Mexican Wedding Cookies – Whole Grain Recipe

A good Mexican wedding cookie recipe results in a tender nutty, butter-based cookie topped with an extravagant blizzard of powdered sugar.

Mexican Wedding Cookies – Whole Grain

Today's post is going to be short and sweet. Literally. A good Mexican wedding cookie recipe results in a tender nutty, butter-based cookie topped with an extravagant blizzard of powdered sugar. The ones I encountered on my most recent panaderia crawl weren't very nutty, and were generally flavorless. I suspect the root of the problem is one of economics. Most of the pastries available in these bakeries are inexpensive. In the quest to keep prices low ($.50-$2) and still turn enough profit to stay in business, I suspect some of the bakeries use cheap, inferior base ingredients and leverage one dough across many products. This all got me thinking about trying my hand at a Mexican wedding cookie made from whole-grain flours, a flavorful sugar, and top notch butter. I wasn't sure if it would retain the spirit of its namesake, but I was curious enough to try.

Tasty and certainly more moist than your standard Mexican wedding cookie, their color gives them away as whole-grain. The beachy brown is a far cry from the bone white versions in the panaderia displays. That being said, they are pretty and rustic in their own right. I wanted to keep the crumb tender, so I used a combination of whole-wheat pastry flour and oat flour - but I suspect 100% ww pastry would work well too.

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Whole Grain Mexican Wedding Cookie Recipe

1 cup pecans, toasted and cooled to room temperature
1 cup organic unsalted butter
1/2 cup fine grain evaporated cane sugar (I used Alter-Eco brand)
A splash of vanilla extract
A splash of bourbon (optional)
1 1/2 cups whole wheat pastry four
1 cup oat flour
1/2 teaspoon fine grain sea salt
organic powdered sugar for dusting

Preheat the oven to 325 degrees. Puree the pecans in a food processor until they become a fine meal. You don't want to go so far that they become a paste.

In a mixer beat the butter until it becomes creamy, add the sugar and mix until everything is creamy and lighter in color. The vanilla and bourbon go in next followed but the nut meal. Slowly add the flours and salt and mix until a stiff dough is formed (it was warm out today, so stiff might be a stretch). On a piece of plastic wrap pat the dough into a disk 3/4-inch thick. Cover with another piece of plastic wrap and chill in the freezer for 10-15 minutes. This makes for easy cookie stamping.

Use a 1-inch cookie cutter to shape the cookies and place them on a lined baking sheet. Bake for 12 minutes or until the bottoms of the cookies begin to brown ever so slightly. Dust with powdered sugar.

Makes 1 1/2 dozen small cookies.

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I have always loved the idea of using whole wheat pastry flour for pastries, but as much as I use organic produce and and whole grains in the rest of my cooking, some things are just not the same with whole wheat, and my thinking is that if you only eat one little cookie and you make it with unbleached flour and unbleached sugar, the exquisite crumb you get from white flour isn’t worth giving up for the whole wheat.


For the people asking about toasted flour, I found the following directions:
Put whole wheat flour into a 10-inch skillet over medium-low heat. Cook, stirring often with a whisk, until well toasted. This will take about 10 minutes. Flour should be watched carefully to prevent scorching. Set aside.


I must now go home and make these cookies-I have been using whole wheat flour and my kids still want to know why everything is brown–but I just can’t use white flour anymore.


One of my favorite guilty pleasures 🙂
Doesn’t sound like it’d be quite as guilty made this way though.


I realize you may be saving this for the article you’re writing, but would love to know which panaderias you recommend
on 24th street? I’ve tried several, and would love to compare notes. Thank you!


In New Mexico they call these cookies Biscochitos.(sp?) They are shaped in round little balls and are delicious. These sound good too


I’m totally inspired by your use of whole wheat pastry flour. I’d never heard of it before reading your post. Since then I bought a bag and have been having a great time experimenting with it in a variety of recipes.


I love other countries sweets. They seem less intense in their sweetness.. I like that.
thanks for sharing!


Ummm… cookies! Who’s to marry me – so I can eat cookies, cookies and pastries and live ever happily? Christina, for me too, please?


