Saturday, December 5, 2009

Mexican Wedding Cakes/Russian Tea Cakes/Crescents

Growing up, my mother made a trio of Christmas cookies every year (and yes, they are Christmas cookies, not holiday cookies, not winter solstice cookies --Christmas cookies!). She'd carefully pack them into homemade felt stockings for me and my brothers to give to our teachers. (That was back in the day when you didn't fell obligated to spend $20 on a teacher present.) I loved the aroma of those cookies, but more importantly, I loved being around when she wasn't looking and I could snitch one from the cookie tin on the counter. This is one of those favorite recipes. It goes by many different names. We call them crescents, but I'm now too lazy to shape them into crescents. So, I guess we could call them powdered snowballs.


1 lb. butter
4 cups flour
1 cup powdered sugar
1 cup finely chopped nuts
1 tsp. vanilla
Powdered sugar

1. Mix ingredients together.
2. Bake at 350 degrees for 15 minutes or until lightly browned on the bottom.
3. Shake warm cookies in a bag of powdered sugar.
4. When cool shake again in powdered sugar or use a shaker to sprinkle heavily.

Substitution Suggestions: We always used walnuts, but I've also used chopped almonds and pecans. I think I like the pecans best. You can also add in a little almond extract. Whatever you do, don't leave the nuts out. They really add nice texture to this crumbly cookie.

Lessons learned: These cookies freeze well  after they are baked. The powdered sugar will get a little gummy if you shake them immediately as they come out of the oven. So, let them cool about five minutes or so before shaking them in the powdered sugar.


Tam :o) said...

I too make these CHRISTMAS cookies every year! When I was a kid growing up, we would make these every year w/my Grandmother, I have carried on the tradition along with Jam Thumbprints (but I put buttercream frosting in the middle) and Peanutbutter Blossoms or Peanutbutter Kisses as some would call them because of the Hershey's Kiss. Anyway...we have called them "snowballs" over the years and I have come to learn that they do go by many different names. I had a little mexican woman tell me they were the best "mexican wedding cookies" she had ever had! I took that as a great compliment. Enjoy your Christmas cookies!

B. Perky said...

. . . and what's wrong with winter solstice?