9/28/09

Mexican wedding cakes or whatever


These hand-formed, shortbread-like, buttery cookies go by many names: Russian Tea Cakes, Sandies, Bride's Cakes, Snowdrop, Snowball, Italian Butter Nut, and Viennese Sugar Balls. Whatever you call them, I made a batch yesterday.

Traditionally made with toasted pecans, my recipe included toasted walnuts and grated orange peel. Dusted with powdered sugar, the cookies had a nutty and citrus flavor, and their festive appearance whispered the holidays.

One bite, and the delicate cakes had me rethinking my plan to make them for a luncheon today. Even though they use relatively few ingredients, these sinfully rich cookies required too much cookie-by-cookie attention, and they are very fragile.

I needed nine dozen, so I decided to make something else and take this batch to work in the morning.

How did these biscuit-like cookies ever get the name Mexican wedding cakes? For centuries, they were crumbled over the heads of bridal couples much as we now shower happy newlyweds with rice.

2 comments:

All About Food said...

Mmmmmmm....I'm thinking Christmas cookies. Buttery. Melt-in-the-mouth. But, maybe I can't wait. I'll have to dig out my recipe for Russian Teacakes. I like your idea of using walnuts and orange zest, Lynn.

Dorvi said...

I love these cookies, they're my favorite and my Italian family called them Mexican Wedding Cakes too?