Sunday, May 11, 2014

Mexican Wedding Cakes

Looking for something to talk about? I'll give you a topic. Mexican Wedding Cakes are not really Mexican nor wedding cakes. Discuss. Yes, if you watched Saturday Night Live back in the early to mid 90s, you might remember the skit "Coffee Talk." The "host" was Mike Meyers playing a woman and he would always say things such as "the Partridge Family were neither Partridges nor a family" during the skit. It was awesome. Back to the Mexican Wedding Cakes. They are cookies and there is nothing really Mexican about them. They actually go by several different names, including Russian Tea Cookies. People might not be able to agree on a name for these cookies, but they can agree on one thing - that these shortbread-like cookies melt in your mouth and that they are like buttah.

I had forgotten about these delicious cookies. My mom used to make them when I was a kid.  I was googling desserts to make for Cinco de Mayo and I came across the recipe. I immediately remembered that they were the cookies my mom used to make. When I bit into my first cookie, I was instantly transported back to my youth. I love feelings of nostalgia! These cookies are super easy to make. I especially liked making them because I felt okay with eating tons of the batter since there are no eggs in the recipe. Score! I hope you like these cookies as much as I do. You can call them whatever you want to! Enjoy.

Recipe for Mexican Wedding Cakes 

1 cup of walnuts
2 cups + 2 Tbsp. of all-purpose flour, divided
16 Tbsp. of unsalted butter (2 sticks), softened at room temperature
5 Tbsp. of powdered sugar
1 tsp. of pure vanilla extract
1/16 tsp. of pure almond extract
1/4 tsp. of salt
For dusting
1 cup of powdered sugar

Preheat oven to 350 degrees and spread the walnuts onto a baking sheet. Cook in the oven for 8 - 10 minutes or until lightly toasted. Remove and let them cool a bit before using. Turn off oven.
Put the walnuts and 2 Tbsp. of flour into a food processor fitted with a metal blade. Pulse several times until the walnuts are finely ground. Set aside.

Put the butter and powdered sugar into a large mixing bowl. Beat together on medium speed with an electric hand mixer until well blended. Add in the 2 cups of flour, walnut mixture, vanilla extract, almond extract, and salt and beat again until well incorporated. If the batter seems a little dry, add about 1 - 2 tsp. of milk to it. Cover the bowl with a lid and place in the fridge for at least an hour.

Put the powdered sugar into a bowl and sift. Preheat oven back to 350 degrees. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper. Use a cookie dough scoop to scoop dough into 1-inch balls. Place on the lined baking sheets about 2 inches apart. Put in oven and bake for 12 minutes or until lightly browned on the edges. Remove from oven and transfer to a cooling rack. Let cool for at least 5 minutes, no more than 8. Roll each cookie in the powdered sugar and then place back on cooling rack. Once cookies are completely cooled, store cookies in an airtight container.

Makes approximately 36 cookies. 

Recipe Adapted from: Joy of Baking