These Mexican Wedding Cookies are the quintessential Christmas cookie! Also known as Russian Tea Cakes or Snowball Cookies, these easy Mexican Wedding Cookies require only a few ingredients and bake up quickly. The powdered sugar coating makes them look like snowballs for the holidays! They make the perfect treat to add to your holiday cookie plates. Put them on your holiday baking list today!
Mexican Wedding Cookies
Christmas isn’t complete without a batch of snowball cookies. Not only are they a classic Christmas cookie, they are completely festive as they do have the appearance of actual snowballs.
When I was a kid, my mom went to a cookie exchange party each Christmas. Apart from the big day itself, the evening of this cookie party was the highlight of my December. My mom would make a pile of cookies! Soft Sugar Cookies, Snickerdoodles, Snowman Cookies, Molasses Sugar Cookies, Almond Joy Cookies or Macaroons to bring with her (which was fantastic because she’d make extras for us), and the anticipation of waiting to see what cookies she would bring home with her was almost as exciting as Christmas Eve (yeah, cookies are my love language).
Inevitably, she’d come home with a pile of these Classic Snowball Cookies with Pecans. As a kid, I didn’t find pecan snowball cookies all that exciting. There was no chocolate or caramel or frosting on them, and at six, that was very important.
However, as an adult, I can say, there is nothing boring about these cookies. Buttery shortbread filled with nutty pecans and rolled in powdered sugar? Umm, amazing.
All right, so these pecan shortbread cookies have a few names: Russian Tea Cakes, Mexican Wedding Cookies, or as I call them, Snowballs.
I’m not 100% certain on the history of the names of these cookies, and I could probably do some research on it, but I kind of like the mystery of it all (which is code for ‘I’m lazy’). ?
Basically, regardless of what name you call these cookies, they are a nutty, buttery shortbread dough that is rolled in powdered sugar.
Let’s break this pecan snowball cookie recipe down a bit.
My favorite thing about these easy snowball cookies is that they are a no chill dough. Once all of the ingredients are mixed together, you can bake them right away.
Ingredients for Mexican Wedding Cookies:
- powdered sugar
- vanilla extract (and almond extract, if desired)
Once they’re baked and rolled in powdered sugar, you can freeze them in an airtight, freezer-friendly storage container, using parchment paper to separate the layers. Allow them to thaw at room temperature and re-roll in powdered sugar, if necessary.
They can be stored in an airtight container at room temperature or in the fridge. I prefer them at room temperature, but feel free to store however you prefer best.
Tips & Tricks:
- I did a rough chop with these pecans, but feel free to chop them however you like them best. You can chop them with big pieces, chop them into small pieces, or even use a food processor to chop them extremely finely.
- Be careful not to overbake snowball cookies. If these cookies are overbaked, they tend to be very dry. Snowball cookies are baked when the bottoms of the cookies are very lightly browned (don’t wait until the tops have browned—the cookies will definitely be dry and over baked!). In my oven, it took about 12 minutes.
- The best pecan snowball cookies are the ones that have been double-rolled in powdered sugar! Allow the baked cookies to cool for a few minutes (they should still be warm, but cool enough to handle) and roll them in powdered sugar. Allow them to cool completely, then roll them again in powdered sugar.
More of your favorite Christmas treats to enjoy!
- White Chocolate Molasses Cookies
- Homemade Chocolate Covered Cherries
- Red Velvet Thumbprint Cookies
- White Chocolate Cranberry Cookies
- Cherry Almond Cookies
What’s your favorite Christmas Cookie? Be sure and comment below! Snap a photo and share on social media – be sure to tag me @julieseatsandtreats or #julieseatsandtreats so I get to see a photo of your delicious treats!
- 1 cup butter, softened
- 1/2 cup powdered sugar
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 1/4 tsp almond extract, optional
- 2 1/4 cups all purpose flour
- 1 cup pecans, chopped
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 1 - 1 1/2 cups powdered sugar, for rolling
- Preheat the oven to 325 degrees and line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Set aside.
- Beat butter and powdered sugar together until light and fluffy, about 30 seconds or so.
- Add in vanilla and almond extract, mixing until combined.
- Mix in salt, flour and pecans, until combined.
- Roll dough into 1” balls and place on the baking sheet about 1” apart (these cookies do not spread much).
- Bake for 12-14 minutes, or until the bottoms of the cookies are very light brown (these can over bake quickly).
- Allow to cool about 5-6 minutes, or until they are still warm but cool enough to touch. Roll each in powdered sugar and allow to cool entirely on parchment paper. Re-roll in powdered sugar.
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