It’s cold outside. The sun has not burned off the fog, though I’m hoping for a sunny afternoon. It’s Sunday morning and the house is begging for something in the oven. I’m thinking Mexican Wedding Cookies are a good option, as, even though I usually make them during the holidays–and did–I want more! So I’m sharing with you, as they are a family favorite and super duper easy!
Turn on your oven to 350 degrees. F. Measure out one cup of pecans.
a single cup of pecans
Pour them out on a board and cut them very coarsely with a knife. Place in a baking pan and put in the oven where you will leave them for about 7 minutes, stirring occasionally. Then you take them out of the oven, and this is the critically most important note in this very easy recipe–you must let them cool completely.
Once they are cool, place in food processor and chop down until they are smallish, but don’t allow them to become oily or pasty. Probably best to pulse and keep checking.
And that was the hard part.
Put two cubes of unsalted butter (1 C.) in a bowl. Beat in 1/2 C. of confectioners sugar, a pinch of salt, and two teaspoons of pure vanilla. [Remember: "If you use the best, you get the best." ~me ] Gradually add the chopped pecans. Now. This is when I personally switch to hand mixing. Measure out two cups of unbleached white flour and slowly add by sifting into butter/pecan mixture, stirring in by hand. I think it’s good to get a feel for all doughs. You will be amazed at how that body of knowledge serves you over time. This is also a good time to be thinking about how delicious your cookies will be! (Cookies need blessings, too!) I am working the flour into the dough by using the back of a wooden spoon.
The dough will be slightly stiff, but still moist when you are done.
Mexican Wedding Cakes are a marvelous cookie to make with your children or grandchildren, as they will love helping you with the next step–rolling into balls. You can now pinch off enough dough to make 1″ round balls, and place on greased cookie sheet. (Just lightly grease with your favorite oil.)
Simply bake for 12-15 minutes or until set and beginning to get some light color. (Only the bottom will be slightly browned.) If your kitchen is a bit warm and the dough seems to be getting soft, you can put the dough in the fridge until you are ready to shape next batch.
Mexican Wedding Cakes seem to be cross-cultural, which I find only adds to their appeal. They are found in the South as Pecan Butterballs, and in Russia as Russian Tea Cakes. They are also known as Snowdrops, Viennese Sugar Balls, Swedish Tea Cakes, Italian Butter Nuts and as Snowballs. They got around!
As you pull your Mexican Wedding Cakes out of the oven, place each on a cooling rack to cool off. When they are still barely warm, roll each in a bowl of confectioner’s powdered sugar. This is another task the children in your lives will have great fun with!
I love these cookies as they are attractive, simple, tasty and lovely to serve to visiting guests with tea. Enjoy!
Love and winter kitchen blessings,
Posted on January 23rd, 2011 by Kathryn
Filed under: People at Play