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Coconut-Lime Mexican Wedding Cookies

5 stars based on 16 votes

I’m not usually gushy or overly sentimental, but I’ve been feeling nostalgic this week. Fifteen years ago today, Michael and I were married on Cinco de Mayo. The picture below was taken right before our wedding when we were both in our twenties — when we had a lot less wrinkles and a lot more hair! I distinctly recall Michael being on his lunch break during that photo session, and none too thrilled to be posing for cheesy engagement photos (believe me, I spared you the really cheesy ones)! Anyway, I thought it’d be fitting to share a recipe for Mexican Wedding Cookies this week. Also known as Snowballs, Butter Balls or Russian Tea Cakes, they’re crisp, shortbread-like cookies made from ground nuts, flour, butter and sugar. This version is flavored with lime, pecans and ground coconut.

mike-jenn-2001

The recipe originally comes from Fine Cooking, although I’ve tweaked the method significantly to make it an easy, one bowl recipe. 

ingredients

To begin, combine the flour, salt, confectioners’ sugar, pecans and coconut in the bowl of a food processor fitted with the steel blade.

dough1

Process until the pecans and coconut are finely ground, and the mixture looks like sand.

dough2

Add the butter, lime zest, and vanilla extract.

dough3

Process until the mixture comes together into a cohesive dough.

dough4

Remove the dough from the bowl onto a sheet of plastic wrap.

dough5

Wrap and chill until firm enough to roll, 45 minutes to 1 hour.

dough6

Measure the dough into heaping teaspoon-size pieces and roll each piece into a ball. Place the balls about 1-1/2 inches apart on the prepared baking sheets.

ready-to-bake

Bake until the edges of the cookies barely begin to brown, 12 to 14 minutes.

baked

Let cool on the baking sheets, then roll in the confectioners’ sugar while still warm.

warm-cookies-in-sugar

Let the cookies cool on a rack.

cooling

Then roll again in confectioners’ sugar once they are cool.

cool-cookies-in-sugar

Serve and enjoy!

Coconut-Lime-Mexican-Wedding-Cookies-1

Coconut-Lime Mexican Wedding Cookies

Servings: About 30 cookies
Prep Time: 10 Minutes
Cook Time: 12 Minutes
Total Time: 25 Minutes, plus about 45 minutes to cool

Ingredients

  • 1 cup all purpose flour, spooned into measuring cup and leveled-off
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup confectioners' sugar, plus about 3/4 cup more for coating
  • 1/3 cup pecans
  • 1/4 cup sweetened flaked coconut
  • 1 stick (1/2 cup) unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 packed teaspoon lime zest, from 1 lime
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Instructions

  1. In the bowl of a food processor fitted with the steel blade, combine the flour, salt, confectioners' sugar, pecans and coconut. Process until the pecans and coconut are finely ground, and the mixture looks like sand. Add the butter, lime zest, and vanilla extract; process until the mixture comes together into a cohesive dough. Remove the dough from the bowl and wrap in plastic. Chill until firm enough to roll, 45 minutes to 1 hour.
  2. Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 350°F. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.
  3. Measure the dough into heaping teaspoon-size pieces and roll each piece into a ball. Place the balls about 1-1/2 inches apart on the prepared baking sheets. Bake until the edges of the cookies barely begin to brown, 12 to 14 minutes. Let cool on the baking sheets, then roll in the confectioners' sugar while still warm. Let the cookies cool on a rack, then roll again in confectioners' sugar once they are cool. Store in an airtight container at room temperature.

