My roommates and I had a couple guests over for dinner, and we decided to make a Mexican feast. I made guacamole and tossed cubed mangoes with lime juice and salt; Stu made tacos with soy crumbles and peppers; and Perrin sucked on the mango pits and entertained everyone. For dessert I made Mexican Wedding Cookies, which are basically glorified shortbread with toasted walnuts, rolled in powdered sugar and traditionally served at Mexican weddings. I thought this recipe (from The Joy of Baking) was a bit too buttery (I like mine a bit drier), so next time I would add a bit more flour, a lot more nuts, and perhaps some almond extract.
2/3 cup toasted nuts walnuts
1 cup butter
1/4 cup confectioners' sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 cups flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper. Set aside.
Cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy (about 2 minutes). Beat in the vanilla extract. Add flour and salt and beat until combined. Stir in the nuts. Cover and refrigerate the dough for about 1 hour or until firm.
Form the dough into 1 inch balls and place them 2 inches apart on the prepared baking sheets. Bake for about 12 - 15 minutes, or until the edges of the cookies start to brown. Remove from oven and place on a wire rack to cool for about 5 minutes.
Meanwhile, line another baking pan or tray with parchment or wax paper. Sprinkle about 1/2 cup of confectioners' sugar on the bottom of the pan and then place the slightly cooled cookies on top of the sugar. Place the remaining 1/2 cup of sugar in a fine strainer or sieve and then sprinkle the tops of the cookies (or you can just roll the cookies in the sugar).
I served the cookies with Mexican hot chocolate, made by bringing a vat of soy milk nearly to a boil then turning off the heat and whisking in a couple handfuls of grated Mexican chocolate (you can use any sort of dark chocolate, sweetening as necessary) and a few shakes of cinnamon. I also added a generous splash of brandy, which added the perfect finishing touch.