snowball cookies on marble background

I began last year’s #12DaysofChristmas with a Meyer lemon snowball cookie, and for the 4th Day of Christmas this year, it’s going back to the original Snowball Cookies with Pecans. These things go by so many names it’s hard to keep up. I’ve heard them called them tea cookies, Mexican wedding cookies, pecan meltaways, etc. What more do you need to know other than they’re delicious? Pecan Snowball Cookies are melt-in-your-mouth, crumbly shortbread, studded with pecans and dusted with mountains of powdered sugar. It’s impossible to eat just one.

mexican wedding cookies

To make pecan snowball cookies, you make a shortbread dough from flour, butter, and sugar. A little cornstarch keeps things light, as well. Chopped pecans or walnuts are a classic mix-in, but as I mentioned before, the variations are endless. Why not grate in a few teaspoons of fresh satsuma zest?

After you stash the dough in the fridge for an hour for it to stiffen, you scoop them into little balls. You can do this with two teaspoons or your hands, but do you have a cookie scoop? They’re like miniature ice cream scoops with spring levers, and they’re amazing. One of those babies makes quick work of a stiff dough like this.

I was first introduced to Pecan Snowball cookies by a friend’s mom, who made the most beautiful holiday cookie tins to give as gifts. She made a more traditional version, but I’ll never forget the taste of those buttery, slightly crumbly, shortbread treats.

3.5 from 10 votes

Pecan Snowball Cookies

Pecan snowball cookies are melt-in-your-mouth shortbread cookies studded with pecans and dusted with powdered sugar.

Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Keyword mexican wedding cookies with pecans, pecan snowballs, Snowball Cookies with Pecans
Prep Time 1 hour 30 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 40 minutes
Servings 24 cookies
Calories 160 kcal
Author Amanda


  • 1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup cornstarch
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 cup powdered sugar
  • 1 cup butter unsalted, at room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 cup powdered sugar sifted
  • 1 cup pecans chopped, toasted


  1. In a medium sized bowl whisk together the flour, cornstarch and salt.
  2. Set aside.
  3. In the bowl of your electric mixer (or with a hand mixer), cream the butter and sugar until light and fluffy (about 2 minutes).
  4. Beat in the vanilla extract.
  5. Add the flour mixture and beat until incorporated. Add chopped pecans and stir until evenly distributed. Add chopped pecans and mix until distributed.

  6. Form a ball of dough.
  7. Turn dough out onto a piece of wax/parchment paper.
  8. Wrap paper around the dough and place in the refrigerator for 1 hour.
  9. Preheat oven to 350 degrees and place rack in center of oven.
  10. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.
  11. When dough is firm, form into 1 inch balls and place the cookies on the prepared baking sheets spacing about 1 inch apart.
  12. Bake for about 12 – 14 minutes or until the cookies start to firm up.
  13. Remove from oven and place on a wire rack to cool for about 5 minutes.
  14. Meanwhile, line another baking sheet or tray with parchment or wax paper.
  15. Lay the cookies out on the sheet.
  16. Sift the sugar over the cookies, rolling the side in the sugar to completely coat.
Nutrition Facts
Pecan Snowball Cookies
Amount Per Serving (1 cookie)
Calories 160 Calories from Fat 99
% Daily Value*
Fat 11g17%
Saturated Fat 5g31%
Cholesterol 20mg7%
Sodium 92mg4%
Potassium 28mg1%
Carbohydrates 15g5%
Fiber 1g4%
Sugar 6g7%
Protein 1g2%
Vitamin A 239IU5%
Vitamin C 1mg1%
Calcium 6mg1%
Iron 1mg6%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

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