Who doesn’t love receiving good old-fashioned snail mail, especially when that snail mail contains COOKIES? No one, that’s who! I was immediately sold when I saw a buzz going around about The Great Food Blogger Cookie Swap of 2011, co-hosted by Love & Olive Oil and The Little Kitchen. And great it really was! Initially open to just US and Canadian residents, requests started pouring in from other countries, and if they had enough people to participate, they got to come out and play, too. According to the update we all received today, over 22,000 cookies were sent out as part of this event. Amazing!
I’ve been dying to try Mexican Wedding Cakes ever since Nelly posted her recipe on Cooking With Books back in October. Considering they’re essentially a butter cookie with a wonderful, nutty twist, I thought they fit in perfectly with the holiday season, too. And doesn’t any food with ‘wedding’ in the name conjure up a lovely image? (And, in retrospect, how fitting after just posting about Nelly’s wedding?) So it was settled. Mexican Wedding Cakes it would be.
- 1 cup unsalted butter, softened
- 1/2 teaspoon bourbon vanilla extract
- 8 tablespoons icing sugar
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- pinch of salt (or omit and use salted butter)
- 1 1/4 cups very finely chopped walnuts
- 1/2 cup chocolate chunks (optional)
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (180 degrees C).
- Beat the butter with the vanilla briefly, until just mixed and still somewhat firm. Sift together the flour, icing sugar and salt, then blend into the butter mixture little by little until a loose dough forms. Roll dough into small, round balls and insert one chocolate chunk in the center (optional).
- Bake for 10-12 minutes.
- Cool completely then roll in additional icing sugar.
I ended up making two batches of these – so 80 small cookies in total. It’s one of those ‘simple’ recipes that I think you really have to practice to get right. For the second batch, the next day, I omitted the chocolate chunks because I wound up preferring the simple interplay between the butter and walnuts. I also flattened out half of the balls to make them look more cookie-like, and rather than rolling the other half in icing sugar, I put the sugar in a fine mesh sieve and tapped it over top the of all the cookies. The result was much more even and pleasing to the eye.
|While I like the look of the flattened out cookies, I prefer the texture of the more traditional ball shape.|
It is better to give than to receive and all that, but it was definitely fun to receive some cookies, too!
|White Chocolate Coconut Oatmeal cookies from The Vanilla Beanery. Visit Amanda’s blog for the recipe!|
|A selection of my second batch.|