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My Mom’s Favorite Cookie

December 15, 2011

You’re going to want a glass of milk nearby for this next cookie.


Every holiday season, my mom makes a batch (or 2 or 3) of cocoons.  You might know them as Mexican wedding cookies or Russian teacakes or snowdrops.  And truth be told, I’d heard of all those other names but I never knew they were referring to the cookie I’ve associated with the holidays for the past 22 years until I did a project for one of my classes last year.  I guess you do learn interesting things in school 😛

And every holiday season, my sister and I are adamant that we “don’t like cocoons.”  What fools we’ve been.  What’s not to love about butter, powdered sugar and pecans?  Oh and a little more powdered sugar.

Nothing, I tell you.  Nothing. 

This recipe is totally retro.  I mean, just look at it, it has 5 ingredients and the first one is two sticks of butter.  Oh, and look where it came from.  My grandma!  Leave it to a New Orleans native to give you a recipe that calls for two sticks of butter.  And it makes me feel better thinking Grandma probably creamed her butter by hand too. 



  • 2 sticks butter, softened
  • 1 teaspoons vanilla
  • 4 tablespoons powdered sugar (plus more for sprinkling after they’re baked)
  • 2 cups flour
  • 1/2 – 2 cups chopped pecans
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Cream butter.  Add sugar and vanilla.
  3. Add flour in batches until consistency of pie crust.
  4. Add pecans and shape.
  5. Bake 15-20 minutes.
  6. After baking, immediately dust or roll cookies in powdered sugar.

Don’t you love the “until consistency of pie crust” part??  Wait till I share her recipe for fudge, where one of the steps says to heat until “tiny ball stage.”  Heaven help anyone who doesn’t know the consistency of pie crust or how to do the “tiny ball” trick.  I’m talking about  myself for that second one. 



But don’t let any vague directions or ranges in ingredients intimidate you with this one.  It’s actually rather simple and really, Grandma was just giving you the option of adding as little or as many pecans as you want.  She was thoughtful like that.

And if Joey can shape these cookies, so can you.  That’s not to degrade Joey’s baking skills, I’m just sayin’ big man hands aren’t particularly suited for delicate cookie sculpting.  


Give these cookies a chance.  And like I said, have a glass of milk nearby.


Have you ever had cocoons?  Or do you know them by another name?

Do you have any recipes that have been passed down?

8 Comments leave one →
  1. December 15, 2011 8:52 AM

    These are my favorite cookies too!!! We call them Italian wedding cookies. Polished off a dozen last week. They are so darn good (must be all that butter).

  2. December 15, 2011 10:00 AM

    I’m heard them as Mexi cookies too. I like to pair them with coffee or hot cocoa..and by pair, I mean dunk!

  3. December 15, 2011 10:04 AM

    I have always called them mexican wedding cookies, but my in laws call them snowballs

  4. December 15, 2011 12:25 PM

    Um, yes please. I’ll take 3, thankyouverymuch.


  5. December 16, 2011 8:48 AM

    I have never heard of these before, but they sound fantastic 🙂

  6. December 24, 2011 1:40 PM

    I love all of these cookie recipes/pictures you are sharing! I bet Santa is a jolly happy soul looking through your posts! 😀

  7. Nnair permalink
    April 23, 2012 9:34 AM

    Thank you for the wonderful recipe , i just finished baking them and they are so good:) am waiting for my kids to come home from school to try them!!

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