December 13, 2007

Sarah: Come Over for Tea and Cookies!

Christmas time inevitably makes me feel like baking, and now that school is over until January, I have a bit more free time on my hands. Last night I got started on my recipes-to-try list and made these dainty little cookies. They so so easy to make and end up sweet, light, and crunchy-yet-soft, and would go perfectly with a cup of coffee, tea, or hot chocolate. I want to bundle up with a little plate of these cookies, a steaming mug of something tasty, and a friend to either watch a Christmas movie or just talk. I think these are a great cookie for parties because they're bite-size and pretty.

Russian Tea Cakes/Mexican Wedding Cakes

1 cup (2 sticks) butter, room temperature
2 cups powdered sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 cups all purpose flour
1 cup pecans, hazelnuts or other nuts, toasted and finely ground (if using hazelnuts, wrap in a dishtowel while still warm and roll about until most of the brown skins come off. I used pecans.)
1/8 teaspoon ground cinnamon (optional, but cinnamon makes everything better, wouldn't you agree?)

Using electric mixer, beat butter in large bowl until light and fluffy. Add 1/2 cup powdered sugar and vanilla; beat until well blended. Beat in flour, then nuts. Divide dough in half; form each half into ball. Wrap separately in plastic; chill until cold, about 30 minutes.

Preheat oven to 350F. Whisk remaining 1 1/2 cups powdered sugar and cinnamon, if using, in pie dish to blend. Set cinnamon sugar aside.

Working with half of chilled dough, roll dough by 2 teaspoonfuls between palms into balls. Arrange balls on heavy large baking sheet, spacing 1/2 inch apart. Bake cookies until golden brown on bottom and just pale golden on top, about 18 minutes. Cool cookies 5 minutes on baking sheet. Gently toss warm cookies in cinnamon sugar to coat completely. Transfer coated cookies to rack and cool completely. Repeat procedure with remaining half of dough. (Cookies can be prepared 2 days ahead. Store airtight at room temperature; reserve remaining cinnamon sugar.)

Sift remaining cinnamon sugar over cookies and serve.

Makes about 4 dozen. (Or so they claim. My batch probably made about 3 dozen, but that's still plenty!)

Posted by sarah at December 13, 2007 10:16 AM

I love mexican wedding cookies, but I never get them because I always end up marrying Norwegians. *sigh*

Posted by: Jeremy on December 13, 2007 01:26 PM
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