The cookies I picked for day 9 of my 12 Days of Christmas Cookies are the Mexican Wedding Cakes. I had never tried these and read rave reviews about them all over the Internet.
I decided to give this recipe from Joy of Baking a try. My cookies turned out great: these feel really light and fragile and look so pretty topped with the confectioner's sugar!!
adapted from Joy of Baking
2/3 cups of toasted nuts (pecans, walnuts, hazelnuts) (I used pecans)
1 cup butter at room temperature
1/4 cup confectioner's sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup confectioner's sugar
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Line 2 bakingsheets with parchment paper. Set aside
Toast nuts: place nuts on a baking sheet and bake for about 8 minutes, or until lightly brown and fragrant. Cool. Once the nuts have cooled completely, place them, along with two tablespoons of the flour from the recipe, in your foodprocessor, fitted with a metal blade , and process until they are finely ground (but not a paste). Set aside.
In the bowl of your electric mixer (or with a hand mixer), cream the butter and sugar until light and fluffy (about 2 minutes). Beat in the vanilla extract. Add the remaining flour and salt and beat until combined. Stir in the nuts. Cover and refrigerate the dough for about 1 hour or until firm.
Form the dough into 1 inch (2.54 cm) balls and place them 2 inches (5 cm) apart on the prepared baking sheets. Bake for about 12-15 minutes, or until the edges of the cookies start to brown. (Mine needed 12 minutes) Remove from oven and pleace on a wire rack to cool for about 5 minutes.
Meanwhile, line another baking pan or tray with parchment or wax paper. Sprinkel about 1/2 cup of the confectioner's sugar on the bottom of the pan and then place the slightly cooled cookies on top of the sugar. Place the remaining 1/2 cup of sugar in a fine strainer or sieve and then sprinkle the tops of the cookies (or you can just roll the cookies in the sugar, that's what I did).
Store in an airtight container. Makes about 3 dozen cookies.