Nutrition Information

Powered by Edamam

  • Serving size: 1 cookie
  • Calories: 65
  • Fat: 4g
  • Saturated fat: 2g
  • Carbohydrates: 6g
  • Sugar: 3g
  • Fiber: 0g
  • Protein: 1g
  • Sodium: 28mg
  • Cholesterol: 9mg

Reviews & Comments

  • 5 stars

    Incredibly refreshing, delicate, buttery & packed with flavor all in 1 little cookie. Stirred mine by hand (no food processor available yet). Love lime & worried the lime zest wouldn’t add enough flavor but was wrong. In the last powdered sugar rolling step, I added 1 tsp of True Lime (powder) to the Powdered Sugar, shook it up & rolled ’em for an extra punch of lime. Didn’t add as much lime flavor as I thought it would on the outside, the real lime flavor shined through from the lime zest. Simply delicious! Everything I’ve tried from your site turns out fabulous. Thank you again for your generosity in sharing recipes & wisdom with everyone. I’m most appreciative.

    - Kelli on May 17, 2017 Reply
  • Excellent taste, will make more!

    - Chat on May 11, 2017 Reply
  • 4 stars

    These are one of my favorite cookies. And I have never made them myself but always devour them at parties! I was looking for a recipe to use some ingredients I had left over from other meals. Coconut and walnuts! So I made a substitution (something I’m used to living overseas). I had to stop my 7 y.o. from eating them up. Packed some away for the neighbors just in time! Thanks for a great recipe!

    - Ericka on December 22, 2016 Reply
  • 5 stars

    Absolutely delicious! Just made them tonight and had to taste them while they were still warm.

    Also congratulations on your anniversary.

    - Christina on December 22, 2016 Reply
  • 5 stars

    These cookies are really delicious. There are a number of cookies that look very similar to this, but everyone is surprised with this coconut lime pecan version. Very fresh and not overly sweet considering they are rolled in powdered sugar. Fantastic cookie. You should probably just make a double batch…they are that GOOD!

    - Hedy DeCampo on December 21, 2016 Reply
  • Could i substitute gluten free flour
    for regular flour?

    - Norma Keating on December 4, 2016 Reply
    • Hi Norma, I haven’t tried them with gluten-free flour so I can’t say for sure, but I think it would work. This is a good gluten-free baking mix. I’d love to hear how they turn out!

      - Jenn on December 5, 2016 Reply
  • 5 stars

    This is a great recipe for my favorite cookie. You can omit the lime and add a bit of cinnamon or almond extract for a different flavor profile.

    - Tierney on December 3, 2016 Reply
  • Hi, can I make the dough and freeze ahead of time? Looking forward to trying these!

    - Jeanette on November 27, 2016 Reply
    • Sure Jeanette, that would work. I’d suggest rolling them into balls before freezing. Enjoy!

      - Jenn on November 28, 2016 Reply
  • Hi Jenn, I love your recipes and blog. I have some fresh limes from the garden and wanted to try these. Can I make these with unsweetened coconut?
    Thanks,
    Darlene

    - Darlene on October 17, 2016 Reply
    • Hi Darlene, so glad you hear you like the recipes! Yes, I think unsweetened coconut would work here. Enjoy!

      - Jenn on October 18, 2016 Reply
  • 5 stars

    These are excellent! Easy and very effective. My Latin friends loved them:)

    - Lora Tchekoratova on October 7, 2016 Reply
  • 5 stars

    Fantastic recipe !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    - Carol Czuprynski on October 6, 2016 Reply
  • 5 stars

    These were absolutly fantastic!! We always make the traditonal version at Christmastime. These are super light and very refreshing! Make a great summer cookie! They don’t last more than 2 days in our house!

    - RNF0424 on October 6, 2016 Reply
  • 5 stars

    Hi Jenn. Can I use lemon or orange zest instead of lime? Will there be a significant difference in the taste? I live in the Philippines and I don’t usually see limes in the grocery stores in our area.

    Thank you!

    - Gayle on July 22, 2016 Reply
    • Sure Gayle, that would be fine!

      - Jenn on July 22, 2016 Reply
  • 5 stars

    Hi Jenn, all of the recipes I have tried from your site are home runs. Thanks for sharing your gift!

    Can I use salted butter in this recipe instead of unsalted butter? How will that affect the amount of salt?

    - Monica on June 23, 2016 Reply
    • So glad you’re enjoying the recipes Monica! I do think this is best with unsalted butter, but if you only have salted, most salted butter has approximately 1/4 tsp. salt per stick, so you can reduce the salt in the recipe as needed. Hope you enjoy!

