I’ve recently shared my love for dough… pie dough, pizza dough, bread dough – I just can’t resist taking a little taste before it’s baked – However, I absolutely abhor (strong word, but it’s true) when something that is supposed to be baked is under-baked and “doughy” tasting – yeck!! This may seem an odd thing to share, but it fits perfectly with this recipe. I’ve tasted many versions of this cookie baked by others and at least 50% ( more like 90%) have all tasted under-baked to me. Maybe that’s they way they are supposed to taste??
BTW – these cookies are popular world-wide with many similar names, hence, Greek/Russian/Mexican Wedding Cookies or Tea Cakes… made with almonds, pecan, hazelnuts, almonds. Some add vanilla, some add salt, I’ve seen recipes with cinnamon. I think that they would be very yummy with chocolate or cinnamon added to the powdered sugar on top. — but, I listed them as Mexican Tea Cakes because…
I received this recipe from my mom many, many years ago. She received this recipe from a co-worker (born & raised in Mexico) who received the recipe from her family as it was passed down from generation to generation. My mom is picky too – so I trust & typically like the recipes that she passes on to me. I like this recipe because the results are light, crumbly melt-in -your-mouth goodness with just a hint of sweetness. I will warn you, they are addicting & bite-sized – so you many not be able to each just one. Good thing the recipe makes 4 dozen.
Mexican Tea Cake (Cookies) – Preheat Oven to 275
1 1/2 c butter at room temperature (I use unsalted)
2 TBL powdered sugar
1 egg yolk
1/2 c coarsely grated (or finely chopped almonds)
About 3 1/2c flour, unsifted
Additional powdered sugar
Beat butter until light and fluffy; beat in the 2 TBL powdered sugar, egg yolk, and almonds. Gradually add flour to make a soft dough that you can shape easily with your hands. Roll into medium size balls and place about 1 1/2 inches apart on on un-greased baking sheet (I baked mine on a Silpat liner – because that’s pretty much how I bake everything.) – I fit 24 on the baking sheet like this ~
side note: because of the many slight variations to this recipe – I took half the dough and added a pinch of salt & some vanilla – if there was a difference, it was very slight and I wouldn’t bother with either – however, for variations to flavor using the same recipe click here.
There are a few things that I don’t enjoy very much when it comes to baking and rolling dough balls is one of them. So, after making this tray, I opted for this option ~
Just kidding – one of the things that I think makes these cookies so yumm-a-li-cious is their size. So, I came up with plan B and rolled the dough ball into a log shape and cut it down the middle lengthwise. Then I sliced across and made individual dough-ball sized pieces. They pieces of dough were uniform and all I had to do was briefly round them into balls with my hands – GREAT technique (if I do say so myself) which looks like this ~
Bake for 45 minutes or until lightly browned. I always bake mine so that they are white with maybe a hint of brown on the bottom. They look prettier white and still taste like they have been lightly browned/crisped.
Remove from the oven and cool on baking sheets until lukewarm. Sift powdered sugar over a baking sheet lined with butcher paper, parchment, silpat etc….Transfer the cookies onto the sugar, then sift more powdered sugar over the top. They cookies are prettier if you sift the sugar, but you can roll them too for a “chunkier” look. THE TEMPERATURE OF THE COOKIES AT THIS POINT IS KEY – IF THE COOKIES ARE TOO HOT THEY WILL MELT THE SUGAR, IF THEY ARE TOO COOL, THE SUGAR WON’T STICK AS WELL.
Store in an air-tight container – ENJOY!!