets for easy removing baked goods easily.
  • Beater Blade with Scraper: The best invention ever!
  • Wire Cooling Racks: This will help your cakes cool more quickly.
the best snowball recipe
the best snowball recipe

Mexican Wedding Cookies

4.88 from 25 votes
Soft, buttery pecan Mexican Wedding Cookies are a traditional cookie recipe idea for the holidays or for special occasions. The powdered sugar coating makes them look like snowballs!
Servings 36
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 9 minutes
Total Time 19 minutes

Ingredients
 

  • 1 cup butter softened
  • 1/2 cup powdered sugar
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 cup finely chopped pecans

For rolling the cookies:

  • 1 cup powdered sugar (for rolling)

Instructions
 

  • In the bowl of a stand mixer, mix the butter and powdered sugar until creamy.
  • Add the flour, vanilla, salt and chopped pecans. Mix well again.
  • Chill the dough for at least 2 hours.
  • Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
  • Roll the dough into 1" balls. Place on a non-stick baking sheet. These cookies will not rise or flatten, so they can be placed relatively close together.
  • Bake for about 10-12 minutes. Don't allow the balls to brown. This will ensure they cookies are buttery soft!
  • Immediately roll the cookie balls in powdered sugar.
  • Allow the cookies to cool completely and then roll them in powdered sugar again.
  • Store in an airtight container at room temperature.

Notes

*You can freeze these cookies, but you may need to reroll them in powdered sugar once they defrost if most of the powdered sugar has "soaked in".

Nutrition

Calories: 110kcal | Carbohydrates: 11g | Protein: 1g | Fat: 6g | Saturated Fat: 3g | Cholesterol: 13mg | Sodium: 61mg | Potassium: 19mg | Sugar: 5g | Vitamin A: 160IU | Calcium: 4mg | Iron: 0.5mg
Author Julie Clark
Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Calories 110
Keyword christmas cookies, easy cookie recipes, powdered sugar cookies, shortbread cookies, snowballs

Soft, buttery pecan Mexican Wedding Cookies are a traditional cookie recipe idea for the holidays or for special occasions. The powdered sugar coating makes them look like snowballs!

About Julie Clark

I'm Julie Clark, CEO and recipe developer of Tastes of Lizzy T. With my B.A. in Education and over 30 years of cooking and baking, I want to teach YOU the best of our family recipes.

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Cyndi
2 years ago

5 stars
I’ve eaten these my whole life, since the 60’s. We called them sandies. Maybe because my mom always made them and her name was Sandy?? I don’t know. I lost her recipe and this is it. This is perfect and delicious. Thank you.

Daisy
2 years ago

5 stars
Growing up my best friends mom used to bake these all the time during the Holidays. Now baking these on my own, bring back those memories. They just melt in your mouth, almost like eating a piece of a cloud. These were fun to make. Thank you

Kandas Dawn Bertrand
2 years ago

Could I use self rising flour if that’s all I have on hand or only all purpose flour?

Nikki
2 years ago

5 stars
Granny made these every Christmas. Sadly, she passed in 2013. I’ve been searching for a recipe since I lost my other one. These were excellent!! Soft, melt in your mouth and a guy with the family. Thank you for bringing back a wonderful memory

Melissa
1 year ago

5 stars
Can I use almond flour in this recipe?

Brenda
1 year ago

5 stars
I am going to include this awesome cookie in my Christmas gift tins and was wondering if parchment paper can be used on the cookie sheets? Didn’t know if it would affect cooking time. Thank you in advance and Merry Christmas 2020 to you and your family!

barb
1 year ago

5 stars
Simple Perfection! This just became our Christmas Favorite! Thank you for sharing!

Joanna
1 year ago

My cookies didn’t turn out as round as on your pictures but they tasted amazing. The pecans add a nice flavor and texture to the cookies. My husband is mexican and also loved them, he said that they were melting in his mouth. The bottom of my cookies got a bit brown (it was probably the setting of my oven) and I actually liked that part the most 🙂 I will definitely make them again!

Joanna
1 year ago

Hi, can I chill the dough for about 24h or is it too long?