My mother knew them as Russian Teacakes, which we shaped into a crescent. We would start baking them in early December for Christmas because they kept so well. Although, one year, I remember my brothers raiding the tins of cookies and eating most of our stash. Good thing they're easy to bake, but my mother was still pretty angry with them. That was the last year they touched her Christmas cookies before the holiday!
Almost four years ago, our daughter, Kelly requested the round, Mexican Wedding Cookies instead of a formal tiered cake. She had fallen in love with Grandma's and wanted me to replicate them for her wedding. With the help of Kelly's best friend, Kandyce's daughter, Kathryn, we baked over twelve dozen and there wasn't one left! Furthermore, no one missed a cake.
Here is my version of these wonderful cookies that I hope makes the winter pass more quickly.
(Note: Because these have a long shelf life...they make great treats to send to loved ones serving overseas)
Preheat oven 325F-degrees
2 cups (4 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
1 cup confectioners' sugar
In your mixing bowl, using the paddle, cream the butter and sugar until fluffy. Add:
1 T. vanilla
1/4 tsp. Pecan flavoring
and cream again.
2 cups finely chopped pecan and mix well.
4 cups All-purpose flour (1 cup at a time)
1/2 tsp. salt
Mix until all ingredients are combined.
Use a small scoop (about 1 tablespoon size) to scoop up dough, then, drop it in your hand and roll in a ball. Place balls on a Silpat or parchment-lined baking sheet.
Let the cookies set on the pan about five minutes before transferring them to a rack. Let them cool on the rack another 5 minutes then roll in more confectioners' sugar. I place about 1 1/2 cups in a large bowl to roll my cookies in. Repeat this process one or more times to get an even dusting of confectioners' sugar. Enjoy!
Try substituting 1/2 cup of molasses for half of the confectioners' sugar and add 2 tsp. of ginger for a gingerbread-like cookie.
Instead of pecans, try pistachios or walnuts. (If you use the pistachios, substitute almond (or pistaschio) flavoring for the pecan flavoring. Also, add a drop or two of green food coloring.
Finally, Hal Borland said:
"No winter lasts forever;
no spring skips its turn."