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Judy’s Nut Ball Cookies

Judy's Nut Ball Cookies

Judy’s Nut Ball Cookies

5 from 1 vote
Judy's Nut Ball Cookies
4.7 rating based on 12,345 ratings
4.7/5 (14)
Course: Ball Cookies, Hand-Shaped CookiesDifficulty: Easy



A Russian Teacake / Mexican Wedding type cookie that is not too sweet, with a crumbly melt-in-your mouth texture thanks to the “secret” ingredient: cake flour. You can use all-purpose flour in this recipe, but it is really at its very best with cake flour. This is from my grandmother’s hand-written recipe, attributed to my Aunt Judy, who says she always uses walnuts, although I prefer pecans. For the roundest cookies, mix the dough as little as possible. If you over-mix them, you’ll incorporate air, which will contribute to them flattening out a bit. If that happens…they’ll still taste great!


  • 3/4 cup ground walnuts or pecans

  • 1 cup butter, at room temperature

  • 1/2 cup powdered sugar

  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

  • 2-1/4 cups cake flour

  • 1/4 teaspoon salt

  • extra powdered sugar


  • Stir together pecans, butter, 1/2 cup powdered sugar and vanilla, mix well.
  • Sift flour and salt, stir into nut mixture.
  • Chill for about an hour. Pre-heat oven to 350F and line baking sheet with parchment paper.
  • Roll into 1-inch balls, then roll each ball 3 times in the extra powdered sugar (this is the original recipe, but I only roll them once). Place 2 inches apart on prepared baking sheet.
  • Bake until set but not brown, 8 to 10 minutes. Do not overbake or they will fall apart.
  • Allow to chill for about 5 minutes or before moving them to a cooling rack. If you move them while they are too hot, they will disintegrate. For best flavor and texture, allow to thoroughly cool before eating. Freezes well (and are in fact perfect eaten frozen).
  • Dust with additional powdered sugar before serving.


Name & Location
(example: Sue in LA)
These are amazing! They are very buttery and have a wonderful, explode-in-your-mouth texture. Make sure to use cake flour, this is critical for that special texture. This is one of our favorite cookies.
- A Baker
These are similar to Mexican Wedding Cakes, with the same soft, melt-in-your-mouth texture. They are about as close to candy as a real cookie can get.
- Rita Cummins in Las Vegas
You have no idea how long I have been looking for this particular recipe! We ate the ones I made yesterday. it's 6:54a.m. Dec.25, And gress what I'M about to do before I start breakfast Thanks, lovely recipe.
- kathy in Tacoma, Wa. 
This recipe is really good. Would make it again.
- Helen in Washington
These cookies are so good. They really do melt in your mouth. It's a good thing I only make these at Christmas (yes, Christmas is the holiday we are celebrating right?) not simply a Winter holiday.
- kathy in Camarillo, CA
This recipe was delicous! I have to double the recipe they go so fast in my house. Thank you soooooo much!!!!
- Eileen in New Haven , Ct.
This was an awesome cookie, I made it for a cookie swap and everyone said that they really loved them. I will definitely make them again. Adding the colorful crystals in the powder sugar really made them look really festive.
- Sharon in Long Island NY
Great recipe. Just like I remember my mom making for Christmas when my brothers and I were growing up. Very easy!
- Kathleen in Blue Springs, MO
My aunt has made these at the holidays. It's a very good receipe, my fav. one forever. It's 10 times better when you keep them freeze or refridgerate. Thanks aunt Mimi for your good receipe at the holidays!
-  Jean-Christophe Pellerin in Quebec
I don't know if I let the mix chilled long enough or not (30 min) but when I baked them, they all fell apart and when I tasted a small corner, I wasn't impressed. I doubt very much I'd make them again.
-  nancy in Ontario 
I make these every Christmas. They are also know as Mexican Wedding Cakes and Russian Tea Cakes. I understand that these cookies are made in many areas under different names. I like the idea of chilling the dough - really helps to roll them.
- Diane in Tucson, AZ
- A Baker
This recipe was amazing and a huge hit. It took a couple of batches for us to get a handle on the baking time - my tip would be to follow the posted baking time even if the balls don't seem to be quite done yet. We thought that maybe they needed a couple more minutes as they were still quite soft but discovered that they firm up quite a bit as they cool and if they're overdone by even a minute they crumble.
- A Baker
This is the best cookie I have ever made. Sometimes I am forced to hide them, because the smell of them makes everyone sneak in the kitchen and snatch a few.
- Mary G in Oakdale, Calif.
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