Mexican Wedding Cakes Recipe

Mexican Wedding Cakes Recipe
Staff Writer
Mexican Wedding cookies (back)

Big Girls Small Kitchen

Mexican Wedding cookies (back)

These shortbread-like nut balls are mysteriously referred to both as Russian Tea Cookies and Mexican Wedding Cakes — for Phoebe’s Top Chef Cook-Off, I stuck with the theme of the latter. Typically, you make them with very little sugar in the dough; they’re sweetened instead by rolling them through a mountain of powdered sugar after baking. But because I wasn’t in the mood to dust powdered sugar from every corner of my kitchen, I opted to mix the sugar into the dough. They stay crisp this way, too — whereas sugar on the outside can become soggy. 


  • ½ cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, softened
  • 3 tablespoons powdered sugar
  • 1 tablespoons brown sugar
  • ¼ cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon bourbon
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup finely chopped toasted walnuts*


Preheat the oven to 325 degrees.

In a large bowl, mix the softened butter well, with a spoon, spatula, or (if your kitchen’s big enough) an electric mixer; add the sugars and mix more, until smooth and creamy. Add the bourbon (you can also just use ½ teaspoon of vanilla, but I was feeling extra festive). Put in the flour and the nuts, stirring just until the flour is absorbed by the butter-sugar mixture.

Roll tiny balls (large marble-sized) and put them on an ungreased cookie sheet, 2 inches apart. Bake for 6-9 minutes, until the cookies have spread slightly and look dry on top. Cool on the sheets, a rack, a plate or a clean countertop. When fully cooled, serve, or keep in an airtight container.

Mexican Shopping Tip

How hot is that chile pepper? Fresh peppers get hotter as they age; they will achieve a more reddish hue and sometimes develop streaks in the skin.

Mexican Cooking Tip

There are 60 varieties of chile peppers, many of which are used in Mexican cooking. Handle them with care. When handling the spicier kinds, gloves are recommended. Always wash your hands with soap and warm water before touching your eyes.

Mexican Wine Pairing

Tempranillo or other light Spanish red wine types with paella, even seafood paella. Various other wines depending on what rice is cooked with; see Pasta Recipes and other individual food types.