Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Mexican Wedding Cakes

      I can not believe how close we are to christmas! I spend all year waiting for this holiday season and then it seems to come at me way to fast. I must admit that this year has been a bit of a"Blah" moment for me. I am not my usual christmassy self and I'm not sure why. I can usually pinpoint a reason..it's usually due to missing home around this time..but not this year. The magic of it all seems to be lacking for me now and I'm not sure what I need to do to get that back.

Last week I mentioned in This post that I was now catering my husband's weekly meeting. I sent in Oatmeal Toffee Cookies and Snickerdoodles. I was so nervous to find out how they reacted towards it. Well I am happy to say that they loved it so much that I got two christmas cookie orders out of it! I never expected that and was over the moon excited. The order was for "Typical American Christmas Cookies". The person has no idea how many typical american christmas cookies there are! Based on what I already know about this person I sent in several of the toffee and snickerdoodle cookies he already fell in love with..and these..Mexican Wedding Cakes(they are also called Russian Tea Cakes).  These are a great alternative to the overload of frosted sweet cookies,cakes and candies..not that we don't all love those, but it's nice to have a mild cookie to go along with your coffee or tea.
      The recipe comes from Betty Crocker's Best-Loved Cooky Treasures cookbook from 1963. I seriously love the older cookbooks. You can find the neatest recipes sometimes. The ingredients list is simple..pick your favorite nut..I used crushed pecans but I've made them with walnuts and even saw a recipe using pistachios..butter,vanilla,flour,powdered sugar and salt are the rest of the ingredients. Thats it..and man oh man are they fabulous. I placed each one inside a petit-four baking cup to making the serving more easier.

Mexican Wedding Cakes..4 dozen
1 cup Butter;softened
1/2 cup Sifted Powdered Sugar
1 tsp. Vanilla
2-1/4 cups Flour
1/4 tsp. Salt
3/4 cup Finely Chopped Pecans or your favorite nut
Extra powdered sugar for coating

Mix butter,sugar, and vanilla thoroughly. Add in the flour and salt,blend in. Add in nuts. You will notice that the dough is not creamy but kind of crumbly. That's ok. Place dough in fridge and allow to chill. I think I left mine in for one hour but I'm sure anywhere between 30mins-1 hour is good enough.

Preheat oven to 400 or 200 celcius. Shape dough into 1 inch balls. When you pick the dough up,allow it to warm up in your hand for a few seconds. The heat will warm up the butter and allow you to shape/roll it easier. Place 1 inch apart onto an ungreased cookie sheet (the cookies do not spread so you can place them closer to eachother). Bake 10-12mins, or until set but not brown. While still warm, roll into powdered sugar and place on parchment paper or wire rack to cool. Re roll in powdered sugar once they have cooled.