The calm before the storm. The last week of spring term at school before four whole weeks with the boys. For our last few days of calm, it's been a pretty busy week with an open book day, easter school concert and our spring fair. As well as baking for the fair (this time experimenting with both regular cupcakes as well as gluten-free and dairy-free offerings), I went with a friend to do a Biscuiteer Beatrix Potter icing course - always great to learn a new skill, but I need a LOT more practice and my desire to make everything perfect meant I wasn't entirely satisfied with my finished biscuits! (I think we chose a very tricky icing course as our first attempt) You can see photos of my easter fair and biscuit decorating endeavours on facebook and instagram :)
So now as I sit writing this, I'm already in the storm of the school holidays and with several bakes planned for this week, I'm just wondering how I'm actually going to get time to get everything done! We have a new local bakery (a chain that's fast springing up across London) and as I went on my maiden voyage to the one which has opened two minutes from our house, I had a delightful little biscuit called a Mexican Wedding Cookie. I instantly knew I wanted to recreate this at home so set about looking into the tradition and recipe behind this little treat.
Mexican Wedding Cookies are also known amongst other names such as Russian Tea Cakes, Viennese Sugar Balls and Polvorones - but we're going to call them the name by which I discovered them, so called as they're often presented as favours at Mexican weddings. They're very simple to make and require only a handful of ingredients. It seems like everyone has their own recipe for these and all slightly different so I decided to mix them all up in the one below. They have a light velvety taste but a slight crunch too. The only thing I might try differently next time is to add some other ground nuts to see if this gives a little more crunch (maybe hazelnuts and/or pecans). But they are seriously yummy!
Mexican Wedding Cookies Makes 30 cookies
- 230G BUTTER
- 60G ICING SUGAR
- 1 TSP VANILLA EXTRACT
- ¼ TSP SALT
- 250G PLAIN FLOUR
- 95G GROUND ALMONDS
- 90G ICING SUGAR IN A BOWL (FOR ROLLING WHEN BAKED)
- Heat the oven to 165 degrees (fan) and line two baking trays
- Put the butter, icing sugar and vanilla in a mixing bowl and beat until light and fluffy
- Then add the salt, flour and ground almonds and mix on the lowest setting until the dough forms
- Using a tbsp measure, make little round balls with 1 tbsp dough and line them up on the baking trays, one inch apart
- Bake for around 15 mins - you want the balls to be set but not browned so worth checking on them from 12 mins onwards
- Remove from the oven and leave a for few minutes to cool down and then roll them in the remaining icing sugar - and then enjoy!