Search the website
Pati Jinich

I had never heard the name Mexican Wedding Cookies.

Ever.

I was born and raised in Mexico City. I lived there all my life until I married my husband, another Mexican, and moved to the U.S.

There were no Mexican Wedding Cookies at our Mexican wedding (though there were a ton of roosters doing their Cock a Doodle Do thing next door, which made it hard for us to say our vows real loud…). Nor were there any of those cookies, at any wedding in Mexico that I have ever attended. None.

The first time I heard the name Mexican Wedding Cookie was once we moved to Washington D.C. Since then, I have been asked about them continuously. What’s more, once I started my blog, I began to receive a lot of requests, via lovely emails, for their recipe.

It took me a while to realize that those Mexican Wedding Cookies, so liked this side of the border, are what I love and know as Polvorones. One of Mexico’s most popular treats, consumed on an every day basis, and found in just about every Panaderí­a (bakery) and any grocery store throughout the whole country.

Mexican Wedding Cookies 1a.JPGThe name Polvorón seems to come from the word Polvo, which translates to dust or powder. Maybe because these cookies break into the finest of crumbs the moment they touch your mouth. And as you take a bite, they seem to melt and disappear.

They come in many flavors: plain, pecan, peanut, vanilla, cinnamon and even chocolate, to name some. I go for pecans.

Mexican Wedding Cookies 2b.JPGSince the cookie is so light, pecans add a nice and nutty depth of flavor, as well as an extra crunch.

Just grind the pecans using a food processor or blender. You can also chop them finely. My mother has an old fashioned nut grinder, which looks like a small mill or molino. It is a real find. I should have convinced her to give it to me as a wedding gift, now that we are talking about weddings….

Whichever way you decide to finely chop or grind them, mix them with the confectioners’s sugar.

Mexican Wedding Cookies 3.JPGIt is the addition of this kind of sugar which gives these cookies that airy quality and that peculiar light sweet taste.

They are similar to shortbread cookies, and as such, can be made in a bowl and mixed with your hands. Aside from being a quick and fun method, it is practical in a busy kitchen. Very few things to wash…

So grab a large mixing bowl and stir in the flour and salt. Cut your cold butter into small chunks and spoon in the vegetable shortening in teaspoon amounts.

Mexican Wedding Cookies 4b.JPGDive in with your hands, and work in the butter and vegetable shortening into the flour with your fingers.

Mexican Wedding Cookies 5.JPGIts therapeutic.

In no time, you will get this nice flaky crumbly dough.

Mexican Wedding Cookies 6a.JPGAdd in the sugar and pecan mixture. Work it in…

Mexican Wedding Cookies 7.JPGCrack an egg. Mix it in. It will help the dough come together.

Mexican Wedding Cookies 9.JPGKnead the dough until you can turn it into a ball. Don’t overwork the dough. You know that you need to stop as soon as you can turn it into a ball. No need to refrigerate if you stopped in time.

You know you overworked the dough if it becomes very, very greasy. The warmth of your hands will do that if work the dough for too long.

Mexican Wedding Cookies 10.JPGStart making the cookies by grabbing small amounts of the dough and making 1 to 1 1/2″ balls. If you over worked the dough, your hands will be too greasy and it will be hard to make the balls. If that is the case, just place the dough in the refrigerator, covered, for 15 minutes… No worries, that will fix it.

Mexican Wedding Cookies 11.JPGPlace the balls on a buttered baking sheet, and gently tap each ball as you lay them out.

Super easy! Kids can do this with you.

Mexican Wedding Cookies 12.JPGOnce you are done rolling out enough  cookies to fill a baking sheet or tray, place them into the oven for about 15 minutes.

Mexican Wedding Cookies 13b.JPGThey will come out all golden and delicious.

See that one that looks a bit burned and not so happy?  That’s because I overworked the dough in that single ball to show you what it would look like.

That’s why its good to know when to stop…

Mexican Wedding Cookies 14.JPGOnce out, dust them with extra confectioners’ sugar. The more, the better. Go ahead, go wild and dust until you have had enough… These cookies can take it because the dough is barely sweet and they are meant to be showered in that extra sugar.

