Mexican Tea Cake Cookies

I decided to re-visit this recipe since I typically make it during my annual December Candy and Cookie making marathon. The cookies remind me of snowballs and I think that they would fit perfectly with a January or winter tea party, hostess gift (Superbowl Party), coffee chat with the girlfriends or an everyday treat for your loved ones. – They are also great for a cookie exchange since the recipe makes 4 dozen. I baked 2 trays at once this time and they turned out perfect. (Just be sure to rotate the trays from rack to rack 1/2 way through the cooking time.)

I’ve 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 biting into something that has been under-baked and “doughy” tasting – blech!! This may seem an odd thing to share, but it fits perfectly with this recipe. I’ve tasted many versions of this cookie made by others and they have all tasted under-baked to me. I assume that’s they way they are supposed to taste, but I prefer the crumbly melt-in-your-mouth texture of these cookies.

These cookies are popular world-wide with many similar names; Greek/Russian/Mexican Wedding Cookies or Tea Cakes… made with almonds, pecan, hazelnuts, almonds. Some add vanilla, some add salt, and 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. 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.

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 making one giant cookie.

GIANT Mexican Tea Cake Cookie

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 which looks like this ~

Quick & Easy Dough Ball technique

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Mexican Tea Cake Cookies) – Makes 4 dozen

  • 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 1 1/2 cups butter until light and fluffy; beat in the 2 TBL powdered sugar, egg yolk, and 1/2 cup 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.

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!!

printed from Baking4Six.com

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OR share some with friends..

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 Cinnamon or Chocolate variations to flavor using the same recipe visit  Mexican Tea Cakes {Part 2 ~ Variations}.

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