Tuesday, October 03, 2006

Mexican Wedding Cakes

Not really a traditional cake, these are the snowy white cookies, the Pastelitas De Boda served at weddings, that nearly melt in your mouth. It is a familiar cookie also featured around the holidays and similar versions are found in other countries besides Mexico. Not exactly like the pfeffernusse, which has a bit more crunch and spice, these little nuggets hold up nicely in a cookie gift basket. Wrap in plastic and store in air tight containers to avoid getting powdered sugar all over the place. Monica gave this cookie her special touch with the addition of almond extract. Thanks Mo!

MEXICAN WEDDING BALLS
Makes about 4 dozen cookies

1 cup or two sticks unsalted butter, softened at room temp.
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon almond extract
2 1/2 cups powdered sugar, divided
2 1/4 cups unbleached all purpose flour
1 cup finely diced pecans

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line two sheet pans with parchment paper. Place 1/2 cup powdered in the middle of a sheet of waxed paper. Place the flour in the middle of another sheet of waxed paper. In the mixer bowl fitted with the paddle attachment combine the butter and the two extracts. Slowly add 1/2 cup of the sugar, holding the waxed paper like a funnel, into the butter mixture. Then add the flour slowly in the same manner, and add the nuts. If you have one, it's a good time to use that splatter shield on your mixer. Scrape the bottom of the bowl with a spatula, mix to combine. Pinch off pieces of dough and roll into one-inch balls. Place on sheet pans giving about an inch or so of space inbetween. Place remaining powdered sugar on a large dinner plate. Bake one sheet pan at a time, about 12 to 15 minutes, rotating pan half way through baking. Cookies should be lightly browned, do not overbake. Remove pan from oven and let cookies cool about 5 minutes. Roll each little ball in the powdered sugar. Allow them to absorb the powdered sugar for about one minute, then place them on racks to cool completely. Store in airtight containers.

5 comments:

mooncrazy said...

Oh no, wait 'til Doodles sees this recipe. I think she wanted me to make these while she was here and we didn't get around to it. I might be in trouble.

This is the same recipe as our mom's 'cept the almond extract.

Dodgers tomorrow night @ Mets--Go Big Blue!

La Vida Dulce said...

Great minds think alike! Can you believe it? That little bit of almond extract gives these such a nice flavor. We tried omitting the vanilla and using only almond, but it was too overpowering.
THINK BLUE!

maltese parakeet said...

i grew up eating and then making these and they are my husband's favorite christmas cookie, too. his grandmother called them russian tea cakes, though. and i think there's a swedish version shaped in a crescent. every nationality seems to have their own take on this cookie!

La Vida Dulce said...

It has become our favorite as well. A Hungarian version adds a bit of booze in place of extracts. That works!

doodles said...

OMG my favorite cookie in the whole world. And no moon you are not in trouble....never enough time. But I am making a big batch of these this Christmas no matter where we are.

thanks for the memory C.

Go Dodgers