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Mexican Wedding Cookies Recipe with 6 Ingredients

Mexican Wedding Cookies Recipe with 6 Ingredients

Mexican wedding cookies are also known as polvorones, snowball cookies, Mexican wedding cakes, or Russian tea cakes. These buttery, crumbly, soft, nutty cookies are the perfect treat for any occasion. You’d never know they are so easy to make from scratch with just 6 ingredients — one is salt! — and one bowl. 

Like others, I tend to make them around the holidays but they are delicious year-round. Enjoy for dessert or with a cup of coffee, tea, or milk. I make all of our desserts from scratch because we avoid palm oil. To ensure they are palm oil free, be sure to use pure vanilla extract, not imitation.

I like that these cookies use ingredients I usually have on hand. Another bonus is the recipe doesn’t require chocolate. I say this because whenever I keep chocolate chips around, my kids and I eat them.

Set the butter out 30 – 40 minutes before beforehand so it’s room temperature when you are ready to use it. Prep time takes around 10 minutes. Allow time for the dough to chill in the refrigerator for an hour so they bake without spreading. This recipe makes about 30 – 36 cookies, depending on the size of the dough balls. 

Mexican Wedding Cookies

Mexican wedding cookies ingredients

Mexican wedding cookies ingredients

Ingredients

To make Mexican wedding cookies, you will need:

  • 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
  • ½ cup powdered sugar with extra for rolling the dough balls and baked cookies in
  • 2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract 
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup finely chopped nuts (pecans or walnuts work well)
  • ¼ teaspoon salt (omit if using salted butter)

Equipment

You will also need the following equipment:

  • Mixing bowl
  • Electric mixer (handheld or stand)
  • Measuring cups and spoons
  • Baking sheet
  • Parchment paper
polvorones cookies

Polvorones cookies

Directions

  1. In a mixing bowl, cream together the butter and powdered sugar with an electric mixer until light and fluffy. Add pure vanilla extract and mix until incorporated.
  2. In a separate bowl, combine flour and salt (if using). Slowly incorporate into the butter mixture, ½ cup at a time. Mix in the chopped nuts.
  3. Cover the bowl, and chill the dough in the refrigerator for one hour.
  4. Preheat oven to 350°F.
  5. Using a tablespoon, scoop out the dough. Use your hands to roll them into balls. They should be about 1 inch in diameter. 
  6. Place the dough balls on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.
  7. Bake at 350°F for 12 – 15 minutes, or until the edges are lightly golden brown.
  8. Let the cookies cool on the baking sheet for 2 minutes then roll in powdered sugar. 
  9. Transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.
  10. Once they are cooled, roll them again in powdered sugar and serve or store.
inside of Mexican wedding cookie

Texture of Mexican wedding cookie

Storing Mexican Wedding Cookies

To keep the cookies fresh and maintain their texture, store them in an airtight container at room temperature. Do not refrigerate them as they will accumulate moisture.

Tips & Notes

Here are some tips for making and baking Mexican wedding cookies.

  • Chill the dough or one hour before shaping and baking for best results. It will help them keep their consistency when baking.
  • Use room temperature butter. Set butter on counter for an hour before making cookies. Otherwise you can soften butter quicker on your own. Cold butter won’t cream as well with the sugar and will result in a denser cookie. 
  • Use powdered sugar which helps make the cookie the right texture. It’s also called confectioners sugar.
  • Finely chop the nuts. If the nuts are too coarse, they will affect the texture of the cookie. If you buy full-size nuts, pulse them in a food processor.
  • Make sure to make the balls with roughly the same size — about 1-inch in diameter — to ensure even baking.
  • Remove cookies from oven when they are lightly golden brown on the edges. Do not overbake or they will harden.
  • Be sure to cool the cookies on the baking sheet which will help them to set and maintain their shape.
  • Roll in powdered sugar again after cooling. Once the cookies are cooled, roll them in powdered sugar again to give them a nice, white coating of powdered sugar.
Gluten free Mexican wedding cookies recipe

Gluten free Mexican wedding cookies ingredients

Variations

Experiment with different types of nuts. While pecans or walnuts are traditional choices (I never combined the two), you can also try almonds, hazelnuts, or pistachios to vary the flavor.

Also, you don’t have to make them into dough balls. In some recipes, the cookies are flatter. You can make the dough ball and then slightly press down do they will bake flat instead of like balls. If you want this shape, make the dough balls slightly smaller than 1 inch in diameter.

FAQs

Why are my Mexican wedding cookies so dry?

If you over-bake them, the Mexican wedding cookies will be dry instead of buttery and soft.

Why are my Mexican wedding cookies crumbly?

A little crumb is desired but if they are falling apart, it could be you didn’t chill the dough long enough. Covering the dough (use the same bowl you made the dough in) and refrigerating for 60 minutes will help the cookies keep their shape. Also, use butter that is room temperature, not cold.

What do Mexican wedding cookies look like

What do Mexican wedding cookies look like

What are Mexican wedding cookies made of?

An egg-less cookie, they are made from room temperature unsalted butter, flour, powdered sugar (confectioners sugar), vanilla extract, and walnuts or pecans. 

Can I make Mexican wedding cookies without a mixer?

Yes, you can make Mexican wedding cookies without a mixer. Instead of using an electric mixer, you can use a fork or a pastry cutter to cream the butter and powdered sugar together. You can also use your hands to mix the ingredients together, but be sure to work quickly so that the butter doesn’t melt. To incorporate the flour and nuts, use a wooden spoon or spatula.