Ummm… cookies!

Tina mom used to make these! I got to give her a ring…. :OP


Shuna, I remember you writing about the toasted flour way-back-when, sounded delicious. I wonder if it came straight from DK or was published somewhere.
That flour was mesquite. I suspect a few pinched of it might be nice in this type of cookie, but not so much that it overpowers the nuts/butter.
Mickey, I tried the molasses pigs at two of the panaderias on 24th, they are very cute. Unfortunately, neither tasted much of molasses and they were both really dry. I wonder if that Safeway is making their own, or sourcing them from outside…


i have always loved the idea of panaderias, but mostly felt disappointed by the products. either the cookies were too dry and lardy or the turnovers tasted like they were made with canned fruit filling. i went to guatemala in january and loved the pan dulce we found everywhere for breakfast–crispy, crumbly, and almost french in texture, like great sandies. recently i discovered something very surprising at the safeway on webster in san francisco–a case of pan dulce that included the usual fluourescent colored sugared cookies, but also some molasses flavored cinnamony flat cookies shaped like pigs. i buy whatever they have and freeze them. great for dunking.


I had forgotten about these cookies. We got them at a little neighborhood bakery when I was young. I will try this recipe & was also interested in the comment Shuna mentioned about the recipe with the “toasted four”. I would be interested in that recipe if anyone finds it. Last week I included a post with a photo of some of the pastries I found at a local bakery. They were quite interesting & delicious.


This sounds absolutely… non-exotic! I expected something strange coming from the depths of lost Mexican neighbourhoods 😉 This recipe seems quite simple but delicious, and only with noble ingredients full of… respect! Thank you for this recipe… Beautiful picture, as usual 😉


One of my favorite recipes!
I have been gone from SF for 22 years.. love reading your notes on the city!
do all the shops shape the cookies? I don’t remember.. must be old age!


I love bakeries, and this is a good new thing to try. thank you


It seems that mexican wedding cakes are quite like their muchachas:)


I love Mexican bakeries. Some have the best macaroons around, and the pina (pineapple) turnovers are to die for. Some bakeries have tiny jalepeno rolls that melt in your mouth…
And always get the bolillo rolls! Usually 6 for a dollar, and in my opinion better than the torta rolls.
I live near the Mexican border, so I’ve learned which are the better quality bakeries.


Yummy, a friend of mine just picked up a bunch of those. She also made me some traditional Mexican dessert breads. I think its the simplicity of the ingredients that really make Mexican sweets just stand apart from anything else.


what a change from the ordinary…you have inspired me to broaden my horizons a bit and explore. Gorgeous pictures!


Nice cookies and beautiful pictures! I’ll once have to make some of those as they look fine…


I live in San Antonio, Tx. We are loaded with great panaderias and great Tex-Mex food. You should come visit for a S.A. taste treat and some great recipes.
I’ll enjoy trying the wedding cookies. My Mom used to make them and they’re great!


I’ve accepted the fact that my culture doesn’t do pastry terribly well, and ever since I was a wee lad I always wondered why our marranitos, bigotes and conchas have to be so darned dry!
However, I’m right with you on Mexican wedding cookings. Delicious (and a delicious photo!)


Did you ever get the Mexican Wedding cookies at Primavera in the ferry plaza market. Circa 3 years ago? They were the best I had ever had. The bakr at the time, david, told me that he toasted his flour! In the oven! Like nuts!
He said that it was a Diana Kennedy recipe but I have never found it.
The toasting of the flour not only created a taste but a smooth, velvety texture that turned the taste buds on.
What was that flour you wrote about that you bought at Rainbow? The toasty one? Anyway if I ever want to bake at home again I will try this recipe with that flour.

shuna fish lydon

what magazine will the article be in? I’ll have to find it!! I want to know more about Mexican panaderia and need that article!


Every step is a gastronomical delight. I like the way you have written, “You don’t want to go so far that they become a paste.” Well written and…yummy.


Delicious pictures, as always! Love the cultural note here!

Bea at La Tartine Gourmande

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