Sunday, July 24, 2011

Baby Shower: Pecan Butter Balls

Here's the first baby shower recipe I promised you. These were pretty amazing tasting so I thought I'd share this recipe first. My neighbors bake these every year at Christmastime along with about 6 other homemade cookies. They make pecan tassies, rugelash, thumbprint cookies and other bite-sized morsels but these are my absolute favorites. I like them so much that when they walk the plate or box of cookies to my door, I immediately eat these first without sharing.

I've always referred to these cookies as Mexican Wedding Cookies, but my grandma and mom said they have to be crescent shaped to be called that, because that's what they're used to. They're essentially the same thing but round. Mexican Wedding Cookies, also known as Russian Tea Cakes, are rich, nutty shortbread cookies rolled in powdered sugar. The cookie is not specifically connected to any one culture, but traditionally they are served to guests at special occasions or holidays because they are made with rich and expensive foods (the richest butter, finest sugar and choicest nuts).

And cheap they are not. I doubled the recipe, and the chopped nuts and butter alone cost about $15. I made these with help from my momma (Thank you Mom!) for thank you favors at my baby shower. Because it was a special day, I wasn't really concerned with the price of making them because I knew they would be homemade and fresher than anything else I could buy on a grocery store shelf. They also were far less expensive to make than other party favors. I needed 25-30 favors so each little gift bag including packaging costs about $1.00. Not too bad!

These little snowball like cookies just melt in your mouth. Once they hit your tongue, the powdered sugar just dissipates. The buttery cookie center is slightly crunchy then they too just melt away. I don't know how else to describe them. They're like lime melt-aways in texture but they're nutty and buttery. The cookie itself has very little sugar in them since they're coated twice in powdered sugar once they're baked. But the final product isn't too sweet, they're just perfect. I used a small ice cream scoop to form the balls, but they could be made even smaller since they puff slightly in the oven. I hope you, too, will make these for your next special occasion or holiday.

Pecan Butter Balls (Mexican Wedding Cookies)

adapted from Cooks Catalog

Printer Friendly Version

  • 1 cup unsalted butter, room temp
  • 1/4 granulated cup sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 cups finely chopped pecans or walnuts
  • powdered sugar for coating

Cream butter and sugar together. Add salt and vanilla.

Slowly add the flour to the butter/sugar mixture just until it forms a dough. Add the chopped nuts and mix until just combined.

Roll dough into half inch balls and place on parchment lined cookie sheets about an inch apart.

Bake 30 minutes at 350 degrees F.

As soon as they come out of the oven, roll them in powdered sugar while the cookies are still hot. Be careful because the cookies are extremely hot and fragile. Place cookies on a cooling rack.

Once cookies have cooled completely, roll them in powdered sugar again.

Makes 60-70 cookies.

Hope everyone has a great week. Next recipe: Mini Cheesecakes with lemon curd and berries!

34 comments:

peachkins said...

these looks super delicious!

Rosa's Yummy Yums said...

Lovely cookies! Really tempting.

Cheers,

Rosa

Gail @ Faithfulness Farm said...

Oh, I simply love these cookies -- perfect with a cuppa coffee or tea :)

Blessings!
Gail

Becca said...

When there were parties in my Spanish classes, everyone made Mexican Wedding Cookies. I love them, and you're right, there's no other way to describe the melting sensation when you bite into one!

Heather of Kitchen Concoctions said...

I haven't had Mexican Wedding Cookies in ages. I can totally taste that buttery pecan flavor in my mouth as I reminisce! Haha! Man I need to make these soon!

A Feast for the Eyes said...

You're a good sales woman! I haven't made these in years, but now I'll queue up for Christmas baking. While the ingredients sound a bit pricey, like you said... it was worth it. I would have loved receiving these as a goody bag. I wouldn't have shared, either. I'm like that, when I like something. ;)

tamilyn said...

These go quickly at our house too :)

I love the gift bags you made-those rock.

OvenDelights said...

One question.......The recipe calls for 1-1/2c. chopped pecans/walnuts, does that mean I measure the whole nuts first then chop or do I chop the nuts first then measure?? I always get confused on stuff like this. Please help! :)

Monica H said...