  Mexican Wedding Cookies

In Mexico, you can find them as the original Spanish cookies (Spaniards are to blame you know, they are the ones who brought them to Mexico), which are flatter, bigger and wider. But you can also find them in some small artisanal shops, in that smaller ball shape all wrapped in beautiful thin colored wrapping paper, with the ends twisted. As if they were little candies, or gifts, to unwrap.

Polvorones are deceiving.  They look hard on the outside. But go ahead and take a bite.

You may understand, like I recently did, why they have been called Mexican Wedding Cookies here in the U.S.

That’s how special they are.

Mexican Wedding CookiesPolvorones

Serves: makes about 30 cookies

Polvorones" alt="Mexican Wedding CookiesPolvorones" />

Ingredients

2 cups all purpose flour

1/8 teaspoon salt

1/2 cup cold unsalted butter, cut into chunks

1/2 cup vegetable shortening

1/2 cup pecans, grounded or finely chopped

3/4 cup confectioners sugar, plus more to dust

1 egg

To Prepare

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

Using a food processor, blender, nut mill or knife, finely chop the pecans. Add the powdered sugar to the processor or blender (if that's what you used) and grind or chop. If done by hand, just mix together.

Mix the flour and salt together in a large mixing bowl. Drop in the chunks of butter and the vegetable shortening in teaspoon amounts. Begin to mix with your hands, until the butter and vegetable shortening are mixed in with the flour and salt. The mixture will turn into a coarse dough, with chunks of butter and shortening mixed throughout.

Add in the sugar and pecan mixture and work it all in. Crack the egg into the mixture thoroughly combine, using your hands. In less than a minute, the dough should be soft and malleable enough to be turned into a ball. Don't knead more than necessary, you just want it to come together into a homogeneous mass.

Butter a large cookie sheet. One by one, make small balls of dough with the palms of your hands. The dough ball should be between 1 and 1 1/2 inches wide. Place them on a baking sheet with about 1 inch in between the dough balls. Bake them for about 15 to 16 minutes, until they have a golden brown color.

Dust extra confectioners sugar over the top of the cookies and eat and serve.

© 2010-2013 MEXICAN TABLE, LLC. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

http://www.patismexicantable.com/2010/12/mexican_wedding_cookies/


Comments

Beautiful, Beautiful, Beautiful!!!


It’s funny. We have a family recipe with almost the same exact ingredients but we call them Viennese Crescents. The only difference is we add vanilla and we shape the dough into half moons. The cookies are blanketed in powdered sugar and they are supposed to be kept in a jar for a week with vanilla beans, but they always get eaten. I had planned to make some today! Chow for now and Feliz Navidad.

Hi Kristin, I assume almost every country must have its own version… Storing them with vanilla beans though, sounds like a special treat!



Pati,
Feliz Navidad to you and your family. Really enjoy your site and thanks for sharing the cookie recipe. The first time I encountered these cookies was when they were being made by one of the women in our pueblito in Chihuahua for a wedding that weekend. I had forgotten about this lovely memory until I saw your post on this cookie. Anyhoot, keep up the great work!

Hi Diana,
We also ate them in Chihuahua when we visited last year too!!



Oooooh… I’ve been waiting for this one! Easier than I thought and again thank you so much for your posts Pati. Feliz Navidad!

It is my pleasure Matt. Feliz Navidad to you too!!!



We made these in my cooking class about a month ago — it was part of the “convent cooking” lesson. We used butter instead of lard, and the cookies were super over-the-top pork-tasting. (I guess the nuns didn’t used to mind if their cookies tasted like pork?) I like the butter idea much better. Will have to try that instead!

Hola Lesley!
It is incredible how many of the Mexican traditional desserts have been made with lard. It was practically standard practice a long time ago! Trends have changed though… some cooks have switched to vegetable shortening, some to butter, some are devoted to the feel and flavor of lard. In many cases I like to combine vegetable shortening and butter. But for some savory things, like some tamales, it seems that lard has no match…



These are my Only daughter’s favorite cookies. We moved to the US when she was 6 and old enough to remember all her favorite shops and the smells of her true hometown. She ended up marrying an American and with so many traditions being debated she begged me for this comfort food of her childhood. Her wedding was a powder mix- 13 years later I still bake them on their anniversary. I’m happy you clarified th cookie to you follower’s!

