Monday, October 24, 2011
Mexican Wedding Biscuits
At the same time some European recipes have found their way to the New World. The recipe for these nutty shortbread cookies has arabic origins which passed into culinary tradition in Europe, thanks to the Moors. The recipe was then adapted in Mexico to include pecan nuts, which are native to the Americas. Pecans grow on trees and are acorn-shaped. They have a similar taste to walnuts, and in fact the name they were originally given by the Spanish – nogales – translates as “walnut tree”. These delicious cookies are saved for special occasions, like weddings or even Christmas.
250g butter, softened
½ cup caster sugar
2 tsps vanilla extract
2 tsps water
2 cups plain flour
1 cup finely chopped pecans
½ cup pure icing sugar
1. Combine the butter, sugar, vanilla and water in the small bowl of an electric mixer. Beat on high until the mixture is pale in colour and the sugar has dissolved.
2. Sift the flour into the bowl then add the chopped pecans. Mix on low speed until the ingredients combine to form a dough. Gather the dough into a ball, wrap it in plastic cling film and refrigerate it for 30 minutes.
3. Pre-heat the oven to 180 degrees Celsius. Line two baking trays with baking paper and set aside.
4. Remove the dough from the fridge and roll tablespoonfuls of it into balls about 3cm wide. Flatten each ball slightly and position on the baking trays about 5cm apart.
5. Bake both trays in the oven for 15 to 20 minutes or until the cookies are very light brown on top. Cool on the trays for 5 minutes, then use an egg lifter to transfer the cookies to a wire rack to cool completely.
6. Dust the cookies with a thick layer of sugar and serve.
Makes about 20 cookies.