Sunday, December 9, 2007

Pecan Powder Puff (Mexican Wedding Cookies)

This is a very good, very simple cookie that can be made with a variety of nuts to change the flavor (almond, walnut, even macadamia nuts...) Pecan is really the primary flavor in them and that's great with me, because I happen to like pecans quite a lot. The texture is crumbly and soft and since the pecans are ground up there isn't a lot of crunch in them.

There are a couple of points about these cookies though -- they are mixed in the food processor which caught me by surprise. Plus, it's difficult to mix warm butter in the processor -- it tends to just clump out of the way of the blades. When you're done with the batter it's quite crumbly, which is fine since you are forming the dough into balls after it has chilled for a while, but it's kind of a pain to get it gathered into plastic wrap and then into the fridge. I had crumbles escape in and out of the fridge...

The only other thing to note -- this makes a very small batch of cookies -- I think I got all of 16 which is kind of annoying for the time and effort that goes into them. Next time I will definitely double the recipe.


1 cup pecans
1/4 cup sugar
1 cup minus 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
1/4 tsp salt
pinch ground cinnamon
1 stick unsalted butter, at room temp
1 tsp vanilla extract

powdered sugar, sifted, for rolling

Put the pecans and 1 tbsp of the sugar in a food processor and process in very short pulses until the nuts are pulverized. Scrape the nuts into a bowl, add the flour, salt and cinnamon and whisk to combine.

Put the butter in the processor and process, scraping down the sides of the bowl as needed, until the butter is smooth and creamy. Add the remaining 3 tablespoons sugar and the vanilla and process the dough as little as possible -- the less you work the dough, the lighter and more appealingly crumbly the cookies will be. Scrape the dough out of the bowl onto plastic wrap, gather it together and form it into a ball. Wrap and chill for at least 2 hours, or for up to 2 days.

Getting ready to bake: Center a rack in the oven and preheat the oven to 350. Line two baking sheets with parchment or silicone mats.

Remove the dough from the fridge. Using a small spoon, break off marble-size pieces, then roll each piece between your palms to form a smooth ball and place the balls on the baking sheet; there's no need to leave much space between the balls.

Bake the cookies one sheet at a time for 12 to 15 minutes, ot until they are lightly golden and almost firm. Gently transfer them to a rack to cool to room temp.

Just before serving, roll the cookies in the powdered sugar and toss them gently from hand to hand to shake off the excess sugar.


Lille meg said...

What an exiting blog I found here!
This cookies seemes very good.
Maybe I'll try to make them some day.
I like to visit blogers from other countries.
I myself come from Norway.

Anonymous said...

The cookies look really good...I'll have to try to get my hands on some one of these days. =)

Anonymous said...

they were very good. hey, pecans and butter and sugar--hard to mess that up. vanilla and cinnamon are always welcome. jb approves :)