Mexican Wedding Cookies, Russian Tea Cakes, Snowballs, or some other names we aren’t aware of…whatever you call these crunchy bites, they are the BEST!
I wish that I could slow down real time and add more days until Christmas because I am not ready. But I never am, so I guess it really doesn’t matter in the end. Christmas comes, ready or not, and it’s mostly always a wonderful day (even that Christmas where we all had the stomach flu wasn’t that bad–okay, it totally was, but we still managed to have some fun…ugh). I did finally order our cards, our tree is decorated and gorgeous this year and I’m getting ready to wrap today (not really a fan, I must say). At any rate, the kitchen is still humming with my usual holiday treats and I’ve switched to wearing all-things-stretchy until at least late January when I’m hoping to be able to button my pants again (cleanse, anyone??).
Last week, I had a special request for those holiday nut cookies that are shaped into balls and rolled in powdered sugar. I call them Mexican Wedding cookies, and they are my absolute favorite things in the world (I think I say that about everything…). But these really are. They are buttery, crunchy and nutty. The cookie itself isn’t particularly sweet as the sweetness comes from rolling it in powdered sugar–the same powdered sugar that can be accidentally inhaled when biting into one of these beauties causing you to choke and then run, sputtering from the room at the cookie exchange party. (Not like I would know, but be warned, my friends). These cookies are a must-have at Christmas time. Or during a Mexican wedding, apparently.
Mexican Wedding Cookies
- 1 cup All Purpose Gluten Free Flour Blend
- 1/4 cup almond flour
- 1/4 cup tapioca starch
- 1/4 cup corn starch
- 2 tsp xanthan gum
- 1/8 cup powdered sugar
- 1/2 cup pecan halves, heaping or skinned hazelnuts or walnuts
- 12 TBSP of butter cut into cubes (1 1/2 sticks)
- 1 egg lightly beaten
- 2 cups additional powdered sugar for rolling
- Pulse together flour blend, almond flour, tapioca starch, corn starch, xanthan gum, sugar and pecans (in the bowl of a food processor fitted with the steel blade) until nuts are finely ground. Add butter and pulse just until large crumbs form. Add the egg and pulse again, just until the dough comes together. Remove dough and wrap in plastic, shaping into a disk. Refrigerate for at least 2 hours.
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Shape dough by the tablespoonful into balls and place 1 inch apart on baking sheets. Bake in batches until lightly golden brown, about 15-20 minutes per batch.
- While cookies bake, lightly sift a layer of powdered sugar onto a baking pan with sides. When cookies are finished baking, transfer them to the sugared pan, and sprinkle additional sugar on top of each cookie. Transfer cookies to a rack to cool completely.
These nutty confections look like round snowballs and are a favorite at cookie exchanges. Swap the pecans for skinned hazelnuts or walnuts if your prefer. You can try replacing my All Purpose Gluten Free Flour Blend with your own, or a purchased GF Flour, however I can’t guarantee the results, as I’ve only tested the recipe with mine.
Recipe courtesy: Alison Needham, A Girl Defloured