Rescued from the depths of a past blog post and recreated today in my kitchen with a TWIST – cardamom and pistachio… Inspiration – a dear friends 20th Anniversary Party!
[insert ethnicity] Wedding Cakes – a favorite of my theater buddy ASB, from the tried and true Joy of Cooking, among many classic cookbooks.
About forty – sixty 1 ¼ inch cookies, easy to halve or double or any other fraction you can manage. I am always closer to forty….
- 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
- ½ cup confectioner’s sugar (aka powdered)
- ¼ teaspoon salt (unless your nuts are salted, then omit)
- 2 teaspoon vanilla
- 1 cup chopped nuts – I love pistachios, walnuts and/or pecans (recommend toasting, below)
- 2 cups all-purpose flour (gluten free flour works fine too)
- ¾ cup confectioner’s sugar, for rolling
- Spice like cardamon, cinnamon or nutmeg if you like, about 1-2 tsp, mixed in with powder sugar for coating
- Preheat the oven to 350 F. Grease or line cookies sheets if you like although not necessary
- Beat first 4 ingredients (butter, sugar, salt, vanilla) in a large bowl until well blended
- Stir in chopped nuts
- Stir in flour until blended
- Once mixed, shape in 1 inch balls and arrange about 1 ¼ inches apart on cookie sheet. Bake, one sheet at a time, until cookies are lightly browned, about 12-15 minutes. Let stand to cool briefly. Then remove to a rack and cool more. Roll the cookies in powder sugar and spice.
These just melt in your mouth! I am not sure why they are called Mexican, since nothing in the original recipe screams Ye Old Mexico, other than maybe vanilla. These cookies are sometimes called Russian Tea cakes but this name seems less common (based on unscientific survey of all my cookbooks, none referred to Russians. Sign of political times?). The main difference is traditionally the Russian version is made with walnuts. This cookie is also found in reference to many other countries under the names Swedish Tea Cakes, Italian Butter Nut, Southern Pecan Butterball, Snowdrop, Viennese Sugar Ball, Sand Tarts, and Snowballs. Basically, pick your favorite country or match to a party theme, use the nuts you have (don’t fret, even mixed party nuts) and enjoy. A last word of caution, neither inhale deeply or nor sneeze directly when eating these cookies due to the generous dusting of sugar.
Toasted Nuts – easy and really brings out flavor and adds some new dimensions too
- Heat oven to 325 F.
- Line a cookie sheet with tinfoil
- Add nuts in a single layer
- Toast for 5-7 minutes. Don’t burn!
original post – http://oddsandhens.com/2013/05/19/eat-the-cake-you-have/