Wednesday, November 3

old people cookies

....also known as Mexican Wedding Cookies or maybe Sandies. But these remind me of visiting elderly family in West Texas and of old ladies and the Baptist potlucks.

I think I have memories of them from my childhood because their unique shape caught my eye and the powdered sugar stuck to my fingers. They remind me of holidays. So when I found a recipe originally published in the New York Times for "Viennese Almond Crescent" cookies, I thought they sounded good and set out to recreate my West Texas memories

Mexican Wedding Cookies
Makes about a dozen cookies 
1/2 cup ground almonds (I used my food processor)
1/2 cup confectioners’ sugar
1/2 cup softened unsalted butter
1 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon almond extract
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup vanilla sugar (I used powdered sugar), for coating
Whisk together the ground almonds and confectioners’ sugar in a bowl.
In a stand mixer, beat butter on medium speed for several minutes until smooth.
Add in the almond mixture and mix until combined. Add in the vanilla and almond extracts and mix until combined. Add in the flour and salt and mix on low just until combined and the dough starts clumping together.

Turn dough out onto a piece of plastic wrap, wrap tightly, and chill for about 20 minutes.
When you are ready to bake the cookies, preheat the oven to 350°F. Line a few cookie sheets with parchment paper or silicone baking mats.
Form dough into 1-inch balls. Roll into a log and curve the ends to make a crescent shape. Place on cookie sheets about 1 1/2 inches apart.

Bake for about 12 to 15 minutes, rotating sheets halfway through; the edges of the cookies should turn light brown but the tops should not get too dark. Cool on sheets for about 4 to 5 minutes. While they are still warm, sift sugar over the cookies. Let them finish cooling on wire racks. They are best enjoyed the day they are made, but you can store them in an airtight container between sheets of wax paper for 2 weeks.

As they baked, they did not seem done after about 13 minutes but once they cooled, they seemed good. They may look really undercooked and there was a huge variety of baking times in the recipes I looked at, some up to 30 minutes! So I still don't know if I should have cooked them longer. They were really good but fell apart easily. I doubt cooking time would have effected that though and they may have just turned into biscotti or something, lacking egg.

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