These Easy 5-Ingredient Cookie Balls are a Quick, Delicious Dessert

Does anyone else have a love-hate relationship with baking? On the love side, you get to take a few moments to yourself, make the house smell like your very own bake shop, and create a delicious sweet treat to enjoy throughout the week.

On the other hand, it requires time, patience, and a whole lot of clean-up afterwards (arguably the worst part of any time spent in the kitchen). Plus, do you ever really have all the ingredients on hand? There’s always one missing (actual thought that has gone through my head numerous times: What will go wrong if you don’t add cream of tartar actually?)

So question: When it comes to baking, is the reward really worth the effort? If only there was a happy medium.

Well ladies and gents, there is. We have a decadent cookie recipe that requires very little time, very little ingredients, and very little clean-up. And the end result is a delicious sweet little ball of goodness that everyone in the family will love. We swear, this is one of the easiest, most delectable recipes ever.

They’re called pecan cookie balls, and they were actually discovered by accident by a woman who found a handwritten recipe in an old tin. It had no title of what they were—just five simple ingredients (if you don’t count the optional powdered sugar) listed out accompanied by a “very short jumble of instructions.”

These nutty balls of deliciousness are very similar to Mexican wedding cakes, which are simple sugary butterball cakes or cookies that have some type of chopped nut and rolled in powdered sugar.

Despite having “Mexico” in the name, Mexican wedding cookies are believed to originate from medieval Arab cookery, and was first seen in an American cookbook in the 1950s. These treats are still very popular in Mexico, but they’re known as “polvorones” there and can be found in most bakeries.

Besides similarities to Mexican wedding cakes, these bear a striking resemblance to Russian tea cakes, which are made with similar ingredients and traditionally served around the holidays.

But these pecan balls can be served any time, anywhere. And you really can’t go wrong with such simple ingredients, like butter, sugar, flour and nuts.

Check out the recipe below when you want a fast but tasty treat with minimal effort!


3 cups flour

1/2 pound butter (or margarine)

1/2 cup sugar

1 tablespoon vanilla

Any amount chopped pecans (1 cup would work)


Set oven to 400 degrees

Blend all ingredients

Roll into balls and pat (or create shape you want)

Bake 10 minutes

When cool, shake with powdered sugar (optional)

Beware: This recipe makes a ton of these cookies, so if you’re only baking for a small family, then feel free to cut the recipe. Then again, you can always make a huge batch and freeze some to have on hand later!

We can’t wait to whip these up! What about you—do you think you’ll try these out? Have you heard of Mexican wedding cakes or Russian tea cookies before? If so, then this is definitely the dessert for you!