Tuesday, December 15, 2009
... or Mexican Wedding Cookies, the two names that come to mind for the same cookie. The little bits of shortbread dough mixed with finely chopped nuts, rolled into balls and baked. Rolling the still warm little cookies into enough powdered sugar so that they're completely covered (and you have to be careful not to breathe in at the wrong moment when you're about to eat them... ) I remember making these little treats in Home Economics class in junior high school. Because of their simplicity and flavor, they have long since been a favorite of mine. Getting ready for company, I decided this was a good time to break out the recipe and share these little spheres of buttery sweetness with my guests. I hope they like them as much as I do!!
2/3 cups toasted nuts (hazelnuts, pecans, walnuts are all good choices - I used walnuts this time)
2 cups of flour, divided
1 cup of unsalted butter, room temperature
1/4 cup confectioners' sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup confectioners' sugar to roll baked cookies in
Preheat oven to 350 F. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment.
Toast the nuts in a dry skillet on top of the stove over low heat, stirring frequently. (This should take about 5 - 8 minutes.) Cool.
Place cooled, toasted nuts and 2 tablespoons of the flour in a food processor, and finely chop the nuts, being careful not to over-process the nuts to a paste. Set aside.
In bowl of mixer, cream the butter and sugar until light and fluffy, about 1 - 2 minutes. Beat in vanilla. Add remaining flour and salt, and beat until well-combined. Stir in nuts. Cover and refrigerate dough for about 1 hour or until dough is firm.
Form the dough into walnut-sized balls, and place them 2 inches apart on prepared baking sheets.Bake 12 - 15 minutes, until the edges of the cookies start to turn golden. Remove from oven and place on cooling rack for about 3 minutes.
In a large bowl, sift remaining powdered sugar. Roll warm cookies in powdered sugar until well-covered.
Store in an airtight container.
Makes about 3 dozen cookies.