Wedding Cookies for a Wedding Month
At our house, we are always on the lookout for the best Mexican Wedding Cookies. The super-crumbly, nutty ones that are coated in a fluff of powdered sugar and look like snowballs. I’m not sure what their appeal is, because, really, they are super-simple. Maybe it’s the dry, crumbly texture. Maybe the sugary surrounds. Or maybe it’s the two combined, which make these cookies seem to melt in your mouth. Whatever it is, if there’s a Mexican Wedding Cookie at a bakery, we’re going to buy one (in the name of a taste test, of course).
Nobody seems to know why Mexican Wedding Cookies are called Mexican Wedding Cookies. They’ve been called Russian Tea Cakes, Snowballs, Butterballs. But in Houston I’ve only heard them called Mexican Wedding Cookies. Typically, I think we consider them to be Christmas cookies, because they’re often found in the assortments at holiday cookie exchanges or in gift boxes. But they’re called Wedding Cookies. And June is traditionally the month of weddings (although research now shows that October has surpassed June in wedding popularity, but we’re sticking with tradition here). And, my dear friend Kelley Sullivan (who was a bridesmaid in my wedding) happens to be marrying “the most incredible man” – someone she’s waited a long time to meet. So, I have weddings on my brain. And somehow whatever is on my mind turns eventually to food. So here we are.
This recipe makes a crumbly, sugary cookie, just what we want. It’s perfect as is, but if you want to get a little bit fancy you can add a teaspoon of almond extract or a teaspoon of finely grated lime zest (we are partial to lime zest). Happy wedding month!
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter
½ cup powdered sugar
1 ¼ teaspoons vanilla
2 cups flour
½ teaspoon salt
1 cup pecans, finely chopped
1 cup powdered sugar
1 tsp. finely grated lime zest (optional)
Preheat the oven to 325 degrees. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.
In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle, beat the butter, sugar and vanilla until fluffy. In a medium bowl, mix the flour, salt and pecans. With the mixer on low, add the dry ingredients to the butter mixture in three additions. Mix until everything is combined.
Using a medium-sized scoop or a spoon, scoop out enough dough to roll into a 1-inch ball. Roll all of the dough into balls, placing them about an inch apart on the baking sheets. Bake the cookies for 18-20 minutes, until they are just barely browned around the edges. Cool the cookies for 5 minutes or so. While they are cooling, put the cup of powdered sugar into a shallow bowl. Roll the warm cookies in the sugar, placing them on a rack to cool some more. When they are totally cool, at least 30 minutes, roll them in the powdered sugar again. Store the cookies in an airtight container or freeze.
If you want to add a little summer (or just some zing) to these cookies, add a teaspoon of finely grated lime zest when you beat the butter, sugar and vanilla.
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