Anabel- Chop first then measure. I actually purchased prechopped nuts so they were already measured out for me. But you need 1 and a half cups of the chopped pecans for his recipe!

Hope you like them!

~Monica

girlichef said...

Oh, I love these, too! Only thing is the mess they make on my shirt when I'm trying to be discreet (aka...eat a lot without anybody seeing). Beautiful :D

KitchenTherapy said...

they look cute. mmmmmm gimmie some :D

Mini Baker said...

can you believe I STILL have never tried these cookies? what a shame, they look delicious!

Healthy and Homemade said...

One of my favorite cookies. I love how the powdered sugar melts in your mouth. When I glanced at the title I thought it said "peanut butter balls," which I practically grew up eating. I have some rolled oats in the fridge and totally want to make some now =P

OvenDelights said...

Monica, thank you sooo much for the tip and this awesome recipe! I just finished making these and they have cooled. It was just how you described them! Pretty awesome cookie! This recipe just replaced my old one!

Monica H said...

Anabel- I'm so glad you made and liked these! There are a few recipes on this blog that I wish I could force feed to people to make them try them, and this is one of them. haha! I'm thrilled this recipe has replaced your old, because they're just awesome. I'll have to let me neighbor know it was a success!

~Monica

Coleen said...

This has always been one of my favorite cookies (with pecans). Delicious!!! I'm not surprised the cookies ended up being expensive, the price of nuts is crazy these days!!! A bag of pecans here is $10 and butter is running $4.29 a pound!!

warmvanillasugar said...

These are so yummy looking! Mmm.

Julie said...

I've always wanted to try to make these. I like the ones they sell in the stores just fine, but I can only imagine how awesome these are!

Natasha @ Saved by the Egg Timer said...

I have a rendidtion of these melt in your mouth cookies and I like yours with the addition of nuts. Your right, you can only just let them melt and then eat another one :)

Debbie said...

I've made these before and they are delicious. Mine were round also and they were called Mexican Wedding Cookies. I know how expensive baking has become. I go to Aldi's and get all my baking goods there. They are half the price of the average grocery store and the quality is excellent. You should check and see if there is an Aldi's by you....it's worth the savings! (I should get paid by Aldi's for this advertising!!!!).

Majid Ali said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Allie said...

These look amazing! I love these cookies! What a perfect favor :)

Kerstin said...

What cute little tasty favors - definitely better than anything I've ever gotten at a shower! :)

Maranda said...

I'm so sad I didn't get any of these but I'm super excited you posted the recipe! I can't wait to make these and eat the whole batch myself!

The Blue Faerie said...

Oooh... My mom used to make these for Christmas every year. I'll definitely have to try these out soon.

Just found your site through one of my followers & I love it already. It's tasty. :P

The Captain's Daughter said...

I love that you used the embosser I sent you for your labels! It's perfect, and I cannot think of a happier reason to use it! xxoo

Smiley said...

I love these cookies! They're a holiday tradition in my family, but we've always just called the Snowballs! And I swear my grandmother makes hers with almonds rather than pecans.

emily said...

I love these cookies and the bag presentation looks very professional. Did you have to put the cookies inside a cellophane bag or were the blues ones lined??
Thanks so much....

girls photo baby shower invitations said...

Cookies! They look so delicious!

Ashley said...

These look wonderful! They look like something I had at a bridal shower a while back that I just loved. I need to bake something as a thank you gift for someone tonight, and I have all of these ingredients on hand - I just may give them a try! I'll definitely link back to this post when I put them on my blog :)

Ashley said...

These turned out fantastic!! I linked to this post here: http://bigflavors.blogspot.com/2011/08/pecan-butter-balls-mexican-wedding.html

the uyeyamas said...

Browsing your recipes on my iPad while lying between my two sleeping kids. Haha! These look amazing. My husband heard that pecans are going to be expensive this season because of a shortage. Have you heard this? I might have to try this with walnuts for Christmas. Yummy!

Anonymous said...

The baking time is way off. They were burned after 25 minutes. Baking time should be 15 minutes. Great recipe otherwise. Made them tonight.

Anonymous said...

I have made these often since my college days. I normally make them around Christmas as a yummy gag gift and call them Snowman Droppings. Yummy!

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