What a lovely tradition!



In our family we call them snowball cookies.. a number 1 favorite of mine and the family….every Christmas we make two different kinds one with the nuts and one without for those who have allergies…They are always the first to go……


Hi Pati! These cookies look delightful! However, when I think of Mexican wedding cookies, these are not what I picture. My Tia Gloria makes these shortbread-like cookies with cinnamon and sugar. Those are what my family and I have grown up calling them. They are almost always in the shape of hearts and are absolutely wonderful. She made, and in recent years, bought, these cookies for every wedding, anniversary and holiday. Do you have any idea what I’m even taking about? Lol. I’m loving your show on PBS by the way!

Hi Pilar,
Yes! I’ve seen Mexican Wedding Cookies in many shapes, in Mexico they are most often in the shape of circles, but I have seen them in heart shapes too. Glad you are enjoying the show!



Hola Pati,
Veo tu show en PBS y me encanta. Soy de Ecuador pero me gusta mucho la comidan Mexicana y a mi esposo que es Norteamericano tambien.
La primera vez que te vi fue en el show con Paula Deen.
Felicitaciones.


I love it like my granmother recipe.


You should market the music that you play during the taping of the show; it ios real romantic and makes me want to dance too.


hola! Acabo de descubrirte en la tele haciendo garibaldis!!! ME encoanto tu programa!
Yo soy regia y casada con un chilango y con mis tres hijos chilangos! AMo la cocina y obvio massss la mexicana!
Me da mucho gusto que hayas logrado tanto con tu amor por la cocina.
Yo ahora vivo en San Antonio y estoy feliz, con mas tiempo para cocinar que en Monterrey, aunque alla tenia ayuda para recoger todo el mugrero que hacia al cocinar:( … jajaj
EStoy leyendo tu articulo de los polvorones y me da risa lo de “mexican wedding cookies” !!! yo siempre he pensado lo mismoooooo! En algun libro me los tope llamados Italian wedding cookies, asi que a todos los latinos nos enjaretan lo de “wedding” jajajja.
ESpero volverte a ver en la tele y si no, pues ya tengo tu pag..!
felicidades y enhorabuena!!!!
Myriam


hello pati,
discovered you on tv and was so engrossed with your recipes,charm of speaking as well as clariness. i am interested in the recipes shown in the New York area on July 30. any possibility of sending the recipes to me or putting them on your web site?
norma assante


I am in love again, you make me feel young just watching you! of course the food has a lot to do with that! but hey your just as spicy as the food!!
Love the show, a breath of fresh air!
Billy

You are too funny Bill! Thank you for watching the show.



Hi Pati!
Today is the first time I’ve seen your show but I loved it. I love mexican food, its one of my weaknesses. For these cookies if I wanted to do them with vanilla or cinnamon do I just leave out the pecans and add in either vanilla extract or cinnamon?
Thanks so much!
Jessica


Hi Pati, I am excited to try this recipe…I have been looking for a recipe for a cookie that we (S.Texas) call “Pan de Polvo”, I have also heard them called Ojarascas (??). My Mother says that it is the same basic recipe. They are very delicate cookies that are usually cut out or made in a cookie press with bits of Canela & covered in canela & azucar. I would greatly appreciate it if you could clarify this for me & if you have a recipe for them post it. Felicidades en tu programa, magnifico!!!

Hola Laura, Yes, I agree with your mother. There are many variations of this recipe that share the same basic ingredients but are known as different names. The Hojarascas are similar to the Mexican Wedding Cookies, so much so, you can say they are a version of each other :)



Hello there,
I love these cookies but didnt understand why they call them Mexican Wedding Cookies as well. I was born and raised in the US but I’ve been to my share of Mexican weddings and gatherings and not once have I seen those cookies.
Thanks for the recipe. I’m going to make them for New Years Eve.
God Bless!


Hi Pati,
I love these cookies, and was delighted to read in your article that they come in many different varieties! I’ve only known them with pecans, so I’m excited to try some of the other versions.
Cinnamon and Chocolate both sound amazing.
I was curious if you might be able to post these two variant recipes sometime?
Thanks! …and my wife and I love your PBS show! We moved away from our birthplace of Phoenix, AZ to the Pacific NW recently. Ever since, it’s been nice to find shows like yours. For us, you help bring a little bit of home back.
Bob

Thank you so much for your kind words Bob! I will be sure to post soon with the variant recipes.



