Mexican Wedding Cakes
Mexican wedding cakes, Italian wedding cookies, Russian tea cakes, butterballs – whatever you happen to call this particular cookie (not at all a cake despite two of its popular names) they are undoubtedly delicious and addictive. You can make these with almonds, hickory nuts or walnuts but my favorites are made with pecans. I order a few with my coffee whenever a cafe or bakery has them, and they’re the most delightful companion. I was even getting them for free for a while from a bakery near my house until the cashier who was doing so saw me hand in hand with Fred… Oh the sacrifices one makes in the name of love!
Mexican Wedding Cakes (adapted from Bon Appétit)
Makes 3-4 dozen cookies
1 cup (2 sticks) butter, room temperature
1/2 cup powdered sugar, plus additional for topping
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 cups all purpose flour
1 cup pecans, toasted then coarsely ground in a food processor
Using an electric or stand mixer, beat your butter until fluffy. Beat in your powdered sugar and vanilla. When combined, beat in your flour, followed by your pecans.
Gather dough into two balls, wrap in plastic wrap and chill until cold, about 1 hour (dough can be refrigerated for a few days like this).
When you’re ready to make your cookies, preheat the oven to 350 degrees and line a couple of baking sheets with parchment. Remove one dough ball from the fridge and form cookie balls that are about 2 teaspoons to a tablespoon in size. Place on a baking sheet about one inch apart.
When oven is preheated, bake cookies, one sheet at a time, until the tops are slightly golden and the bottoms are golden brown – about 18 minutes. While your first batch is cooking, refrigerate the rest of the formed cookies until ready to bake.
Cool cookies completely. While cooling, place a generous amount (about a cup) of powdered sugar in a wide rimmed bowl. When cookies are totally cool and you’re prepared to serve them, roll them in the powdered sugar to coat. If you plan to serve these cookies tomorrow, hold off on sugaring them until then, as they store better un-sugared.