Many historians speculate that the term Mexican wedding cookie was used to replace the term Russian teacake in the 1950's due to the strained U.S. relationship with Russia during the Cold War. Recipes for Russian teacakes began disappearing from cookbooks and were considered unpatriotic. These traditional Christmas cookies are sometimes known as snowballs in north America and butterballs in the southern U.S., Danish wedding cookies, Swedish teacakes, Viennese Crescents, pecan sandies, Danish almond cookies, Finnish butter strips and more. Historians also believe that the recipes were taken by western European nuns to central and south America during colonial expansion and thus are often associated with these regions.
1 cup butter, softened (2 sticks)
1/2 cup powdered sugar
2 teaspoons Madagascar Bourbon Islands Vanilla or 1/8 teaspoon Almond Extract
2 cups all-purpose flour, sifted
1/2 teaspoon Kosher Flake Sea Salt
3/4 cup pecans, walnuts or almonds lightly toasted and finely chopped
powdered sugar, for rolling (about 2 cups)
Pre-heat oven to 375° F.
Cream together butter and powdered sugar until light and fluffy; stir in vanilla.
Whisk together flour and salt; add gradually to butter mixture; stir in chopped nuts.
Chill dough for approximately an hour for better rolling and to keep cookies from spreading while cooking.
Form dough into 1” balls and place onto parchment-lined or ungreased baking sheets.
Bake at 375° for 10-12 minutes or just until the cookies start to turn light golden-brown; remove from oven and allow to cool slightly.
While cookies are still warm, but not hot, roll them in powdered sugar until evenly coated and cool completely before storing in layers in a storage. Store in an airtight container at room temperature.
Cookies may (optionally) be rolled in powdered sugar a second time once cooled to room temperature.
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