Mexican Tea Cake Cookies

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Mexian Tea Cake CookiesSara Moulton introduced me to these cookies in 2001. They are snowy little shortbread cookies with a tasty nutty flavor. A traditional Christmas cookie, we thought they were too good to just have once a year. When we make them in the summer, we’ll add a hint of citrus flavor. A teaspoon of lemon, lime or orange extract gives them a refreshingly fresh flavor.

1 cup (2 sticks) of unsalted, softened butter
3 cups confectioner’s sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 cup finely chopped pecans, or walnuts (2 1/2 ounces)
3/4 teapsoon of salt
1 teaspoon citrus extract (optional)

Beat the softened butter and about 1/2 cup of the confectioners sugar in a large bowl until the mixture is pale and fluffy (about four minutes with your electric mixer). Beat in vanilla and extract, then add four, nuts, and salt and mix at low speed until just combined. The dough need to be covered and chilled for at least 6 hours.

Preheat oven to 375° F. After chilling the dough it will be too hard to work with right away. So, Let the dough stand at room temperature for about 15 minutes. Roll level teaspoons of dough into 3/4 inch balls and arrange about 2 inches apart on lighty buttered large baking sheet.

Bake in the middle of the oven until bottoms are pale golden, 8-10 minutes.

While they are baking sift remaining 2 1/2 cups confectioners sugar into large shallow bowl.

Immediately transfer hot cookies to confectioners sugar, gently rolling to coat well, then transfer to rack to cool completely. Roll cookies in confectioners sugar again when cooled.

These store nicely in an air-tight container for up to a week, but I’ve never seen them last more than a day or 2.


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