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Pecan Snowball Cookies

This cookie recipe is made with pecans and exhibits an almost shortbread-like texture that we LOVE. My grandmother calls them Pecan Butterballs, but I’ve also heard them called Pecan Sandies, Pecan Snowball Cookies, or Mexican Wedding Cookies as well.
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Course: baking, Cookies, Dessert
Cuisine: Italian, Mexican
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 25 minutes
Servings: 24 cookies

Ingredients

  • 1 cup unsalted butter, softened
  • ¼ cup granulated sugar
  • 2 tsp vanilla
  • 2 cups flour
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 2 cups pecans, minced

Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 325 degrees Fahrenheit.
  • Use an electric mixer to cream together butter and sugar until fluffy. Add vanilla and mix again.
  • Sift together flour and salt. Stir into the butter mixer.
  • Use a wooden spoon to mix in pecans. Dough will be crumbly, like sand, but you should be able to form it into balls.
  • Form the cookies into balls about 1 inch across. They will not grow or spread in the oven, so whatever size you form them is the size they will stay. Put the cookies on an ungreased cookie sheet and bake for 25 minutes.
  • Once cooled, dust cookies with powdered sugar and enjoy
  • Note: Cookies should hold their shape and be similar to a shortbread texture.

Notes

  1. Pecans: I love the pecans that are featured in this recipe! The original recipe from my grandmother called for 4 cups of pecans instead of 2, so that the cookies could also be rolled in pecans. If you’d like to add more pecans than what this blog post calls for, you are welcome to do so! I used pre-minced pecans, but you can also chop them in a nut chopper.
  2. Butter: This recipe is best with unsalted, softened butter. I always use unsalted butter for baking as it is much easier to control the salt concentration in the cookie that way. Make sure to leave your butter out on the counter for a few hours before baking so that it can soften to room temperature.
  3. I love this recipe for Pecan Snowball Cookies because I absolutely love Pecans! However, some recipes for Mexican Wedding Cookies (another name for this recipe) call for almonds instead! You can use whatever type of nut sounds good to you. Other great options are hazelnuts or even chopped up macadamia nuts. 
  4. The original version of this recipe from my grandmother includes 2 extra cups of pecans to roll the cookies in. I ended up cutting out this portion of the recipe, as I found that the dough was a little to dry to allow the pecans to stick. However, if you would like to roll the dough in additional pecans, chop up an additional cup or so, and you can! 
  5. Want to make the flavoring of this cookie even more exciting? Change up the type of extract you use! Don’t want to use vanilla? Try Almond Extract, Vanilla Butternut Flavoring, or anything else that sounds delicious to you!
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