It takes more muscle, but you can make delicious Mexican wedding cookies without an electric mixer. The end result should be the same, and you’ll have the satisfaction of making them from scratch AND by hand.

flat Mexican wedding cookies

You may choose to make them smaller and squatter as well 

What kind of nuts are in Mexican wedding cookies?

Pecans and walnuts are traditional, but you can also use almonds or hazelnuts and even pistachios. Recipes will vary depending on their country of origin.

Can I make the dough for Mexican wedding cookies ahead of time and refrigerate it?

Yes, you can make the dough and refrigerate it for up to 3 days before shaping and baking the cookies.

Do I have to chill the dough when making Mexican wedding cookies?

Chill the dough for an hour for best results. It will help the cookies keep their shape. 

holiday cookie assortment

Holiday cookie assortment with Mexican wedding cookies

Can I freeze Mexican wedding cookies?

Yes, you can freeze the cookies for up to 3 months. Just be sure to thaw them at room temperature before serving. You may want to roll them in confectioners sugar again before serving.

What are other names for Mexican wedding cookies?

Mexican wedding cookies are also called wedding cookies, snowball cookies, Russian tea cakes, and polvorones. 

What texture do Mexican wedding cookies have?

With a soft texture, Mexican wedding cookies are nutty, crumbly, buttery, and melt in your mouth. The traditional white powdered sugar coating gives an extra layer to them.

Mexican wedding cookie recipe

Mexican wedding cookie recipe

What other cookies go well on a plate with Mexican wedding cookies?

Home bakers often make Mexican wedding cookies as part of a holiday Christmas cookie assortment. Really, anything goes but oftentimes people serve them with a platter of traditional holiday cookies such as gingerbread cookies, thumbprint cookies, molasses cookies, gingerbread snaps, madeleines, snickerdoodles, and sugar cookies.

Shortbread cookies are buttery and crumbly, just like Mexican wedding cookies, so they pair well together. Spritz cookies are buttery and often flavored with vanilla or almond, which pairs well with the nutty flavor of the Mexican wedding cookies.

When is it popular to serve Mexican wedding cookies?

These traditional cookies are popular in Mexico and the southwestern United States. They are a staple at weddings and other special occasions in Mexico. They are also a popular holiday treat in the United States.

Making Mexican Wedding Cookies from Scratch

This recipe for Mexican wedding cookies is pretty easy. I like that they only need powdered sugar as the topping. So many other holiday cookie recipes require making icing and candies to decorate. Because we avoid palm oil, this is a challenge sometimes. These cookies use just 5 ingredients and one bowl. They are visually appealing, sugary and delicious.

Learn more about baking palm oil free desserts and how to find palm oil free cookies. Making your own from scratch gets easier the more you do it, especially when you have pantry staples such as flour, confectioners sugar, nuts, etc. on hand.

Whether you’re hosting a party, or just looking for a sweet snack to enjoy with a cup of tea or coffee, a batch of homemade Mexican wedding cookies are always delicious. If you make these cookies, please let me know how it went and what you served them with. Was it a special occasion or just because?

Mexican wedding cookies
Print

Mexican Wedding Cookies

Mexican wedding cookies are simple and easy to make, requiring one bowl, and 5 ingredients. Leave enough time to chill the dough for an hour in the refrigerator. This will help the cookies keep their consistency. Pecans or walnuts work well for the rich buttery, sugary, and nutty flavor.
Course Dessert
Keyword Easy Mexican wedding cookies, Mexican wedding cookies, Mexican wedding cookies ingredients, Mexican wedding cookies recipe, Recipe for Mexican wedding cookies
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 13 minutes
Dough chilling time 1 hour
Servings 30 cookies

Equipment

  • Mixing bowl
  • Electric mixer (handheld or stand)
  • Measuring cups and spoons
  • Baking sheet
  • Parchment paper

Ingredients

  • 1 cup 2 sticks unsalted butter, room temperature
  • ½ cup powdered sugar with extra for rolling the dough balls and baked cookies in
  • 2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour or one-to-one gluten-free flour
  • 1 cup finely chopped pecans or walnuts pulse in food processor if you buy them whole
  • ¼ teaspoon salt omit if using salted butter

Instructions

  • In a mixing bowl, cream together the butter and powdered sugar with an electric mixer until light and fluffy. Add pure vanilla extract and mix until incorporated.
  • Slowly mix in the flour, ½ cup at a time. Mix in the chopped nuts.
  • Cover the bowl, and chill the dough in the refrigerator for one hour.
  • Preheat oven to 350°F.
  • Using a tablespoon, scoop out the dough. Using your hands, form them into balls. They should be about 1 inch in diameter.
  • Place the dough balls on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.
  • Bake at 350°F for 12 - 15 minutes, or until the edges are lightly golden brown.
  • Let the cookies cool on the baking sheet for 2 minutes then roll in powdered sugar.
  • Transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.
  • Once they are cooled, roll them again in powdered sugar and serve or store.

Notes

  • Chill the dough or one hour before shaping and baking.
  • Use room temperature butter. Cold butter will result in a denser cookie.
  • Use small pieces of nuts. Pulse in food processor if necessary. You don't want to have to bite down in a larger piece in the cookies.
  • Shape dough balls into 1-inch in diameter.
  • Cool the cookies slightly and then roll in confectioners sugar. Roll them again in the sugar when they are cooled completely.
  • If you don't have pecans or walnuts, you can try using crushed almonds, hazelnuts, or pistachios.

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