Saturday, June 19, 2010

Mexican tea cakes

New England social life has a certain rhythm to it. Or so it seems to this newcomer. In winter when it falls dark well before dinner, people withdraw into their warm homes. In the late spring, as the sun and warmth entice people out, social activities start jostling each other on the calendar for elbow room.

For today's neighborhood street party, I wanted something festive. Something easy. Something with the flavors of Texas or Mexico. So I tried these.

Mexican tea cakes
(Recipe originally published in Gourmet, May 1989)

2 sticks (1 cup) unsalted butter, softened
3 cups confectioners sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 cup very finely chopped pecans (2 1/2 oz)
3/4 teaspoon salt

Beat together butter and 1/2 cup confectioners sugar in a large bowl with an electric mixer at moderately high speed until pale and fluffy, about 4 minutes. Beat in vanilla, then add flour, pecans, and salt and mix at low speed until just combined. Chill, covered, at least 6 hours.

Preheat oven to 375°F.

Let dough stand at room temperature until just pliable, about 15 minutes. Roll level teaspoons of dough into 3/4-inch balls and arrange about 2 inches apart on lightly buttered baking sheets. (I used parchment paper-lined cookie sheets.)

Sift remaining 2 1/2 cups confectioners sugar into a large shallow bowl.

Bake in batches in middle of oven until bottoms are pale golden, 8 to 10 minutes. Immediately transfer hot cookies to confectioners sugar, gently rolling to coat well, then transfer to a rack to cool completely.

Roll cookies in confectioners sugar again when cooled.

1 comment:

  1. Nice dish! I'm getting hungrier as I type this.


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