Sunday, December 30, 2012

Pistachio and Cherry (or Cranberry) Mexican Wedding Cakes (best Christmas cookies ever!)

These cookies are my favorite cookies.  I know what you are thinking.  Really Anya? Your actual favorite or your favorite this moment?  My husband says I have more "favorites" and "worsts" than anyone he knows.  This is true.  I tend to... exaggerate... or maybe I should say I am just really enthusiastic (right?).   There are just so many great things how can one say anything is THE favorite to beat all other favorites?!  But, listen, these may be my actual true favorite cookies. They are cakey and buttery and have pistachios and dried cranberries and melt in the mouth.  I make them once a year, on Christmas and so they are special and exciting.  My whole family loves them.

Pistachio and Cherry Mexican Wedding Cakes
This recipe is from Bon Appetit, December 2006.

(makes approximately 80 cookies)

  • 2 cups (4 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1 cup powdered sugar plus more for coating
  • 2 tablespoons vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup shelled unsalted natural pistachios (about 4 ounces), chopped
  • 1 cup dried tart cherries or dried cranberries
  • 3 1/3 cups sifted cake flour
  • 1 2/3 cups sifted all purpose flour

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Butter 3 large, heavy baking sheets.  Using electric mixer, beat 2 cups butter and 1 cup powdered sugar in large bowl until light and fluffy.

Add vanilla and salt, beat to combine.

... then pistachios and cherries or cranberries.   

Stir in the flour by hand, mixing just until combined.

Shape dough by generous tablespoonfuls into football-shaped ovals.  Place on prepared sheets, spacing 1 inch apart.

Bake cookies, 1 sheet at a time, until bottoms just being to color, about 16 minutes.

Cool cookies on sheets 10 minutes before coating.

Pour generous amount of powdered sugar into medium bowl.  Working with 5 or 6 warm cookies at a time, add cookies to bowl of sugar; gently turn to coat thickly.

Transfer cookies to sheet of waxed paper.  Repeat to coat cookies with sugar again; cool completely.

Store at room temperature between layers of wax paper for 4 days.  Can be frozen for... a long time... :-)


-- Anya

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