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Russian Tea Cakes (Mexican Wedding Cookies) on a sheet pan

Russian Tea Cakes (Mexican Wedding Cookies)

These Russian Tea Cakes look like little snowballs, making them perfect holiday cookies. The toasted pecans, brown butter and sugar make for a delicious cookie that is beautiful, simple and elegant.


  • 2 cup (7 1/2 oz) pecans lightly toasted and cooled
  • 1/2 cup (2 oz) confectioners' sugar for processing nuts
  • 4 cups (18 oz) bleached all-purpose flour measured with spoon and sweep
  • 1/2 tsp kosher salt
  • 4 sticks (1 lb) unsalted butter, browned strained and cooled to room temperature
  • 1 1/2 cups (6 oz) confectioners’ sugar
  • 1 tbsp vanilla homemade vanilla recipe
  • 1 tsp almond extract
  • 2 cups (8 oz) confectioners’ sugar for dipping the cookies


  • Preheat oven to 350°F, with the racks at the top and lower third of oven. Line two cookie sheets with parchment paper.
  • In a food processor pulse the nuts and 1/2 cup of confectioners’ sugar until they are a fine meal.
  • In a large bowl combine the nut mixture, flour and salt with a whisk.
  • In a stand mixer, with the paddle attachment, cream the browned butter and 1 1/2 cups confectioners sugar. Beat on medium speed until light and fluffy, about 4 minutes. Add in the vanilla and almond extracts. Add the flour mixture and mix on low speed until all the dry ingredients are incorporated.
  • Using a small ice cream scoop, portion out the dough and roll them in your palms to create round balls. Position them on the lined cookie sheet so they have about 1 1/2 inches between them.
  • Bake for about 12 minutes (rotate the trays and switch from top to bottom, half way through the baking), until the bottoms are golden and the tops set, but pale. The tops will crack slightly.
  • Allow the cookies to cool completely before you roll them in the confectioners' sugar. If you roll them too soon the sugar will melt and get clumpy.
  • Dip the cookies a few at a time in the sugar. Dip them again right before you pack or serve them.