Saturday, December 8, 2007

ShallowGal's holiday present to the very best readers on the internet

It has come to ShallowGal's attention, that she actually has readers ! People who come by and shake their heads in disgust at my inability to pick a tense or choose a grammatical person (1) and then call me (2) to tell me they read my blog. So don't let the fact that only PSCguy uses the comment section fool you ! I have, at last count, at LEAST four readers.

And ShallowGal loves each and every one of you.

So as my holiday present to you, I am going to share my very famous, oft requested recipe for Mexican Wedding Cookies. The very recipe which my Grandmother, who came to this country during WWII as a young bride and mother, would make me if she owned the America's Test Kitchen cookbook and wasn't locked up in an Alzheimer's facility.

You know how sometimes people say "If you only have one cookbook this should be it." Well I don't understand that. Why would you only have one cookbook? They aren't that expensive. I'm not saying you need to go buy anything crazy like Mary Bell's Complete Dehydrator Cookbook (3) But hey, loosen the purse strings and live a little. And totally you need America's Test Kitchen Cookbook. Costco always has it for $19.99

Okay, enough stalling. (4) Although all of ShallowGal's friends are kitchen goddesses, I'm going to really break down the steps for you so you don't make any rookie cookie mistakes.

Mexican Wedding Cookies
makes 4 dozen small cookies

2 cups walnuts (you can use pecans but walnuts are way better)
2 cups all-purpose flour (I prefer King Arthur)
3/4 tsp of salt
2 sticks of butter, softened
1/3 cup superfine sugar (Take 1/2 cup of sugar and grind it in a food processor for 30 seconds)
1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1 1/2 c. (or more!) confectioners' sugar

Step 1: Adjust the oven racks to the uper and lower middle positions and heat the oven to 325 degrees. Process 1 cup of nuts in a food processor for about 15 seconds, until they're the texture of coarse cornmeal. Put them in a medium bowl. Process the other 1 cup for only 5 seconds so they're coarsely chopped. Mix the two kinds of nuts along with the flour and salt.

Step 2: Drag out that Kitchen Aid you got for a wedding present. Wonder why you picked such an odd color. Berate yourself for not using it more often, it is a really nice piece of equipment. Beat the butter and sugar together using the flat beater (not the dough hook and not the wire thingee, you knew that right?) until light and fluffy, 3 to 6 minutes. Beat in the vanilla. Reduce the mixer speed to low and slowly add the nut mixture until combined, about 30 seconds. Scrape the bowl and beater with a rubber spatula (Pampered Chef makes a nice one, and if you have a Pampered Chef party I'll totally come and buy another one) . Continue to beat until dough is cohesive, like 7 seconds.

Step 3: Roll dough into 1 inch balls, lay on a parchment lined baking sheets (believe it or not I have the best luck with my ratty old baking sheets instead of my new fancy schamncy ones that conduct the heat) After about 10 minutes switch the sheets so the top one moves to the bottom and V/V. The cookbook calls for 18 minutes, in my oven they take closer to 22 minutes.

Step 4: Let the cookies cool on the baking sheets for 5 minutes and then transfer to a wire rack. I find that if you touch them before then, even lightly, they crumble, which is totally where that phrase comes from. Once cool roll in confectioners sugar and then re-roll before serving.

Cookies can be stored in an airtight container for up to 3 days. I buy massive bags of walnuts at Costco and store them in the freezer between baking sessions.

1) It is *so* a word.
2) On the phone. Which is so much more personal than commenting.
3) But it did get REALLY good reviews.
4) I'm afraid once Meg has my cookie recipe she won't feel the need to invite me to her cookie swap anymore and she has such awesome friends that it ups my cool factor just hanging out in her kitchen with them.

1 comment:

The Jet Set Girls said...

These are by far my favorite cookies during the holidays. I hid the stash ShallowGal gave me last year and ate everyone myself. Hey you! Where are my cookies?!