Me encanto su receta son muy comunes en el Estado de Nuevo Leon, Mexico, donde yo naci, pero se llaman “‘pan de boda”‘y se hacen de diferentes formas o moldes y se les pone azucar con canela molida en lugar de azucar glass, y la costumbre era regalarle a los padrinos de la boda cajas de esas galletas.. Me hizo recordar esa hermosa tradicion Saludos .perdon por escribir en español

A pues Idalia! Suena deliciosa esa versión con azúcar y canela. Y que bonita tradición, espero algún día probarlas por ahí, directo en NL. Saludos!



Pati, I have just finished whipping these up and they are amazing. These are not like my grandmother’s. Your recipe is light and moist. Thank you so much for sharing.

Hola Denise, Thank you for trying my wedding cookie recipe! I’m glad to hear you are enjoying them. I’m sure your grandmother’s are amazing as well.



esa receta la conosco de chihuahua les dicen biscochos y si se acostumbra dar en las bodas las hay de nues y los famosos biscochos de canela los de nuez yo los hago pero sin manteca pura mantequilla son deliciosos


These cookies in all their variety are called “resposteria” in Chihuahua and they are served on special occasions such as in weddings, bridal showers, quinceaneras, Christmas, baby showers, etc. I remember when I was little sitting around the table with my cousins and making the little balls, it was our Christmas tradition. Reposteria or wedding cookies are delicious and delicate. Wedding cookies might be a thing from the north of Mexico and not from the center/south.

Hola Lexy, Thank you for writing me. This is great to know. In my experience, I’ve found wedding cookies throughout Mexico. All the best to you.



Pati, I work in a bakery which sells these cookies. They are tasty but dense. Your recipe is amazing! We are all lucky to be able to access you wonderful recipes. Thanks for sharing!

Thank you, Erica! I’m glad to hear they are making these lovely cookies in bakeries in the US!!



Hola Pati!
Just made these yummy cookies! So easy and quiet( no mixer!)
My mother in law,Alice, will love them. I will send some to her in Albuquerque ASAP.
I was a bit short on pecans and added some toasted almonds,bueno;-)I love your website and added your book to my Christmas list.
Merry,Merry!
best wishes to you and your family for a happy and healthy new year.
Muchos muchos gracias
Pattygabriel


Hola Pati
Had to tell you that I made these wedding cookies and the next day my daughter Jessica and her beau Robbie announced their engagement;-)
Coincidence?
I don’t think so!
Salutations!
Pattygabriel

Hola Patty, Thank you so much for sharing! It sounds like the cookies were prophetic. Congratulations to your daughter!!



Hola Pati,

I grew up with a version of this cookie; the ingredients are the same except for the egg though the amounts called for (flour, powdered sugar, etc) vary. They were a Betty Crocker cookie called Russian Teacakes. I am a big fan of the show and cannot wait for the cookbook to come out.

Happy Holidays,

Faron


Hi Pati,

I’m so glad that you posted this recipe! Two questions: how to store; and how long will they keep fresh? My daughter is having a Mexican fiesta themed bridal shower this coming Cinco de Mayo, and I’d like to know how far in advance I can make them. Thank you! Love your show!

Hi Yvonne, I’m so excited you are going to make the wedding cookies for your daughter’s bridal shower! You can make the cookies a couple days in advance, but I don’t recommend more than 2 days in advance. You can store them in a covered/sealed container at room temperature. Thank you very much for watching the show!!



Hola Pati

Feliz dia de Reyes y me encanta tu programa por pbs tv …soy mexicana de Allende nuevo Leon muy cerca de Monterrey y mi madre orgullosamente es de un rancho en tamaulipas y de nina me acuerdo que mis padres me llevaron a vrias bodas… lo peculiar de estas bodas es estas llamadas wedding cookies que en Mexico mejor dicho en estos ranchos Las llaman hojarscas o reposteria nunca pude ovtener la reseta lo unico que si se es que usan coca Cola y manteca de puerco y me imajino que cada pueblo tiene su variantes de como hacer estas delicias


My mother is from Paras Nuevo Leon and she always made these polvorone cookies for us kids growing up. Mom is 84 and she wanted a recipe to refresh her memory. I googled for recipe and found yours at the top of the list. I read most of the comments and thought I’d add mine. Was surprised to see you have a show on pbs! I will look for it. I’m also looking forward to tasting the end result of the cookies!! I wrote down the recipe for mamma! Thanks Pati

Thanks for adding your comment, reading and responding to comments is such a treat, so thanks again! Hope you like the cookies, so does your mamma!



