When I was little, my mom hosted an annual Christmas party. Aside from an excuse to wear patent leather mary janes and tie adults’ shoe strings together underneath the table, I loved these parties because my mom made Mexican wedding cookies– a cookie I deemed exceptionally festive and delicious (plus, it was fun to lick the powdered sugar off my finger tips).
This year for Christmas Eve, Christian and I decided to spend it alone together. (I love that phrase “alone together.”) We made a big pot of spaghetti, and for dessert I made these cookies. Healthy? No. But festive and delicious? Absolutely. These cookies store well too– for over a week if you keep ’em in an air tight container.
I’m a bit baked-out after the holidays, but I still wanted to share this recipe with you since it’s such a family favorite.
Mexican Wedding Cookies
Makes about 2 dozen
1 cup almonds OR pecans
2 cups plus 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon (optional)
8 ounces (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
2 1/4 C sifted confectioners’ sugar
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
1/2 tsp pure almond extract
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spread 1 cup almonds or pecans on a baking sheet; toast until fragrant, about 12 minutes. Let cool for a few minutes.
Put toasted nuts, flour, salt, and cinnamon in a food processor; process until nuts are finely chopped, about 1 minute. Set aside.
Cream butter and 1 cup confectioners’ sugar on medium until pale and fluffy, about 4 minutes. Add vanilla and almond extracts, and mix until combined. Add the almond mixture, and mix on low until dough just comes together. Don’t overmix.
Roll dough into twenty 1 1/2-inch balls; place on ungreased baking sheets, spaced 2 inches apart. Flatten each ball slightly with your palm.
Bake cookies until lightly browned around the edges, about 25 minutes. Transfer baking sheets to a wire rack; let stand until cool enough to handle.
Place remaining 1 1/4 cups confectioners’ sugar in a medium bowl. Roll warm cookies in sugar, reserving any remaining sugar. Return cookies to baking sheets. Let cookies cool 15 minutes, and roll again. Serve!