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
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.
- powdered sugar
There is only 1/2 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!
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.
Mexican Wedding Cookies
- 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)
- 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.