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Thursday, December 27

Sharing Mexican Wedding Cakes

Visiting family India has obstacles of its own. For the first couple trips we brought gifts for the kids and family but in the recent trips it’s been harder to buy gifts. Not knowing what the kids will like to play with or can wear makes it challenging. Same goes for the adult family members on clothes. I’ve always had this dilemma and have always solved it (in my mind) by baking goods to share with them.

Each time we’ve visited I’ve baked something to share with them. The entire family does so much for us during our visit, this is the least I can do for them. The only requirement I have to follow is an eggless baked good. Some of the husband’s family (in India) eats meat but the kids and his mom are vegetarians. His mom is so strict she doesn’t make exception for baked goods with eggs!

Having that in mind, I made Mexican wedding cakes for everyone to enjoy. Even the husband was impressed by them and he isn’t a big sweet/sugary foods eater.

I don’t know why they’re called Mexican wedding cakes but I am guessing they were enjoyed by the guests during weddings in Mexico. Whatever the case may be, they are perfect for effortless treat and make great gifts. (Those of you planning to spend the holiday season with family or friends, these are quick to make and worth sharing.)
Mexican Wedding Cakes
adapted from Joy of Baking

2/3 cup or 65 grams walnuts
1 cup or 227 grams unsalted butter, room temperature
1/4 cup or 30 grams powdered sugar (confectioners' sugar)
1 teaspoon or 2 grams pure vanilla extract
2 cups or 260 grams all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup or 120 grams powdered sugar (confectioners' sugar), sifted

In a medium nonstick skillet on medium heat, add walnuts and cook for 5 minutes, stirring frequently. Make sure the nuts are lightly browned before turning off the stove. Cool the nuts

Once the nuts have cooled completely place them, along with 2 tablespoons or 25 grams of the flour from the recipe, into a food processor, fitted with a metal blade, and process until they are finely ground (but not a paste).

In the bowl of an electric mixer (or with a hand mixer), beat the butter and sugar until light and fluffy (about 2 minutes). Beat in the vanilla extract. Add the remaining flour and salt and beat until combined. Stir in the nuts. Cover and refrigerate the dough for one hour or until firm.

Preheat oven to 350°F or 177°C. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.
Form the chilled dough into 1 inch (2.5 cm) balls and place them 2 inches (5 cm) apart on the prepared baking sheets. Bake for about 12 - 15 minutes, or until the edges of the cookies start to brown. Remove from oven and place on a wire rack to cool for about 5 minutes.

While the cookies are still warm, place the powdered sugar in a strainer and sift the sugar over the tops of the cookies.

Let cool completely before storing. Cookies can be stored in an airtight container for several weeks.

The cookies can be rolled in or sifted with more powdered sugar before serving.

Yield: 2 dozen cookies.

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