These cookies are dense, nutty, and covered in powdered sugar—everything you could hope for in a cookie. My family calls these Mexican wedding cookies, but I have also heard them referred to as Italian wedding cookies, Russian tea cakes, and sometimes even Pecan Sandies. I have adapted this recipe from one found in my grandmother’s church cookbook, which consisted of four brief sentences and something called "nut meats." I hope you will enjoy these as much as my family has. —Emily Love
24 to 32 cookies, depending on cookie size
(1 1/2 sticks) butter, softened
powdered sugar, sifted, plus more for rolling
cold water, plus more as needed
all-purpose flour, sifted
chopped pecans or walnuts
ground cinnamon (optional)
In This Recipe
Heat oven to 350º F.
In a deep bowl, use an electric mixer to cream together the butter and powdered sugar
Beat in cold water and vanilla.
In another bowl, whisk together the flour and salt.
Add flour mixture gradually to butter and sugar mixture in roughly three batches. If your dough seems too crumbly, add another tablespoon of cold water to the batter.
Mix in chopped nuts by hand.
Cover and chill dough until cool but not hard, about 15 minutes.
Roll dough into 1-inch balls with your hands and place on a parchment-lined or un-greased cookie sheet.
Bake for 10 to 12 minutes, or until the cookies just start to turn golden brown on top—they should also be golden on the bottoms.
Leave cookies on baking sheet until firm and cool enough to handle, about 5 minutes.
Pour some powdered sugar into a bowl (about half a cup) and whisk in cinnamon if using. Roll each cookie in the powdered sugar until evenly coated. Roll a second time if needed.
Cool on a wire rack and try not to eat them all at once.