It's raining. No, really. Raining. Pouring. Windy. Wet. The power went out.
I just want to snuggle and hold a mug filled with hot, steamy...tea, hot chocolate, coffee...
I want to be lazy and curl up on the couch, read a book, listen to the crackle of a fireplace, watch sappy television (Grey's Anatomy is my guilty pleasure)...
And yet I want to dance naked in the rain. I want to be swept off my feet, twirled around, and have him pop a big wet kiss on my shivering lips.
Just this weekend, I really felt the turn from summer to fall. Last week I was wearing summer dresses and sandals. Today I'm sporting a warm coat and rain boots.
It's the middle of October. The "holidays" are just around the corner. After the Halloween craze, we will start seeing websites, magazines, and newspapers advertising the trendiest way to prepare a Thanksgiving turkey, and before we know it we will hear Christmas carols until our ears fall off.
If you plan to attend a dinner party and are looking for a nice little somethin' somethin' to bring over to wow your hosts, I definitely recommend making these precious little cookies. These beaming balls of buttery dough have many names--butterballs, Mexican wedding cookies, Russian teacakes, snowballs...
I guarantee that whatever you decide to call these nutty, powdered-sugar-y delights, you will make friends fast if you share.
Whenever I go to a potluck or simply want to make a nice little cookie to bring over to a friend's house, these Mexican wedding cookies immediately come to mind. With just a few ingredients, these cookies are easy and just plain good! I like to plate them with a pretty doily underneath.
Usually when I think of a cookie I envision a big, chewy chocolate chip cookie or a fat cookie filled with oatmeal raisins and sweet spices. These Mexican wedding cookies, however, bring to mind an entirely different realm of cookie—the second they hit your tongue, you will understand why. They just melt in your mouth! Mmmmmm you can really taste the warm, comforting, buttery, nutty goodness.
One of the key factors of the instant melt-in-your-mouth texture and flavor of the cookie is the use of honey instead of sugar. The honey just adds to the smoothness and you can taste it ever so subtly. I have even experimented with using flavored honey (lavender honey is my favorite!), which adds a fun twist to the mix.
Store these in a tin or airtight container and they will keep for several weeks. At least among my family and friends, we have trouble keeping these cookies around for more than a day or two. They somehow all end up in our bellies ; -)
**Note: These pictures were taken a few weeks ago when it was still sunny outside.
Mexican Wedding Cookies
Adapted from The Silver Palate
Makes about 36 cookies
• 8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter, at room temperature, plus extra for greasing the cookie sheets
• 3 Tablespoons honey (feel free to use flavored honey such as lavender, orange blossom…)
• 1 cup unbleached all-purpose flour
• ½ teaspoon salt
• 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
• 1 cup shelled pecans, chopped moderately fine (I usually use walnuts; almonds work, too)
• ¾ cup powdered sugar
1. Preheat oven to 300°F. Grease one or two cookie sheets.
2. Cream the butter (I usually use a fork or a whisk). Beat in the honey. Gradually mix in the flour and salt, then the vanilla. Add the nuts. Wrap the dough in plastic and chill for 1 hour (I will sometimes make the dough the night before and take it out of the fridge the next day about 30-40 minutes before I want to use it).
3. Form the balls by hand, the size of quarters. Place 2 inches apart on the prepared cookie sheets. Bake until lightly golden brown, about 35-40 minutes.
4. Remove the cookie sheet from the oven’ as soon as the cookies are cool enough to touch, roll in the confectioners’/powdered sugar. Allow to cool and roll again in the sugar.