Pecan Sandies Cookie Recipe (Mexican Wedding Cookies)


5 from 22 votes
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Pecan Sandies, Mexican Wedding Cookies, or Snowball Cookies, these little cookies powdered with confectioner’s sugar are delicious, no matter the name and are favorites for celebrations and holidays! 

Pecan Sandies, Snowball Cookies or Mexican Wedding Cookies on powdered sugar covered marble board with red and white twine and greenery

These scrumptious little cookies have many names. They are called everything from Pecan Sandies, to Mexican Wedding Cookies, Snowball Cookies, Tea Cookies, and more. Usually, what you call them depends on what name they were given when you enjoyed them as a child. When I was growing up, my mother would make these delectable cookies that my daddy called Pecan Sandies. The delicate, delicious little bites of crumbly, buttery cookie encased in a dusting of powdery confectioner’s sugar were always a special treat that we absolutely loved! She made them for showers or brunches – and always at Christmas.

While I make these for special times throughout the year, I think that’s one reason I have always considered this little powdery cookie a must during the holidays! That and the fact that these beautiful snowy white cookies always get everyone’s attention when I include them on a Christmas Cookie Tray! They are also egg-free, so they are a perfect treat to serve to those with egg allergies.

I’m sure you may have had a similar cookie before. What do you call them?

Pecan Sandies Cookies, Mexican Wedding Cookies, Snowball Cookies Recipe

I always make these cookies during the Christmas season. When Sam was about three years old, he asked, “what did you put in those Snow Cookies?” His cute name for them has stuck around our house!

Also called Mexican Wedding, Snowball Cookies, or Tea Cookies, these Pecan Sandies have a melt-in-your-mouth crumbly texture. My recipe uses chopped pecans, which add to the delicate buttery crumble. Since there is no egg that would give them a chewy texture, the butter, nuts, and flour give them a buttery, nutty, crumbly texture that is addictive!

I give options later to make these without nuts for those with nut allergies.

How to Make

Even though this cookie is affectionately called many names, they are so simple to make! They only have a few ingredients and come together quickly. They can easily be made ahead or even frozen too!


To make them, you’ll need the following:

  • Butter
  • Confectioner’s (Powdered) Sugar
  • All Purpose Flour
  • Chopped Pecans
  • Vanilla Extract – I like to use the vanilla extract I’ve made, but you can use store-bought too.

Step-by-Step Instructions

Prep. Begin by preheating your oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit and line baking sheets with parchment paper.

Mix. With an electric mixer, cream together the softened butter and confectioner’s sugar, add in the flour and vanilla extract, and mix until well combined. Then, slowly stir in your pecans.

Form the cookies. Scoop the cookie dough with a teaspoon and then roll it between your palms to form a ball. Place the cookie dough ball onto the prepared baking sheet, leaving about 2 inches between each cookie, and then repeat until the baking sheet is filled.

Pecan Sandies on parchment covered tray

Bake. Bake the cookies until golden brown, about 12 minutes.

Roll in sugar. Remove from the oven and allow to cool. Then roll in confectioner’s sugar. The cookies will absorb some of the confectioner’s sugar as they rest.

Pecan Sandies  or Snowball Cookies, also called Mexican Wedding Cookies, covered in powdered sugar, stacked on plate

Roll again. Then, I like to roll or dust them again in the confectioner’s sugar once they have completely cooled and right before serving. It makes them look like they are covered in newly fallen snow! (Maybe that’s why Sam called them snow cookies!)

Storage Tips

These cookies are excellent to make ahead, especially throughout the holidays. Simply prepare the cookies as instructed and then store them in an airtight container for up to a week.

If you’d like to make them more in advance, use the Freezer Friendly instructions below.

How to Freeze

There are a few ways to make these delicious cookies ahead of time to freeze them.

Freeze the Baked Cookies:

To freeze the baked cookies, roll the cookies in the powdered sugar for the first rolling, cool the cookies completely, and then freeze them on the baking sheet. When the cookies have frozen solid, about 30 minutes. Store the cookies in an airtight, freezer-safe container for up to 3 months. When ready to serve, allow the cookies to reach room temperature and then roll them or dust them with an additional coating of confectioner’s sugar.

To freeze the cookie dough, roll the cookies to form the cookie dough balls and then place them onto a parchment-lined baking sheet. Freeze completely on the baking sheet. Once the cookies have frozen solid, about 30 minutes, transfer the cookies to an airtight, freezer-safe container to freeze for up to 3 months. When ready to serve, allow the cookies to thaw in the refrigerator and then bake as instructed.

