So many names – one great cookie:
Russian Tea Cakes, Mexican Wedding Cookies or Snowballs
Mexican Wedding Cookies have a soft melt-away texture and a nutty flavor. They are also known as Russian Tea Cakes or Snowball Cookies. Regardless of what you decide to call them, you will find them irresistible.
These are fun, quick, and so easy to make. The cookies are very popular all over the country at Christmas time because they look like little snowballs. These little gems are popular at weddings too!Jump to Recipe
- Unsalted Butter
- Powdered Sugar
- Vanilla Extract
- Toasted almonds, pecans, or walnuts
How to make Mexican Wedding Cookies:
- In a stand mixer (or with a hand mixer) beat the butter until it’s pale yellow. This will take about 5 minutes – don’t skip this step
- Add powdered sugar and beat again until light and fluffy
- Blend in the vanilla
- Combine the dry ingredients in a small bowl – flour, cinnamon, and salt – and add to the butter mixture, blending on low until just combined
- Add the ground, toasted almonds and mix lightly until well combined
- Cover the cookie dough and refrigerate for 15-minutes
- Shape dough into 1″ balls
- Bake until bottoms are golden brown, about 11-13 minutes
- Let cookies cool on the pan for 5-7 minutes
- Sift powdered sugar in a shallow bowl
- Roll cookies one at a time in powdered sugar, cool completely and roll a second time
How to toast nuts for baking:
Mexican Wedding Cookies are incredibly versatile because you can use whatever nuts you like most, or happen to have on hand. I made mine with toasted ground almonds, but pecans and walnuts work equally well.
If possible buy the nuts whole, toast them quickly in a saute pan and grind them yourself for the freshest flavor. Toasted nuts are the key to the best flavor.
How to toast nuts on the stovetop:
- Place nuts in a heavy saute pan over medium heat
- Shake the pan frequently until the nuts begin to smell fragrant and look lightly browned, about 4-5 minutes
- Remove from pan and cool completely
- Grind in a small food processor, or put in a ziplock bag and use a rolling pan to crush
Tips for handling the cookie dough:
Mexican Wedding Cookies do not have any egg in them, which helps contribute to their crumbly melt in your mouth texture. This can also make them a little trickier to roll into balls.
- Chill the dough, covered, for about 15-minutes, but no longer, otherwise, they will be too crumbly to form
- Because the cookies have a crumbly texture it’s best to keep them small in size
- Roll the chilled dough into small 1″ balls. I use a small cookie scoop, but it’s easy to roll them with lightly floured hands
Tips for the best Mexican Wedding Cookies:
- The cookies will be rolled in powdered sugar after they’ve cooled for about 5 minutes. Once they are completely cooled roll them in the powdered sugar a second time to ensure on even coat.
- Sift your powdered sugar before rolling the cookies in the sugar
- Make sure your nuts are fresh, toasted, well ground and cool before adding to the dough
- Allow the cookies to rest for at least 15 minutes on a cooling rack before storing
Freezing the cookies:
These cookies are great to make ahead because they freeze beautifully. You have two options:
- Freeze uncooked 1″ balls of dough for up to 3-months. Just thaw lightly and proceed as normal
- Make the cookies start to finish. Cool completely and store tightly sealed for up to 3-months. They will thaw out in about 10-minutes. If needed, give them one more coat in powdered sugar after thawed
Ready to keep baking cookies?
- Dark Chocolate Crinkle Cookies – looks like snow on a mountain (also called Earthquake Cookies)
- Easy Drop Sugar Cookies – easy and fun to decorate with no rolling or cutting
- Best ever Cowboy Cookies – chock full of fun add-ins
- Pumpkin Spice Cookies – perfect for Fall and drizzled with cinnamon pumpkin glaze
- Want to make your own Vanilla Extract? It’s so easy and you need just 2 ingredients!
Mexican Wedding Cookies
- 1 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature (2 sticks)
- 1 ¼ cup powdered sugar. divided
- 1 ½ tsp vanilla extract
- 1 ¾ cups all-purpose flour
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- pinch salt
- 1 cup toasted almonds, ground (pecans or walnuts, if preferred)
- Preheat oven to 350°F.
- In a large mixing bowl, using an electric or stand mixer, cream the butter on high until pale yellow and fluffy, about 5 minutes. Add ½ cup of the powdered sugar and beat again until light and fluffy.
- Add the vanilla. Beat until just blended.
- In a small bowl blend the flour, cinnamon and salt. Add to the butter mixture and mix on low speed until just blended. Mix in the ground almonds.
- Refrigerate mixture, covered, for 15-minutes. Shape for the chilled dough into 1" balls.
- Place on 2 ungreased baking sheets, about 1" apart. Bake cookies until the bottoms are golden brown, about 11-13 minutes. Let cool on pans for about 5-7 minutes.
- In a shallow bowl sift the remaining ¾ cup powdered sugar. Remove cookies one at a time and roll them in the sugar.
- Let cool completely on a wire rack. Roll a second time in the powdered sugar.