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Cookie Time: Mexican Wedding Cakes

December 10, 2009

Mexican Wedding Cakes

Oh yes. It is time for Holiday Cookies, and for me, that always means at least one batch of my all time favorites: Mexican Wedding Cakes. Or Russian Tea Cakes. Or Kourambethes Greek Cookies. Whatever you call them, they are wonderful: buttery, sweet, nutty bites of awesome. And they’re pretty easy to make. These have been my favorite cookies for a long, long time, and when I first moved out on my own and had a Christmas alone in Boston, these were the cookies I knew I would have to make to alleviate at least a little bit of the sadness of being way from my family. My mom emailed her recipes, and I still have the print out, complete with butter smudges, stuffed into my recipe folder.

There are probably a million recipes for Mexican Wedding Cakes out there, and in fact, I have made a different version of these with dried cherries and pecans, which are equally delicious. But this year I decided to go simple. Mostly because I didn’t want to go out in the cold to buy dried cherries.

This year I also decided to freeze the uncooked cookies instead of baking the whole batch at once. This way, I can bake up a few at a time when guests come over, or when I want to bring some to work, or when I just want a snack after dinner. The King Arthur Flour Blog posted a great article on freezing holiday treats, and I’m hoping to stuff my freezer with cookies in the next week or two. And then I will leave to spend Christmas with my family and have frozen cookie dough to last me until summer. Hm.

Frozen Cookies

I usually shape these into rounds, but decided this year to make ovals instead. They do seem to be a little less messy to eat this way, but that could be my imagination.

Mexican Wedding Cakes

  • 1 c. butter, at room temperature
  • 1/2 c. powdered sugar
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 2 1/4 c. all purpose flour
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 3/4 c. finely chopped walnuts or pecans
  • extra powdered sugar for dusting

Heat the oven to 400F. Beat together the butter, 1/2 cup of powdered sugar, and vanilla, using an electric or stand mixer. You can use your arm power, but electric mixers add more air, which results in a lighter cookie. Or that could just be my imagination. At any rate, it’s MUCH easier.

Continue to beat in the flour, salt, and the nuts. Eventually, you’re going to need to use a spatula or spoon (or your hands) to gather the dough together in to a ball. Use a tablespoon measure or a cookie scoop to scoop out small balls of dough. Shape them into rounds or ovals and place them on a cookie sheet. They don’t spread out a ton, so you can put them relatively close together. Bake them for about 10 minutes, until they’re set but not browned. You have to watch them carefully because the bottoms burn pretty quickly.

Once they’re baked, let them cool for a few minutes before tossing them in about 1/2 a cup of additional powdered sugar. Put them back on a cooling rack or the baking sheet to cool completely, and then toss them in the powdered sugar again. I used to roll them in sugar individually, but I’ve discovered that tossing them in a covered bowl works much better, as long as you’re not too vigorous.

Mexican Wedding Cakes

My mom’s recipes notes that you should not use self-rising flour. I always find this kind of funny, because I don’t think I’ve used self-rising flour for anything, ever. But I figured it was probably important information and I should let you know.

If you want to freeze these cookies, put them on a baking sheet, and instead of baking them, put them in the freezer overnight. The next morning you’ll be able to put them in a large freezer bag. When you want to bake them, just give them an extra minute or two in the oven, and they’ll be ready to roll.

If you’ve never had these before, I highly urge you to make them tonight! And I’d also like to ask you what planet you’re living on. If you’ve had them, and they’ve been called something completely different, let me know in the comments. I suspect every culture has some variation on these simple but perfect little cookies.

Mexican Wedding Cakes

There are more cookies to come, so check back soon for Snickerdoodles, Chocolate Peppermint Cookies, and something else yet to be determined (recommendations welcome).

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5 Comments leave one →
  1. December 10, 2009 2:17 pm

    Thanks for this recipe! My mother makes these and calls them Pecan Puffs – they never last long at home. I think I’ll have to make them next week :)

  2. Nicole Lewon permalink
    December 12, 2009 1:43 am

    Oh man!!! I love these cookies, and am so glad you published the recipe. I always make sure to eat lots at Krier family holidays when you are in town. Ooh, that also means it is almost Beer Cheese Soup time!!!!

  3. December 22, 2009 10:19 pm

    beatifull article nice idea for cake wedding thanks

  4. February 1, 2010 10:00 pm

    Thank you, I went to the website and it’s great.

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  1. Cookie Time: Snickerdoodles « The Kitchen Illiterate

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