Snowball Cookie being rolled in bowl of powdered sugar

Recipe Variations

While these cookies are a delectable favorite and absolutely perfect in my book, there are some other delicious options you may want to try.

Nut-Free – As crazy as it sounds for a recipe called Pecan Sandies, we also love these cookies with the nuts omitted. It is especially important if you want to make sure that you are serving a nut-free cookie if there are any allergies or nut sensitivities.

You can add so many different things to the cookie dough. Here are a few of our favorites:

Funfetti Cookies – to make a funfetti-type cookie, stir in colored sprinkles as your would the pecan in your cookie dough.

Chocolate-Filled Cookies – to make chocolate filled, encase a piece of chocolate (such as a Hershey’s Kiss or a Dove promise) in the center of the cookie dough. You’ll want to chill the cookie dough before baking to ensure that the chocolate doesn’t become overly melted.

Peppermint – to make a peppermint cookie, stir in crushed peppermint pieces into the cookie dough.

More Christmas and Holiday Cookies

Be sure to see my Make-Ahead Christmas Cookies to get a head start on all that cookie-baking fun for the holidays!

Gingerbread Cookies


Oatmeal Lace Cookies

Best Chewy Sugar Cookies – the best chewy sugar cookies ever!

Chocolate Chip Cookies

Cut Out Sugar Cookies – so fun to make special shapes with cookie cutters and decorate!

You may also want to take a look at my post on How to Make a Christmas Cookie Tray! It is so much fun and always a hit!

Here’s my Pecan Sandies Cookies Recipe, aka Mexican Wedding Cookies, aka Snowball Cookies, aka whatever you want to call them cookies recipe! 🙂 I hope you love them as much as we do!

Pecan Sandies, Snowball Cookies (Mexican Wedding Cookies) Recipe

5 from 22 votes
Pecan Sandies, Mexican Wedding Cookies, or Snowball Cookies, these favorite little cookies covered in powdered sugar are delicious, no matter what the name!
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 12 minutes
Total Time: 22 minutes
Servings: 48 cookies


  • 1 cup (226 g) butter
  • 1/2 cup (61.75 g) confectioner’s sugar, plus more for rolling baked cookies
  • 2 cups (240 g) all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup (114 g) chopped pecans
  • 1 teaspoon (4.7 g) vanilla extract


  • Preheat oven to 350º F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside. 
  • Cream together butter and sugar with electric mixer. Add in the flour and vanilla extract and mix until well combined. Slowly stir in the pecans. 
  • Scoop a teaspoon of the cookie dough and roll between your palms to form a ball. Place the ball of cookie dough onto the prepared baking sheet. Bake until lightly golden, about 12 minutes. Remove from oven and allow to cool to the touch. Roll in confectioner’s sugar. 
  • When ready to serve and once the cookies have completely cooled, roll or dust them with a bit of additional confectioner’s sugar, if you prefer.


Calories: 73kcal | Carbohydrates: 5g | Fat: 5g | Saturated Fat: 2g | Cholesterol: 10mg | Sodium: 33mg | Potassium: 16mg | Sugar: 1g | Vitamin A: 120IU | Calcium: 4mg | Iron: 0.3mg

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

No matter what name you use to refer to these heavenly pieces of confection, they are a must make cookie. Quick, easy, and definitely delicious.

Robyn xo

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About Robyn

Robyn Stone is a cookbook author, wife, mom, and passionate home cook. Her tested and trusted recipes give readers the confidence to cook recipes the whole family will love. Robyn has been featured on Food Network, People, Southern Living, and more.

5 from 22 votes (5 ratings without comment)

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Recipe Review


  1. Gloria says:

    5 stars

  2. Marty says:

    5 stars
    I have never made these cookies before and did today with your recipe! They are very good just a tad bit dry? Did I overcook? Is there something I could add more of? Please and thank you!

    1. Robyn Stone says:

      Marty, these cookies will be similar to shortbread with a slightly crumbly texture. If they are dry, it could be from over-mixing the dough. Mix in the flour and vanilla extract just until well combined. Then stir in the pecans. I hope this helps.

  3. Reina says:

    Do you use salted or unsalted butter?

    1. Robyn Stone says:

      Reina, I use salted butter. I hope you enjoy these cookies.

  4. Pam Petersen says:

    Made with my daughter and they were wonderful. Always a Christmas tradition
    She never made them but said she would do again! Simple and easy 💗💗💗

    1. Robyn Stone says:

      What a wonderful tradition, Pam. I always loved making these cookie with my mother.

  5. Misty Roberts says:

    I’ve seen some recipes use granulated sugar in the cookies itself. Why is powdered sugar used in other recipes. Just wanting to know what the difference is in the taste of them?