Mexican Wedding Cookies
Pastelitos de boda (literally, "wedding cookies") are a traditional dessert at Mexican weddings. Made with walnuts, pecans, or almonds, they're a sweet way to thank guests for sharing the day. To give as favors, tuck two into a tiny clear box along with a note imprinted with a fitting sentiment or your wedding date. Type on a computer, print on colored vellum, then cut the messages into tiny strips.
- 1 cup almonds, plus 40 more for decorating
- 2 cups plus 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 8 ounces (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
- 2 1/4 cups sifted confectioners' sugar
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 1/2 teaspoon pure almond extract
- 1 large egg white, beaten
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spread 1 cup almonds on a baking sheet; toast until fragrant, about 12 minutes. Let cool.
Put toasted almonds, flour, salt, and cinnamon in a food processor; process until almonds are finely chopped, about 1 minute. Set aside.
In the bowl of a mixer fitted with the paddle, cream butter and 1 cup confectioners' sugar on medium until pale and fluffy, about 4 minutes. Add vanilla and almond extracts, and mix until combined. Add the almond mixture, and mix on low until dough just comes together.
Roll dough into twenty 1 1/2-inch balls; place on ungreased baking sheets, spaced 2 inches apart. Flatten each ball slightly with your palm.
Toss 1 tablespoon beaten egg white and remaining 40 whole almonds in a small bowl to coat. Press two almonds into each cookie.
Bake cookies until lightly browned around the edges, about 25 minutes. Transfer baking sheets to a wire rack; let stand until cool enough to handle.
Place remaining 1 1/4 cups confectioners' sugar in a medium bowl. Roll warm cookies in sugar, reserving any remaining sugar. Return cookies to baking sheets. Let cookies cool 15 minutes, and roll again.
SourceMartha Stewart Weddings, Summer/Fall 1998