Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Pistachio Mexican Wedding Cookies / Russian Tea Cakes

I never got around to posting my cookie recipes before Christmas. But who says cookies are only for Christmas?

These are a twist on the Mexican Wedding Cake / Russian Tea Cakes. They are seasoned with orange and almond, and feature pistachios instead of walnuts. These are amazing!

2 sticks (8 ounces) unsalted butter, at room temperature

2 cups powdered sugar

1 cup shelled, unsalted roasted pistachios, minced

2 teaspoons freshly grated orange zest (or reconstitute dry - I get mine from Penzeys)

1 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

1 teaspoon almond extract

2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour

Heat oven to 350°F and lightly grease baking sheets.

Beat together butter and 1/2 cup of the powdered sugar. (If you have a stand mixer, use it) Beat on medium high until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Add pistachios, orange zest, salt, vanilla extract, and almond extract and continue mixing until ingredients are well incorporated. Add flour and mix just until incorporated, about 30 seconds (do not overmix).

Shape dough into tablespoon-size balls. Place 1 inch apart on the prepared baking sheets. Bake until bottoms begin to brown, about 20 - 25 minutes. Remove from oven and let cool slightly on the baking sheets, about 10 minutes.

Pour remaining 1 1/2 cups powdered sugar into a medium bowl. Working with 5 or 6 at a time, place warm cookies in powdered sugar, turning gently to thickly coat (you should see very little of the cookie underneath). Let cool and recoat in powdered sugar if a thicker coat is desired. (I skipped the second coating) Repeat with remaining cookies.

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