There are some cookie recipes we try out each year, but some we can't live without. TheseMexican Wedding Cookies are some of my absolute favorite around the holidays, and are always a staple in our house. Both my side and Shane's side of the family love to make around and I'm sure we aren't the only ones. Mom always pulls out her old red Betty Crocker "Cooky Book" to make these, and I just love the vintage charm of this book. They're such a hit, and I'm pretty sure she must have to double or triple the recipe every time.
I'd love to know more about the history of this cookie because it goes by multiple names -- Mexican Wedding Cookies, Petticoat Tails and Russian Tea Cakes to name a few. They are so delicate and delicious.
We are fortunate to always have loads of pecans from the tree at Shane's granny's farm, and I love to use them for these holiday cookies. I actually tend to be a little light vs. heavy on the pecans I use for these, and I like to chop them up very fine. You'll also notice in the recipe that I use almond extract instead of the typical vanilla. This is a trick my mom taught me and it always has friends swooning over the taste.
The kids like to call these "snowballs" which is cute until they start launching them across the room...
Mexican Wedding Cookies
- 1 cup softened butter
- 1/2 cup white sugar
- 1 teaspoon almond extract
- 2 cups flour
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1 cup chopped pecans
- 1/2 cup powdered sugar (for rolling baked cookies in)
In a bowl, cream the butter and sugar. Once light and fluffy, add almond extract. In another bowl, combine the flour and salt. Slowly add the flour mixture to the butter mixture, then add in the chopped pecans. Chill dough if it seems too soft. Form dough into approximately 1 inch balls and place on an unprepared cookie sheet. Bake cookies at 400 for 10 to 12 minutes or until they turn a very light golden brown.
A few tips for you ... do not over-bake. If they show the slightest bit of brown, it is time to take them out. It is best to roll the cookies in powdered sugar while they are still warm (not hot). This gives them the ideal melt-in-your-mouth flavor and makes sure the cookie is completely coated in sugar. And of course, the cookies are best enjoyed when warm, so don't be afraid to sample before they're completely cool. Oh, and these make a perfect cookie for Santa to enjoy!
I'd love to know what Christmas cookies are a staple in your home!