      - Jenn on June 24, 2016 Reply
  • 5 stars

    These cookies are addictive, delicate, and so full of fresh flavor. They were super easy to mix up in the food processor! I toasted my nuts as I prefer them that way.
    Thank you for another awesome spin on one of my favorite cookies. They will not last long in this house!

    - Karen T. on May 11, 2016 Reply
  • I have made several different tea cake recipes and none of them used flour. Does this make them heavy? Crunchy?

    - Sara on May 10, 2016 Reply
    • Hi Sara, that’s interesting because all of the tea cake/wedding cookie recipes I’ve tried have flour! These cookies definitely aren’t heavy- I’d describe them as tender but crisp- like a texture similar to shortbread.

      - Jenn on May 11, 2016 Reply
  • 5 stars

    The recipe is easy to follow and the cookies are awesome. The addition of lime and coconut makes the traditional Mexican Wedding Cookie even more delicious. Thank you for another great recipe.

    - Jim on May 8, 2016 Reply
  • Oven temp? Can’t wait to try it

    - Karen on May 7, 2016 Reply
    • Hi Karen, It’s 350°F. Enjoy!

      - Jenn on May 8, 2016 Reply
  • 5 stars

    So yummy! Just made them this afternoon and I couldn’t even wait for them to cool before I started sampling. Great flavors! I used the food processor to grind the lime zest with the rest of the ingredients, since I love the taste of lime, but am not crazy about the texture of lime zest in foods. Other than that, I made it exactly as written. Next time I’m going to double the recipe. In my house, these aren’t going to last till tomorrow. Another homerun recipe Jenn!!!

    - Jenny on May 7, 2016 Reply
  • 5 stars

    Wow these are amazing!!! These will now be my go to recipe for Mexican wedding cookies. Thank you for all of your wonderful recipes!!

    - Leanne on May 7, 2016 Reply
  • 5 stars

    Great cookies! Didn’t have limes so used orange zest. Sprinkled a tiny bit of kosher salt over baked cookies. Will make these for granddaughter’s graduation party. Thanks for another good recipe.

    - Sandy on May 6, 2016 Reply
  • I don’t have a food processor. Will doing everything by hand affect the texture of the cookies?

    - Patsy on May 6, 2016 Reply
    • Hi Patsy, I think that would work; just be sure to chop the pecans and coconut very finely.

      - Jenn on May 6, 2016 Reply
  • 5 stars

    Hi Jenn. Happy Anniversary! I love your recipes and your website.
    Mexican Wedding Cookies are a favorite of mine so I wanted to make these right away. They’re super simple to make and delicious! I love the addition of coconut and lime zest which definitely gives them a tropical edge. They’re light and refreshing.

    - Amy on May 5, 2016 Reply
    • Glad you enjoyed them (and thanks for the anniversary wishes :)!

      - Jenn on May 5, 2016 Reply
  • Congratulations on your anniversary and many more. I have all the ingredients on hand….and I should have the time too. Will let you know how they turn out, but imagine they are awesome. Thank you!

    - Karen T on May 5, 2016 Reply
    • Thanks for the anniversary wishes and hope you enjoy the cookies!

      - Jenn on May 5, 2016 Reply
  • Happy Anniversary Jenn! These cookies look delicious so look forward to making them :)

    - Janet on May 5, 2016 Reply
  • No questions, Jenn. Just congratulations on your anniversary. I have a grandson and his wife who are also celebrating their anniversary today. My best to you and my thanks for all the delicious recipes you send us.

    - June on May 5, 2016 Reply
  • Hi, Jen. Can I omit the coconut to make these for a friend who dislikes it but loves lime? Should I increase another ingredient? Thanks!

    - Marlene on May 5, 2016 Reply
    • Hi Marlene, Yes, I think you could omit the coconut and use more pecans in its place. Hope your friend enjoys!

      - Jenn on May 6, 2016 Reply

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