Ha ha ha I goggled what are Mexican wedding cookies, and stumbled upon this beautiful recipe I love the explanation and am dying to try the recipe :)

Thank you so much, Shundara! Please try the recipe!! Let me know what you think.



To the ones that understand,Yes,Polvorones,the true name for the cookies. Thanks again.


Hola,

I am making these, but wonder how long they should keep to ensure the freshness?

Mil gracias!

Antonia

Great Antonia! As long as you keep them covered, they will stay nice and fresh for about 5 days.

Thank you for the quick reply! They turned out very well. I only had walnuts and definitely taste the blandness with them. Will make again later this week and use Texas Pecans! Thanks again for the great recipe!!!

Antonia




This recipe is so simple and the pictures on this post are so clear I actually made them perfect the first time!!! They are so good that I personally don’t need to worry about how long they can keep because they somehow disappeared as soon as they were dusted with sugar!! Baking is not my specialty so it is very exciting to try something new and it works!!!


Hola Pati,
My abuelita used to make these polvorones all the time for us. She never used a recipe and they were consistently perfect. She used to make them into moon shapes by squeezing the dough in her hands, this was the part I used to get to help with. I am going to try this recipe for a trip down memory lane. Gracias.

Hola Michelle, Thank you for sharing the story about your abuelita’s polvorones! She sounds like a lovely woman. I’m so happy you found this recipe…



Here in the states these are known as “Snowballs”. When I was a child my mom, who is now 90 would make these at Christmas and I continue the tradition
with my grandchildren. A Swedish friend of mine told me they are also made in Sweden. But I’ve always known them as “Snowballs”. I would be interested to know where they originated. They are easy to make but delicious.

Hola Loly, “Snowballs” sounds like such an appropriate thing to call them, especially around Christmas! I have also heard of them being made in Italy; it seems these cookies are made in so many places around the world…



When I saw the name “Polvorones”, I thought it must be related to the English word “pulverise”. Nice to know I was right… :)

And I wonder if they’re called that because the nuts are pulverised before they go in? Or because the sugar used (confectioners sugar) is actually pulverised granular sugar? So many possibilities.

Oh who cares! They’re tasty no matter why the name. :D

You made me laugh Yasmin! May be for all of the above, as well as how they “pulverise” as soon as they hit your mouth.



Today, I am making Mexican Wedding Cookie balls for Christmas, and I must get them done this week 11-25-13 How do I store them and will they be ok for Christmas. I have a huge glass Jar I would like to store them in, will this keep them fresh enough for the Holidays. Can they be frozen? Thanks Lucy

Hi Lucy!
They will keep for a couple weeks covered in your kitchen. They will keep until Christmas (or more!) if you store them tightly in plastic bags (with no air inside) in the freezer and just thaw them a day ahead.



Hi Pati
I was so happy to see your recipe for these Mexican cookies. I am from San Antonio, Texas and getting a little home sick for the holidays. These cookies like you said are in every Mexican bakery. When we visit this is the first thing I go and buy. Today I will be making them and so excited to see how they turn out. I am not much of a baker so I will be crossing my fingers. Thanks again and I love all your recipes and look forward to making your green pozole as well.

I will cross my fingers too, Jennifer, hoping that you like them when you try them!



I’m going to make these for a cookie exchange in a few days. Was wondering if you had a high altitude variation for these as I’m living in Colorado now and everything I bake here is a disaster. ;) thanks so much and I look forward to eating these up!

Hola Valerie, Thank you for writing! Go ahead and follow the recipe as written and check after baking 15 min. You’re looking for them to be a light golden brown color – if it takes a little longer, just leaving them in checking every minute or two.



