In the midst of baking last night, I found myself on the phone with my sister, who proclaimed that Mexican wedding cookies were “her thing” when I revealed that I was preparing a batch as we spoke. In fact, she revealed she’s planning to have them at her wedding next year, which actually didn’t surprise me one bit. A traditional treat at our family gatherings growing up, these classic cookies (also called Polvorones) are a super simple, yet delicious treat perfect for Cinco de Mayo and pretty much any celebration. The best way to describe them? Light and nutty, rolled in powdered sugar, and melt-in-your-mouth good. Have you had these? If not, you should bake your own batch pronto!
Mexican Wedding Cookies
2 sticks unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 1/4 cups powdered sugar
1 teaspoon good-quality vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 cup slivered raw almonds, ground in a food processor (you can also use pecans)
In a large bowl, using an electric mixer, beat butter on high speed until fluffy and pale yellow. Add 1/2 cup of the powdered sugar and continue beating until light and fluffy. Reduce the speed to low, add the vanilla and salt, and beat until blended. In another bowl, sift together the flour and cinnamon. Add the flour mixture to the butter mixture and beat on low speed until blended. Beat in the ground almonds. Cover and refrigerate the dough until it’s chilled but not hard and is no longer sticky to the touch, about 15 minutes.
Preheat an oven to 350°F. Sift the remaining 3/4 cup powdered sugar into a shallow bowl and set aside. Shape the dough into 1-inch balls. Place about 1 inch apart on 2 ungreased baking sheets. Bake until the cookies are just golden on the bottom, 10-12 minutes. They’ll be soft to the touch and may not seem done, but they are. Transfer the cookies, still on the baking sheets, to wire racks and let cool for 5 minutes, then remove the cookies one at a time and roll them in the powdered sugar. Set the powdered cookies directly on the wire racks and let cool completely–this step is really important, as the cookies won’t dry correctly if left on the warm baking sheets. Once the cookies completely cool, using your fingers, sprinkle whatever powdered sugar was left in the bowl on the cookies.
*Recipe adapted from Williams-Sonoma