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Author Notes: 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
Makes: 24 to 32 cookies, depending on cookie size
cup (1 1/2 sticks) butter, softened
cup powdered sugar, sifted, plus more for rolling
tablespoon cold water, plus more as needed
teaspoon vanilla extract
cups all-purpose flour, sifted
cup chopped pecans or walnuts
teaspoon ground cinnamon (optional)
- 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.