by Nathalie Basha
During Christmas in Mexico, you’ll probably find these delightful Mexican Wedding Cookies at family get togethers and parties. This is a cookie that goes by many names – Russian Tea Cakes, Pecan Balls, Snow Balls, Polvorones….whatever you call them, they’re a direct nod to Mexican holiday celebrations. If you’ve never baked or are intimidated by making cookies from scratch, this is a great starter recipe!
MEXICAN WEDDING COOKIES
1 cup pecans, finely chopped
1 cup unsalted butter, room temp
1/2 cup powdered sugar
2 tsp vanilla extract
2 cups flour
extra powdered sugar and cinnamon, to coat
Start by toasting the pecans in a pan, medium high heat, until you just start to smell them and they get a bit crunchy. Let them cool off, then give them a fine chop (or put in a food processor). Set aside.
In the bowl of a mixer, cream together the butter and the sugar, add in the vanilla, and make sure to scrape down the sides of the bowl. With the mixer on low, add the flour little by little until it’s incorporated. Then, add the pecans, also while on low.
Wrap the dough in plastic and let it sit in the fridge for about 30 minutes. The dough will have hardened a little, making it easier to roll. Using your hands, pull pieces off and roll them into 1 inch balls, then line them on a baking sheet. (These don’t expand, so you can pack them tightly). Bake them at 350 degrees, for 18 minutes.
In a bowl, mix together 1/2 cup powdered sugar with 1 tsp of cinnamon. Let the cookies cool slightly, but while they’re still warm, toss them in the sugar. Make sure to coat all sides with a generous amount of sugar. These can be served right away, or room temperature. Perfect for tea or coffee!
Nathalie Basha, a Thousand Oaks resident, loves to travel all over the world and will take us on an adventures every “Travel Tuesday.”