Virginia Willis’ wedding cookies

Southern Kitchen
Virginia Willis’ Wedding Cookies

About the recipe

Wedding cookies, sometimes called Mexican wedding cookies or meltaways, are a holiday classic. They are essentially shortbread made with chopped pecans and are super simple to make with children.

Serves: Makes about 4 dozen

Hands On Time: 30 minutes

Total Time: 1 hour and 0 minutes


1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature

1/4 cup granulated sugar

1 teaspoon vanilla

2 cups cake flour (not self-rising)

1 cup chopped pecans

1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt

1 cup powdered sugar, for rolling


Heat the oven to 300 degrees. Line two rimmed baking sheets with silicone baking mats or parchment paper.

In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the butter, granulated sugar and vanilla on medium speed until light and fluffy. Gradually add the flour, pecans and salt, beating on low speed after each addition until well blended. Using a small ice cream scoop, shape the dough into 1-inch balls. Place half of the dough balls 1 1/2 inches apart on the prepared baking sheets.

Bake until the bottoms of the cookies are lightly browned, about 30 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack to cool slightly. Place the powdered sugar in a medium bowl and, while the cookies are still warm, roll in the sugar until evenly coated. Transfer to a wire rack set on top of a rimmed baking sheet to cool completely.

Repeat with the remaining dough balls. Store in a tightly-covered container at room temperature for up to 1 week.