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Mexican Wedding Cookies (Russian Tea Cakes)

Yields 36 cookies     adjust servings

Everyone needs a killer recipe for Mexican Wedding Cookies! Do you call them Russian Tea Cakes? Or Snowball Cookies? Or Italian Wedding Cookies?? How does one cookie have so many names?? These super easy shortbread cookies are studded with chopped nuts and rolled in powdered sugar. They are irresistible, it's no wonder every country's got their own version!

Ingredients

  • 1 cup (2 sticks) butter, softened
  • 1/2 cup powdered sugar
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla
  • 2 cups all purpose flour, spooned and leveled
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 3/4 cup* pecans, chopped
  • more powdered sugar, for rolling (about 2 cups)

Instructions

  1. For added flavor, take a few minutes to toast your nuts. Spread pecan halves (or whatever nut you would like to use) on a baking sheet. Bake at 350 degrees for about 5-10 minutes until toasty and fragrant. Keep an eye on them so they don't burn! Cool completely before adding to the cookies. I stuck mine in the fridge. 
  2. In a large bowl or stand mixer, beat the butter until it is smooth and creamy, about 1-2 minutes. 
  3. Add 1/2 cup powdered sugar and 2 teaspoons vanilla and beat well, scraping the sides and bottom of the bowl. 
  4. Add 2 cups flour and 1/2 teaspoon salt. Beat until the flour is not quite incorporated. 
  5. Add 3/4 cup chopped pecans. You can chop with a knife or give them a whir in the food processor or blender. How fine you chop them is completely up to you. See photos for how I did it. If you measure a generous 3/4 cup of pecan halves, it chops up to about the same amount. 
  6. Stir in the pecans until incorporated. Don't over mix the dough. It should come together in a ball. If your mixer can't handle it, do it by hand. If you are still having trouble, add milk 1 teaspoon at a time until it comes together. 
  7. Cover the dough and chill for about an hour or two, until the dough is a bit more firm.
  8. Preheat your oven to 350 and line a few baking sheets with parchment paper or silicone baking mats. (Or you can lightly grease the baking sheet)
  9. Shape the dough into 1 inch balls. You can make them somewhere between 1 inch and 1 and 1/2 inches across. Make sure they are all uniform. 
  10. Place the dough balls on the baking sheets. You can put them pretty close together, about an inch apart. These cookies hardly spread at all. 
  11. Bake at 350 for about 9-11 minutes. The cookies should be firm on the edges. Don't over bake or they will be dry. 
  12. Let the cookies set up on the pan for about 5 minutes, then remove to a cooling rack. 
  13. Add about 2 cups of powdered sugar to a shallow bowl. Roll each cookie in the powdered sugar and put it back on the cooling rack.
  14. Once the rolled cookies have cooled for another 30-60 minutes, roll them in powdered sugar again.
  15. Eat at least one of these warm!! It's so good!

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