12 Days of Cookies: Day 3, Mexican Wedding Balls

Snowball Cookies

Mexican Wedding Balls, Snowball Cookies, Russian Tea Cakes… Whatever the name, one thing is certain: These cookies will make spirits bright! The snow-white, powdery appearance makes it a favorite for cookie swaps and festive desserts. The cookies were dubbed Mexican Wedding Balls because of their common use as cheery wedding favors.

The secret to making truly scrumptious, melt-in-your-mouth Mexican Wedding Balls is using high-quality butter and pure vanilla extract. Check out our video to follow Leslie’s simple step-by-step instructions for preparing these cookies!

Mexican Wedding Balls
Click here to print this recipe!


1 1/2 cups whole almonds
12 ounces (3 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
1/3 cup granulated sugar
1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
3 1/4 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
2 cups powdered sugar, sifted

Makes 3 dozen cookies

1. Preheat oven to 350°F.

2. Scatter almonds on a rimmed baking sheet and toast on center rack of oven for approximately 10 minutes, or until golden brown. Let cool, then finely chop and set aside.

3. Combine butter and sugar in the bowl of your stand mixer and using the paddle attachment, mix on low speed for about 30 seconds. Increase speed to medium and mix for another 5 to 7 minutes, or until the mixture is smooth and pale in color. Add vanilla extract and mix for about 30 seconds, making sure vanilla is fully incorporated. Remove the bowl from the mixer and scrape down the sides of the bowl.

4. Place almonds and flour in a medium bowl and toss together. Using a rubber spatula, fold half of the dry ingredients into the bowl of batter. After the first batch is fully incorporated, fold in the other half and continue folding until all of the dry ingredients have been absorbed, 1 to 2 minutes. Cover bowl with plastic wrap and chill in the refrigerator for 1 hour.

5. Preheat oven to 325°F. Line 2 rimmed baking sheets with parchment paper.

6. Scoop small amounts of dough out of the bowl (I like to use a small ice cream scoop), and roll the dough into 1 1/2-inch balls. Place the balls on the prepared baking sheets, about 1 inch apart, pressing them down lightly to create a flat bottom on each cookie. Chill in refrigerator for about 2 hours.

7. Back on center rack of oven, 1 sheet at a time, for 15 to 20 minutes, or until the cookies just start to color. To help the cookies bake evenly, rotate the baking sheet every 4 minutes or so. Let the cookies cool slightly on the baking sheet, then toss them in powdered sugar. Lay the sugar-coated cookies on a clean baking sheet to finish cooling. Finally, after the cookies are fully cooled, toss them in powdered sugar once again. They can be stored in an airtight container for up to 1 month at room temperature.