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Mexican Wedding Cookies Recipe: Not Just for Weddings

This Mexican Wedding Cookies recipe makes shortbread-like, round, powdered cookies that are popular not just during the holidays, but at special occasions like weddings, showers, and christenings.

How the cookies ended up credited to Mexico remains a bit of a mystery. They are strikingly similar to Viennese Almond Crescents,  Russian Tea Cakes, Snowdrops, Italian Butter Nuts, Polvorones (from Spain) and the more traditional Southern Pecan Ball … a crumbly, rich rolled shortbread with small amounts of sugar and large amounts of crushed nuts. Tradition holds that the cookies migrated from Europe to Mexico with European nuns.

In Mexico they are rolled into balls or formed into crescent shapes, covered with confectioner's sugar, and served at weddings and celebrations (along with cake) – thereby giving the recipe its moniker.

As with other shortbread, the secret to a rich taste with these cookies is to use high-quality butter.

Mexican Wedding Cake Cookies from The Cookie Elf

Prep time: 20-30 minutes

Bake time: 25-30 minutes

Makes about 3 dozen cookies


½ cup butter, room temperature

3 tablespoons powdered sugar

1 ½ cups all-purpose flour

1 tablespoon vanilla extract

½ cup finely chopped walnuts or pecans

Additional powdered sugar for coating

Directions for Mexican Wedding Cookies Recipe

  1. Preheat oven to 350º F.

  2. In a medium bowl, using an electric mixer on medium speed, cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy, scraping the bowl continually, about 1-2 minutes.

  3. Reduce speed to low. Gradually stir flour into creamed mixture a bit at a time until well blended, scraping the bowl constantly. Dough will be crumbly.

  4. Mix in vanilla and nuts.

  5. Scoop dough into scant 1-inch balls. Press dough together and roll balls in between the palms of your hands until smooth. Place balls in 2 inches apart on an ungreased cookie sheet.

  6. Bake cookies for 25-20 minutes until they just begin to brown.

  7. Pour about 1 cup powdered sugar into a medium bowl.

  8. Remove baking sheets from the oven. Quickly transfer cookies to the sugar-filled bowl. Roll cookies in the powdered sugar, using a slotted spoon to turn cookies and coat them completely.

  9. Remove cookies them from bowl and transfer to a cooling rack.
    Allow cookies to cool completely. Store in an airtight container.

A Special Baking Tip for Mexican Wedding Cookies Recipe

Roll cookies in powdered sugar immediately after you remove them from the oven. If you have a large amount of cookies on a tray and cannot coat them all at once, set half of them in sugar at a time and return the rest to the oven for a minute or two to keep them warm.

See more easy molded cookies on our Molded Cookies Pinterest board.

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