MEXICAN TEA CAKES (also called Mexican wedding cakes, 50)
2 sticks (1 cup) unsalted butter, softened
3 cups confectioners’ sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
¾ cup finely chopped pecans
¾ teaspoon salt
2-¼ cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- In a bowl with an electric mixer cream the butter with ½ cup of the sugar until the mixture is light and fluffy and beat in the vanilla, the pecans and the salt until the mixture is combined well. Add the flour, beat the dough until it is combined well, and chill it, covered, for at least 6 hours or overnight.
- Let the dough stand at room temperature until it is just pliable and form it into balls about ¾ inch in diameter. Arrange the balls of dough about 1 inch apart on lightly buttered baking sheets and flatten them slightly to form small disks. Bake the cookies in batches in the middle of a preheated 375* oven for 12 to 15 minutes, or until they are pale golden on the bottom. While the cookies are baking, sift the remaining 2-½ cups sugar with the cinnamon into a shallow dish and as the cookies come out of the oven roll them immediately in the sugar to coat them. Transfer the cookies to a rack, let them cool, and roll them in the sugar again. The cookies may be made 3 days in advance and kept in an airtight container.
adapted from The Best of Gourmet, volume V