Mexican Wedding Cookies
Do you call these delicate classic Christmas cookies Mexican Wedding Cookies, Snowball Cookies, Swedish Tea Cakes or Russian Teacakes? No matter what you call them, I think we can all agree they are absolutely irresistible and a must make during the holiday season! They are made with either almonds or pecans and then rolled in powdered sugar for a melt-in-your-mouth treat perfect for the holidays!
I like to include a wide variety of Christmas cookies in my holiday tins. There’s something for everyone, from chewy Molasses Cookies to buttery Kris Kringles Cookies (my personal fave!). Out of all the different treats, Mexican Wedding Cookies are usually the first to go. They’re my older daughter’s favorite!
Mexican Wedding Cookies
What do you call these cookies? They have many names including Russian Tea Cakes, Mexican Wedding Cookies, Butterballs, Snowball Cookies, Swedish Teacakes, Italian Wedding Cookies, and more. My family has always called them Mexican Wedding Cookies, so that’s what we’ll go with here.
Mexican wedding cookies are one of my must-make Christmas sweet treat, along with Iced Sugar Cookies and Snickerdoodles. Every year, my kids and I have a holiday baking day, and these adorable little gems are always on the list. These cookies look like beautiful snowballs, and they’re packed full of chopped almonds (or pecans) and a lovely buttery, nutty flavor.
I haven’t met anyone who doesn’t love these tender, flavorful cookies! They are great anytime of the year, but they are especially perfect for cookie exchanges, gift giving and parties during the Christmas season. There’s nothing more satisfying than homemade Mexican cookies and a mug of cozy hot chocolate or coffee around the holidays. Christmas is full of magic and in my opinion, a good cookie only adds to that magic.
The ingredients are simple ones you probably already have on hand for baking. You won’t even need eggs or leavening agents for classic Mexican cookies!
- Butter. we’ll be adding butter for proper baking and that classic buttery flavor.
- Sugar. powdered sugar is the only sugar you need for sweetening the cookies, plus you’ll need more for rolling the cookies.
- Extracts. you’ll need both vanilla and almond extracts for the perfect flavor combo.
- Flour. for best results stick with all-purpose flour for this recipe.
- Salt. the best cookie recipes always have a bit of salt. omit if your butter is salted.
- Nuts. use almonds or pecans that have been chopped into a very fine crumb. this makes for easier cookie dough rolling.
How Do You Make Mexican Wedding Cookies?
One of my favorite things about these cookies is that they’re so easy to make! Here’s a quick rundown of the steps, but you’ll find the full recipe at the bottom of the post.
- Cream together butter, powdered sugar, vanilla extract, and almond extract.
- Stir in flour, salt and finely chopped nuts.
- Roll the dough into balls and place on a baking sheet that is lined with parchment paper. Bake for about 15 minutes. When the cookies are done cooking, they will be set, but not yet browned.
- Let cookies cool for a couple of minutes and then roll them in powdered sugar. Let them cool completely and give them one more roll in the powdered sugar for a wonderful treat!
- Pro tip: For the tastiest snowball cookies, toast the nuts before chopping and adding to the cookie dough. Toasting nuts really brings out the flavor! Simply place them on a baking sheet and heat them in the oven for 8-10 minutes at 300ºF.
Tips For Making Mexican Wedding Cookies
These cookies are really pretty simple to make, but here are some helpful tips for perfect snowball cookies every time!
- When forming the cookies, I recommend keeping them small. This will help them hold that classic round shape. This recipe will yield 50 small cookies or 36 larger cookies.
- Before rolling the cookies in powdered sugar the second time, be sure that they are completely cooled. If they are still a little warm the powdered sugar will dissolve into the cookie. You can even roll a third time, just before serving.
- Be sure that the nuts you’re using are VERY finely chopped, so that they can be evenly distributed throughout the dough. This will also make shaping the dough easier. I recommend using a small food processor or chopper.
- Use almonds, pecans, or walnuts. All work just fine.
- For a fun twist, trying stirring in about 1/2 cup mini chocolate chips or sprinkles with the flour and nuts.
Storage and freezing
- Storing. Mexican wedding cookies can be stored in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 7 days and possibly a bit longer. They’ll never last that long, though!
- Freezing. The cookie dough will freeze well for up to three months. When you’re ready to bake them, thaw and allow them to come to room temperature, then bake as directed. Baked cookies freeze well up to three months.
My grandma’s recipe for Mexican Wedding Cookies have always had a special place in my Christmas cookie tins. This cookie is my sister’s and my oldest daughter’s favorite cookie to enjoy during the holidays. These also are perfect for cookie exchanges and they make a fabulous addition to any dessert table. Mexican wedding cookies disappear quick! If you make the balls a bit smaller, you can get 50 cookies to a batch, enough to feed a crowd, so they’re perfect for entertaining. And everyone will be asking for the recipe!
Looking For Other Scrumptious Holiday Cookies?
If you try these Mexican Wedding Cookies, let me know! Leave a comment and if your family loves them as much as mine does, be sure to give it a five star ⭐️ rating! Also, tag @kimscravings on Instagram with a picture of your creation. It’s so fun to see what you’re cooking! Be sure to subscribe to our mailing list to receive more healthy delicious recipes straight to your inbox.
Mexican Wedding Cookies are absolutely irresistible and a must make during the holiday season! They are made with either almonds or pecans and then rolled in powdered sugar for a melt in your mouth treat perfect for Christmas!
- 1 cup butter, softened
- 1/2 cup powdered sugar + more for rolling cookies
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 1 teaspoon almond extract
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1/4 teaspoon salt (not needed, if your butter is salted)
- 1 cup very finely chopped almonds or pecans
Preheat oven to 325 degrees F.
In a mixing bowl, cream butter, powdered sugar, vanilla extract and almond extract.
Blend in flour, salt and nuts until dough holds together.
Shape into 1-inch balls and place 1 inch apart on baking sheets that are lined with parchment paper.
Bake 15 minutes and until set, but not brown.
Cool slightly; roll in powdered sugar.
Cool completely; roll again in powdered sugar.
*I have successfully made these cookies gluten-free and vegan. I used Earth Balance Vegan Buttery Sticks and Bob's Red Mill Gluten Free 1-to-1 Baking Flour. However, when using a gluten-free flour the cookies will be a little more crumbly.
- Storing. Mexican wedding cookies can be stored in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 7 days and possibly a bit longer. They'll never last that long, though!
- Freezing. The cookie dough will freeze well for up to three months. When you're ready to bake them, thaw and allow them to come to room temperature, then bake as directed. Baked cookies freeze well up to three months.
Photos by Sasha at Eat Love Eats.
This recipe was originally published December 2019. It was republished December 2020 with additional content.