Mexican Wedding Cookies

Crumbly, buttery, and nutty - Mexican Wedding Cookies are irresistible. Also called Russian Tea Cakes. Make with pecans, walnuts, almonds, or any other nut.

Mexican Wedding Cookies
Irvin Lin

There’s something irresistible about Mexican Wedding cookies. I can't help but reach for them whenever they appear on a cookie platter.

These cookies have a crumbly, buttery, nutty texture that just melts in your mouth. Like I said: completely irresistible.

Mexican Wedding Cookies
Irvin Lin

The soft, melt-away texture of Mexican Wedding cookies is thanks to a rich, buttery dough and lots of crushed nuts. These cookies don’t have egg to bind them, so they're crumbly instead of chewy. This makes them more like shortbread than, say, sugar cookies.

Those crushed nuts in the dough also give these cookies their addictive flavor. Though I’ve tried these cookies with crushed almonds and crushed walnuts, for me, pecans are the way to go.

Definitely take the extra step to toast your nuts before mixing the dough. It seems fussy, but toasting really does help boost the flavor of the nuts and give the cookies the best nutty flavor.

Mexican Wedding Cookies
Irvin Lin

Although some cooks add spices to their Mexican Wedding cookies, I’m really a purist and made this version without any spices at all. Feel free to add 1/2 teaspoon of cinnamon if you’re that sort of daredevil! Nutmeg, cardamom, and cloves also work well.

By the way, I’ve always been rather confused by the difference between Mexican Wedding cookies and Russian Tea Cakes. Apparently most of the Internet is too! In looking at various recipes in cookbooks and on the web, the recipes look pretty much identical, leading me to believe that these cookies are basically the same despite their different names.

Mexican Wedding Cookies

Prep Time 10 mins
Cook Time 18 mins
Chilling 60 mins
Total Time 88 mins
Servings 24 to 30 cookies

You can substitute any other nut in place of the pecans. Times for toasting in Step 1 will vary based on the size of the nut you use.

Ingredients

For the cookie dough:

  • 1 cup (115g) pecan pieces

  • 1 cup (225g or 2 sticks) unsalted butter at room temperature

  • 3/4 cup (85g) powdered sugar, sifted

  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract

  • 2 cups (280g) all-purpose flour

  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt

To roll the cookies:

  • 1 1/4 cup (145g) powdered sugar

Method

  1. Toast the nuts on the stovetop:

    Place the nuts in a medium skillet and place over medium heat. Toast the nuts, stirring frequently, until they darken slightly and smell fragrant and nutty, about 5 minutes.

    Remove the pan from heat and let the nuts cool in the pan.

    Mexican Wedding Cookies
    Irvin Lin
  2. Crush the nuts:

    Once the toasted nuts are warm to the touch, but not hot, pour them into a quart-size sealable freezer bag. Seal the bag, and then use a rolling pin to roll and crush the nuts until they are crushed into a chunky powder. Set aside until needed.

    (Alternatively, pulse in a food processor until powdery. Be careful of over-processing or the nuts will turn into nut butter!)

    Mexican Wedding Cookies
    Irvin Lin
    Mexican Wedding Cookies
    Irvin Lin
  3. Mix the butter and sugar:

    Place the butter and 3/4 cup powdered sugar in the bowl of stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment. Beat together on medium speed until the sugar is absorbed into the butter and the buttery paste clings to the side of the bowl. Add the vanilla and beat for an additional 30 seconds to incorporate.

  4. Add the flour and salt:

    Mix on low speed. As the dry ingredients start to absorb into the butter-sugar mixture, you can increase the speed back to medium. Once all the flour is mixed in and a dough has formed, stop the mixer.

    Mexican Wedding Cookies
    Irvin Lin
  5. Empty the crushed nuts into the bowl with the dough:

    Mix on low speed to incorporate.

  6. Chill the dough:

    Scrape the dough onto a piece of plastic wrap and flatten into a disk about 1-inch thick. Wrap tightly with the plastic wrap and place in the refrigerator for at least 1 hour or until the dough is firm.

    Mexican Wedding Cookies
    Irvin Lin
  7. About 10 minutes before you're ready to bake, preheat the oven to 350°F:

    Line 2 baking sheet with parchment paper or a silicon baking mat.

  8. Roll the cookies:

    Place the 1 1/4 cups of powdered sugar for coating the cookies into a shallow bowl. Remove the chilled dough out of the refrigerator and form into 1-inch balls of dough. (If your dough chilled longer than 1 hour, you may need to let it soften for a few minutes at room temperature.)

    Roll the balls of dough in powdered sugar and place on the baking mat, spaced slightly apart.

    Mexican Wedding Cookies
    Irvin Lin
  9. Bake:

    Bake for 17 to 19 minutes or until the cookies start to brown slightly on top and are golden brown on the bottoms. Let the cookies cool on the baking sheet for 10 minutes after baking.

  10. While the cookies are still warm, roll each cookie in the powdered sugar again:

    Return the cookies to the cooling rack and let cool completely before serving.

    Mexican Wedding Cookies
    Irvin Lin

    Store at room temperature in an airtight container. They will keep well for at least a week.

Mexican Wedding Cookies
Irvin Lin
Nutrition Facts (per serving)
145 Calories
9g Fat
15g Carbs
1g Protein
Show Full Nutrition Label Hide Full Nutrition Label
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Nutrition Facts
Servings: 24 to 30
Amount per serving
Calories 145
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 9g 12%
Saturated Fat 4g 20%
Cholesterol 16mg 5%
Sodium 22mg 1%
Total Carbohydrate 15g 6%
Dietary Fiber 1g 2%
Total Sugars 8g
Protein 1g
Vitamin C 0mg 0%
Calcium 6mg 0%
Iron 1mg 3%
Potassium 28mg 1%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate. In cases where multiple ingredient alternatives are given, the first listed is calculated for nutrition. Garnishes and optional ingredients are not included.