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Mexican Tea Cakes

User Rating 5 Star Rating (4 Reviews)


Mexican Tea Cakes
Stacy Spensley/Flickr/CC BY 2.0
These are my father-in-law's favorite cookies. These traditional cookies are found in nearly every ethnic celebration. They are also known as sand cookies, butternut cookies, and wedding cakes. Try forming some of the dough around unwrapped chocolate kisses, maraschino cherries, or nuts to form a surprise center. One of my favorite things about these cookies is that the first coating of powdered sugar melts to form a thin icing, which is sealed in by the next coating. So make sure to coat them twice!

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Cook Time: 8 minutes

Total Time: 23 minutes

Yield: 48 cookies


  • 1 cup butter, softened (NO substitutes)
  • 1/2 cup powdered sugar
  • 1 tsp. vanilla
  • 2-1/4 cups flour
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 1 cup pecans, finely chopped, if desired
  • powdered sugar


Cream butter with sugar until well blended. Beat in vanilla, then add flour and salt. Mix well. Add nuts, if using. Chill several hours in refrigerator. Form 1" balls and bake on ungreased cookie sheet at 400 degrees for 8-12 minutes. Cookies should not brown, but be light golden on bottom.

Immediately drop into powdered sugar, roll, and place on rack to cool. When the cookies are cool, roll again in powdered sugar to coat.

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