My nana and myself, my sister, my mom and sometimes my aunts as her helpers would always make these cookies for Christmas and sometimes for other holidays as well but we always made our with almonds and shaped them into crescents. My nana was Mexican American of the first generation born in American of our family. My nana married a gringo and so did my mother so I’m ethnically 1/4th Latina. I was never certain if these cookies were a Mexican tradition or from a recipe book since she always called them Almond Crescents and my sister and I would often call them Christmas Cookies. These are probably my favorite cookies and the rest of my family’s favorite as well. I love how they melt in your mouth and they are best eaten quickly or else they can become stale. For Christmas my nana used to always bake a Christmas tree shaped bread that had a star on top and she used a cookie cutter to add donut shaped segments to the tree that would be slightly raised after baked. Then after baking it she’d add apricot peserves to the middle of each donut segment and then it was very lightly glazed with some light mixture of butter and sugar.

Hola Marisa, Thank you for your lovely message. I love hearing about your nana, mom, sister, and your tradition of making these cookies around Christmas. I can imagine they are very delicious with almonds.



I recommend making a double batch, to compensate for any cookies that are eaten before their intended event. This recipe is easy to follow and fun, and if there are kids around, they will do the rolling of the cookies for you. I experimented a bit – some dough go cinnamon, a few were dusted with cocoa powder, and for a few, I grated lemon zest into the powdered sugar. The Verdict: they were all good, but ultimately the original recipe is the best.


Hello! I have a project for spanish class and I am supposed to get a recipe for an item from mexico City. Are these from mexico city? I wanted to try and make a pastry item.

Yep! There are polvorones in Mexico City.



La receta es facíl. ¡La galletas es muy bien!


Can you make this reciep just as good without the shortening?

Hola Teresa, You can try it with substituting another 1/2 cup cold unsalted butter for the vegetable shortening.



Hi Pati,thanks sooo much for a great recipe! Am making these for a Cinco de Mayo Potluck I am going to today.Of course I had to taste one warm from the oven.DELICIOUS! I toasted the pecans before pulverizing,adds so much extra flavor.They are tender,soft and crumbly.Must be the combo of butter and shortening.I searched many recipes and yours sounded and looked the best.And since you have the same first name as my Mother who was also an awesome cook and baker I knew yours was the recipe to use! Thank you and Happy Mothers Day weekend!

So happy to hear!! What a great idea, with the toasted pecans.



Deliciosas,riquísimas, las mejores que he probado

Gracias!



Hello! I don’t know where to find vegetable shortening here in Holland. Is there something else I can use?
Muchas Gracias,
Marlene

Hola Marlene, Yes! You can just use 1 cup cold unsalted butter (instead of the 1/2 cup butter & 1/2 cup vegetable shortening).



Patti, love your show! My Aunt Patty used to make these every Christmas. Boy did we enjoy them I will be making them this year! Thanks for reminding me of those special times.

Hola Aaron, You will have to carry on your aunt’s tradition! ;)



When I originally commented I clicked the “Notify me when new comments are added” checkbox and now
each time a comment is added I get four
emails with the same comment. Is there any way you can remove people from
that service? Thank you!

So sorry Deneen! Will try to figure out how, bear with me…



Hi Pati!
I have been looking for this recipe for a long time. My abuelita used to make them, but she called them galletas de novia! Her ingredients were the same as yours I just didn’t remeber the ratio of them. I will make them as a surprise for my mommy. Thank you!

Hola Ana, So happy you are trying my recipe! You will have to let me know what your mom thinks!!



Hi Paty thanks for the recipe, I was just wondering if the vegetable shortening should be used cold or room temperature??
Thanks!!!

Hola Arely, You want the vegetable shortening to be cold. Hope you enjoy!



Hi Pati, I made the Mexican Wedding cookies and both times they turned out very dry? Is this the way they should be? I got the recipe on Google. Thanks

Hola Lotta, Sorry to hear the cookies are coming out dry. How long are you cooking them? I’ve found baking them only until the bottoms are browned helps.




Leave a Comment


Home | About Pati | TV Show | Cookbook | Pati’s Blog | Contact | Terms of Use & Privacy Policy
© 2010-2014 Mexican Table, LLC. All rights reserved.
 
Get the Newsletter