Mexican Wedding Cakes – Loved by many from around the world this cookie’s a.k.a depends on where you are from and its nut flavoring. Make them with walnuts and they are called Russian Tea Cakes; throw in some almonds and you have Viennese Crescents; if you use pecans as I did, you will have Mexican Wedding Cakes.
Over the years Mexican Wedding Cakes have been a steadfast staple in my cookie swap parties. Reason being- when placed alongside its cookie counterparts these little round cakes usually come out on top with the most compliments. Packed with a nice nutty punch of flavor the sweetness of the cookie is subtle and the texture has a nice crumble when you bite down on its dome. If you’ve never had one, it’s like having a cookie implode in your mouth.
Aside from the obvious yum factor, Mexican Wedding Cakes are terrifically easy to make and technically forgiving, meaning there isn’t much chance the dough will become over worked and since they are shaped as balls it is unlikely they will melt into flat round patties.
A few notes:
- Toast your nuts first. The heat draws the oils out and gives the cookie a deep nutty flavor.
- Make the dough and refrigerate overnight or for a minimum of two hours. The refrigeration keeps the butter fat binded while you work the dough, allowing for even baking, and more importantly, it will help your cookies keep their shape.
- As a side note, I follow both of these rules when I make cookies.
Mexican Wedding Cakes
Yields 24 11/2 cookies
1 ¼ cup of pecans
2 cups of all-purpose flour
¼ teaspoon salt
14 tablespoon softened unsalted butter
2 teaspoons vanilla
1 large egg yolk
1.To toast nuts, place in a 10 in. skillet over medium low heat. Stir frequently. Keep your eyes on them; they go from toasting to burn very quickly.
2.Sift sugar, flour and salt to mix. Add the butter in small chunks, vanilla and the egg. Mix until mixture looks damp and begins to clump together. Add nuts and fold until just combined. Cover and refrigerate for two hours or overnight. (If you have a food processor, use it. I have mixer and hand mixer and the food processer is the fastest and best for this cookie).
3. Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Shape into 1 1/4 inch balls. Place 2inches apart. Bake for 22-24 minutes. Rotate cookies sheets from top to bottom and front to back halfway through to for even baking.
4. Let cool for 5 minutes then sieve powder sugar over each cookie top.
Source: adapted from Alice Medrich