Recovering The SelfA Journal of Hope and Healing


Mexican Wedding Cookies with Jo Elizabeth Pinto

by Jo Elizabeth Pinto

These cookies are super easy to make, and addicting to eat with coffee or hot chocolate. My husband is from Detroit, and in that part of the country, the cookies are called Russian tea cakes and made with pecans. But in the Southwest, they’re Mexican wedding cookies, and it’s walnuts all the way. The bite-sized treats are often served at Hispanic weddings, birthday parties, and holidays such as Christmas and Easter. They also make delicious everyday snacks or treats to put in children’s lunch boxes. It’s fascinating to me that the same rich, buttery cookies developed independently of each other, on opposite sides of the planet, with different nuts but with the same scrumptiousness in common. It just goes to show that people everywhere share certain traits—like ingenuity, sugar cravings, and great taste.

Mexican Wedding Cookies

Mexican Wedding Cookies


  • Prep Time: 45 minutes
  • Baking Time: 10-12 minutes


  • 2 cups (4 sticks) butter, softened
  • 1 cup powdered sugar, plus more for rolling cookies after baking
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 4-1/2 cups flour
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1-1/2 cups finely chopped walnuts


  1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Lightly grease two baking sheets.
  2. Cream together the butter and one cup of the powdered sugar with an electric mixer till light and fluffy.
  3. Add the vanilla extract, then gradually add the flour and salt, mixing well after each addition. When all of the flour is added and a soft dough is formed, stir in the walnuts.
  4. If the dough is too soft or sticky to work with, chill it in the refrigerator for half an hour. Form the dough into 1-inch balls and place the balls on the greased baking sheets.
  5. Bake the cookies ten to twelve minutes, or just till they start to turn golden brown. Cool slightly.
  6. when cookies are just cool enough to handle safely, remove from baking sheets and roll in powdered sugar to coat evenly. Cool the cookies completely. Roll them in powdered sugar again. Store airtight.

Makes eight dozen, or 96 cookies.

About the Author

Jo Elizabeth Pinto was among the first blind students to integrate the public schools in the 1970’s. In 1992, she received a degree in Human Services from the University of Northern Colorado. While teaching students how to use adaptive technology, she earned a second degree in 2004 from the Metropolitan State College of Denver in Nonprofit Management. She freelances as an editor and a braille proofreader. As an author, Pinto entertains her readers while giving them food for thought. In her fiction, nonfiction, and poetry, she draws on personal experience to illustrate that hope is always an action away. Pinto lives in Colorado with her husband, her preteen daughter, and their pets. Visit her website at

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One thought on “Mexican Wedding Cookies with Jo Elizabeth Pinto”

  1. Diana says:

    Those cookies look amazing. They’re my favorite kinds of cookies. I think it’s the powdered sugar. 🙂 Thanks for sharing your recipe. 🙂

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