I made this recipe a couple times. The first time I made the cookies without adding the almonds or almond extract. It was delicious, but the Mexican Wedding Cakes are typically made with nuts. So, the second time around I added the almonds and almond extract. Usually, the recipe calls for pecans, but I thought I would try something different. The buttery cookie tasted like shortbread, with a nutty texture and sugary finish. They were quite a hit with my coworkers. Mexican Wedding Cakes are a delicious treat alone or with a cup of coffee.
Mexican Wedding Cakes
Adapted from The Wisconsin Electric Company Cookbook
Yields: about 3 dozen
1 cup softened unsalted butter
1/2 cup powdered sugar
1/4 tsp. salt
1 tsp. vanilla
1/8 tsp. almond extract
2 cups sifted all purpose flour
1/2 cup coarsely ground roasted almonds
powdered sugar for coating
Preheat the oven to 400°. Roast the almonds for about 5 minutes, or until they become fragrant. Remove from the oven and cool. Using a food processor, grind the almonds to a coarse texture.
Using an electric mixer, cream the butter on medium speed until it is light and fluffy. Gradually add the sugar. Add the salt, vanilla, almond extract, flour and almonds. Mix until just blended (it will be a little stiff).
Form the dough into a ball and wrap in plastic wrap. Refrigerate for about 30 minutes, or until the dough is cold.
Pinch off small pieces of dough and roll into 1 inch balls. Place on a cookie sheet lined with parchment. Bake at 400° for about 15 minutes, or until lightly browned.
Remove from the oven and let the cookies rest for 5 minutes ( I just take the piece of parchment off the cookie sheet and put it on a cookie rack). After 5 minutes, roll the cookies in powdered sugar. Once the cookies have cooled, sprinkle the tops with powdered sugar before storing.
Store cookies in an airtight container up to 2 days.
You can make this recipe plain, just eliminate the almonds and almond extract. Don’t try to skip the chilling time, otherwise you will end up with cookies that look flat as pancakes.