These yummy little cookies are known by many names – Mexican wedding cookies, Russian teacakes, Snowballs, Southern Pecan Butterballs etc. – but Grandma always called them Sand Tarts, so I’m sticking with that. (smile) Although there may be some slight variations in these cookies depending on what you call them, for the most part, all of the recipes are remarkably similar. I’m going to give you Grandma’s recipe as well as a few options for your own trial and error. These cookies are simple, quick, and perfect for summer!
Unfortunately, I made these for work and failed to take a photo before they were all gone! I’ll post one next time I make them – no doubt it won’t be too long! (smile)
- 1 cup butter, softened (2 sticks)
- 1/2 cup powdered sugar, plus more for coating cookies
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1 cup chopped pecans, finely chopped (you can also roast these ahead of time or chop slightly larger for more texture)
Cream butter and sugar together in mixer until smooth. Add vanilla. With mixer on low, slowly add in flour and salt. Mix in pecans with a spoon/spatula/etc. (Note: It will be a dry mixture.)
Dust hands with flour. Take about 1 tablespoon of dough and shape it into your preferred shape (we always did balls, some do crescents). Place the cookies 1-inch apart on parchment-lined cookie sheets (or lightly spray the sheets with non-stick spray).
Bake for 10-12 minutes on 400 degrees. [Variation: Bake for 35-40 minutes at 270 degrees. The cookies tend to crumble less if you use this baking method.]
Dust with powdered sugar while still warm (I put the sugar in a bowl and roll them around in it – because yum). Cool completely on wire rack. Store in airtight container.