Thursday, September 23, 2010

Mexican Wedding Cakes are Really Cookies

I was a little confused the first time I learned that Mexican Wedding Cakes are in fact cookies. When I picture a wedding cake I often think of a multi-tiered, fluffy, over-the-top dessert with icing and a plastic bride/groom placed on the top as decoration. Come to find out, Mexican Wedding Cakes are little mini-cakes or cookies – and they are simply delightful.

Historically, the Mexican Wedding Cake is a dessert that has stood the test of time and has been handed down through families over the centuries. I can attest this recipe has been passed through my mother’s side of the family for many generations. Some food historians claim its roots are in Medieval Arab cuisine, evolving then into Russia, Sweden, Italy, Cuba, and Mexico carrying names such as Pecan Balls, Swedish Tea Cakes, Russian Tea Cakes, and Snowballs. Whatever the ‘actual name’ I think they’re an inexpensive way to make a tasty dessert. On the contrary, I’ve also read the original tradition is to make these cakes around the holidays and to use your very best and most expensive butters, nuts and sugars. Who needs expensive ingredients in the middle of a recession? Not me!

But, let’s be honest. The real reason I’m baking Mexican Wedding Cakes is that I’m getting married in Mexico in a month. "Wedding" in "Mexico", let's make Mexican Wedding Cakes! Okay, truth-be-told my husband and I snuck off to the courthouse a few weeks ago, but the ACTUAL ceremony is in Mexico very soon (shhh, don’t tell). My mother was in town for the bridal shower, and in facilitating mother/daughter bonding time we made cookies together. When I asked my mom to help cook this recipe she warned, “Be sure to buy a pound of butter, we’re gonna double the recipe.” Good thing I like butter. Butter is good for you. Now let's bow our heads and pay tribute to Paula Deen for making butter chic again.

Here is the Recipe directly from my family cook book:

Mexican Wedding Cakes

½ Cup Butter (1 stick, thaw to room temp)
2 Tablespoons Powdered Sugar
1 Cup Flour
1 Cup Chopped Pecans
1 teaspoon Vanilla (REAL Vanilla, not Imitation)

Cream the butter and powdered sugar. Add flour, pecans and vanilla. Roll Dough into 1 inch balls. Place on greased baking sheet and flatten slightly. Bake at 300 for 45 minutes. Roll in additional powdered sugar when the cookies are still warm – place back on baking sheet to cool completely. Once cooled, roll the cookies in powdered sugar again and eat up!!


  1. I love mexican wedding cakes!

  2. These are my FAVORITE cookies of all time!! I made these with my grandmother and still make them today. We called them Heavenly Bits and they really do melt in your mouth!!

    I'm really enjoying reading your blog . . . I'm a pretty good cook, but . . . I'm buying a "mom & pop" cafe!! I need to brush up!