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Would you believe “Mexican” Wedding Cookies are not even Mexican in origin?

They can be traced back to Arabic origin, and migrated to Mexico by way of European Nuns or Spanish Conquistadors in the 16th century.  These cookies have been around so long that they’ve spread and been adapted by a multitude of cultures.

In Greece, they are crescent shaped and referred to as kourabiedes.  That name comes from Turkey, which calls them kurabiye (means dry kuru biscuit biye).  Eastern Europeans call them Viennese Crescents.

More recently they’ve been referred to as snowballs or pecan sandies on the East Coast of the US.  One of the more exotic names is Russian Tea Cookies.

The story goes that their name was changed to Mexican Wedding Cookies in the 1950’s due to the Cold War.  Nobody here wanted to say anything positive about the Russians, so the name was changed.

The dough is unique among most cookie doughs as it contains no eggs.  Instead, it relies on the fat of the butter to bring everything together.


1 cup butter
1/2 cup confectioner’s sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 teaspoons water
2 cups sifted all-purpose flour
1 cup chopped almonds
1/2 cup confectioner’s sugar


Cream the butter and sugar in a bowl
Stir in vanilla and water
Add the flour and almonds
Mix until blended
Cover and Chill for 3 hours

Preheat oven to 350F

Shape dough into balls. Place on unprepared cookie sheet.  A small ice cream scoop or melon baller can help make shaping the dough faster.

Bake 15 to 20 minutes.
Important Tip:  Don’t over-bake.  The cookies shouldn’t develop much color.

Remove from pan to cool on wire racks
When cool, roll in confectioners sugar.
Store at room temp in an airtight container