James made me his version of Mexican wedding cakes when we were in college together. As a child, I ate something like this before, but I wouldn’t be able to place it to any specific time. I knew they were delicious then, and was excited to try his recipe. They were so amazing that we decided to make them a few times throughout our four years in school.
It’s so hard to eat just one cookie! They crumble and melt in your mouth, I end up eating at least three or four in a sitting! And they’re simple to make, so you can easily share the love with friends and family.
- 250g (2 cups) All-Purpose Flour
- 130g (1 cup) Pecans, lightly toasted
- 230g (8oz, or 2 sticks) Unsalted Butter, softened
- 30g (¼-cup) Confectioner's Sugar
- 5g (1t) Vanilla Extract
- 2g (½t) Almond Extract
- 1g (½t) Ground Cinnamon, optional
- 2g (½t) Kosher Salt
- 240g (2 cups, unsifted) Confectioner's Sugar
- Grind the flour and pecans together until the nuts are finely chopped.
- Cream the butter and sugar together, and add the extracts. Mix well.
- Add the dry ingredients to the butter mixture, and mix until just combined. Chill the dough in the refrigerator for 1-2 hours.
- Set the oven to 350°F (177°C). Scoop the dough into tablespoon-size rounds, set them on cookie sheets, and bake for 15 minutes.
- Place the cookies onto a cooling rack for 5-10 minutes before beginning to coat them in sugar.
- Pour the sugar into a large mixing bowl, and gently place a few cookies at a time into the sugar. Roll the wedding cakes around to cover, then place them back onto the cooling rack. Repeat a second time to get a good coating.
- Cool completely before eating and storing.
- These wedding cakes also go by the name of Russian Tea Cakes, Italian Wedding Cookies, or Snowball Cookies, enjoyed around Christmastime.
- The pecans should be well-ground, but not turned into nut meal. We want some texture to the cookies.
- If you plan to use cinnamon in your recipe, add it to the dry ingredients before mixing with the butter.
- The dough is quite soft, so a nice sit in the fridge allows the butter to re-harden.
- I use a measuring tablespoon to scoop the dough onto the parchment. Each domed boule is roughly 15g.
- I bake for 13 minutes and watch the cookies for the remaining 2 minutes, making sure they don't get too dark. We want a touch of color beginning at the edges, but not fully golden.
- Some people place the cookies immediately into the sugar bowl while they're still super hot. I like to wait because the cookies are still baking and steaming, and the condensation created makes for a very thick coating of confectioner's sugar.
- An extra few more coats of sugar may be needed to get the right coverage. I go through the entire batch once, then go back to the first set of wedding cakes to repeat the process, to insure that I have a nice, even coating on all of them. This allows the wedding cakes to cool down a bit before getting that second coat.
- Use different kinds of coarsely ground nuts to make this recipe.