Mexican Wedding Cookies

Mexican Wedding Cookies

30 cookies
Pati Jinich
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: Mexican
Keyword: confectioners' sugar, cookies, pati's mexican table, pecans, powdered sugar
Author:Pati Jinich
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 30 minutes
Mexican Wedding Cookies recipe from Pati's Mexican Table Season 2, Episode 1 “Classic Mexican Food Battles”


  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/8 teaspoon kosher or sea salt
  • 1/2 cup cold unsalted butter, cut into chunks
  • 1/2 cup vegetable shortening, or double the butter
  • 1/2 cup pecans, ground or finely chopped
  • 3/4 cup confectioners' sugar, plus more for dusting
  • 1 egg

To Prepare

  • Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Butter a large cookie sheet.
  • In a food processor fitted with the steel blade, pulse the pecans until they are finely chopped. Add the powdered sugar, flour and salt, and pulse again. Scrape down the sides of the bowl with a spatula if necessary.
  • Drop in the butter and shortening chunks, and pulse a couple of times. Add the egg and pulse again, just until the mixture starts to come together. Roll the dough into 1- to 1 1/2″ balls with your hands.
  • Place the balls on the baking sheet, spacing them 1″ apart; give them a light pat on the top. Bake until the cookies are golden brown, about 15 minutes. You may need to bake two batches.
  • Generously, really super generously, dust extra confectioners’ sugar over the top of the cookies.

104 comments on “Mexican Wedding Cookies

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  1. Hi, Pati! Would preparing the dough beforehand, and refrigerating it to bake-off later, change the texture of the cookie? Is it recommended? Love your show!

  2. I don’t have a food processor large enough to make this recipe. I have a kitchen aid mixer and hand beater. Which one will work best? Thanks!

  3. So you really need to butter the cookie sheet with all the butter in the cookies. I’ve made other versions (plan on trying yours) and have never buttered the cookie sheet.

  4. I made these this morning after Pati posted in Instagram. Growning up, my brothers and I would leave these cookies out for Santa every year. So, we called them Santa Cookies. Wonderful recipe, easy to follow and 100% delicious. Recipe saved and will enjoy again.

  5. Yum! I remember my grandma making these when I was little,I will try to make them for her for Christmas and hope they come out good! I don’t remember her using egg, can that be possible? It needs a binding…

    1. Hey Geen, so glad this recipe brings back memories of your grandma 😉 I’ve heard of some recipes that do not include the egg, you may leave it out if you prefer!

    1. Of course Susan, you can chop the pecans by hand and then mix the dough using your hands as well or a using a dough cutter, good luck!

  6. Could you make these with Mexican dark chocolate then add a pinch of cayenne? Or would bring them into the realm Mexican hot chocolate cookies

  7. This is my husband’s all-time favorite cookie to make at Christmas time. Didn’t know this was the name for them – his mom always called them “Butter Balls.” 😀

    1. I am sure the cookies will be delicious if you use pistachios, but the traditional Mexican Wedding Cookies go with pecans Brenda 😉

  8. Hi Patti, como cocinas tan, tan Rico..!!…yo soy peruana I admire mucho tu Cocina mexicana I la variedad de chilies que usas…!!! Kudos to you. !!!

  9. Hola Pati! Greetings from Tokyo!
    I was craving “polvorones” (my favorite childhood cookies) and found your recipe online. Baked them over this past Christmas holidays and they helped bring the holiday spirit home. The kids had fun helping prepare the ingredients, and friends and family loved the cookies!
    El sabor de la pastelería mexicana a llegado Japon! Mil gracias!

  10. I had never heard of Mexican Wedding Cookies either until I moved to California. But my mother made the exact same recipe and rolled them into little “cocoons” and that’s what they were called. She was from the southern part of the United States.

  11. ¡Hola Pati! So, do I measure 1/2 cup whole pecans and then chop; or chop the pecans up and measure a 1/2 cup?

    Thank you,

    1. Hi Mike! You chope the pecans first and then measure 1/2 cup. You will want 1/2 a cup of grounded or finely chopped pecans.

  12. Hola!!! Me encanta como cocinas pero me gustaría que tus recetas también las escribieras en español. La verdad no entiendo muy bien el inglés! ☹️ Gracias! Y Felicidades por todas tus creaciones!

  13. Pati thank you for your recipe! I’m making these especially for my mom. These are her favorite cookies! I finished baking 25 dozen last night now one more batch just for my mom! Thanks again!

  14. Hi Pati… This will be the first time i bake cookies..:) i ve have a question . i have read other recipes and they add vanilla to the batter. Im just wondering if i should add vanilla or not?:-/

  15. I use to make them at Christmas for many years to give to family. But I stopped for a few years to make my rice krispie teddy bears ( a crowd pleaser) I made the cookies last year but they never made it out of the house! They were eaten up.😊💕

  16. They’re better if you just use butter. Love you Pati! I’ve been making these every Christmas for 40 years or more. We started calling them Russian tea cakes because my family was from Russia/Poland area. They made them there. Now that I have a grandson, to make it easy, I just call them Snow Balls. There’s nothing better at least to me and my family. Now my Grandson William helps me roll them out. He’s 7.

  17. I am so happy to find this recipe for these wedding cakes. When I was in high school we made them in our home economics class. I love them and lost my original recipe. Going to the store tomorrow to get the ingredient that I don’t already have so I can make some.

  18. I followed this recipe exactly. I thought the amount of sugar to two cups flour seemed like a mic match and it was. Recipe needs adjusting

  19. Always delicious! These are powdery and don’t harden like the recipe I use to have. Me encantan! Se los mandó a mis suegros .

    1. The cookies will actually keep for a couple weeks covered in your kitchen…and they will keep even longer if you store them tightly in plastic bags (with no air inside) in the freezer, just thaw them a day ahead. So you can just make the cookies all the way through ahead of time.

  20. I love those cookies, we call them las galletas de tata chema. Me hiciste recordar a mi abuelito (tata) he used to bake those cookies for us all the time, I will make them for this Xmas to remember him and those magical times together.

  21. I love that you posted this! I grew up calling these bischochos or bischochitos, but yes… we had them at every wedding.