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Mexican Wedding Cookies

Buttery, nutty, melt-in-your-mouth, and topped with pillow-y soft icing sugar.

Because these cookies lack structural ingredients like eggs (and most importantly gluten!), you cannot handle them the same way you would 'normal' (wheat) Wedding Cookies. In the traditional recipe you would gently roll/toss the warm cookies in the powdered sugar to coat them.

This gluten free dough is extremely fragile and the cookie will crumble apart if you try that method while it's warm. To eliminate that problem, we've done two things - chill the dough (at 2 different stages) and sprinkling the powdered sugar in a sieve over the warm freshly baked cookies.

Once they have cooled completely (on the pan), they will be firm enough to handle....and devour!

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Toasting the nuts brings out their rich flavor and aroma, it's really worth it to do this extra step! Heat nuts in a dry skillet over medium high heat for 5-8 minutes, shaking pan often until nuts start to get golden. Remove from skillet and allow to cool completely. Place nuts in mini food processor along with a tablespoon of the flour and process until finely chopped.

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Cream butter and sugar together until smooth and creamy, then add vanilla. Add flour in three parts, blending well after each addition. Gluten free flours take longer to absorb moisture than wheat flour, so by adding the dry ingredients in this way they are better incorporated.MexicanWeddingCookies3

Stir in the nuts then shape dough into a disc and wrap in plastic. Chill for 30 minutes until dough is cold. Take a teaspoon of dough (the small cookie scoop is the perfect size) and with floured hands roll into a ball. Then roll into a 3" log then bend into a cresent shape and place on lined baking pan.MexicanWeddingCookies4

Place baking pan in fridge and chill shaped dough for 15 minutes - this will help them keep their shape as they bake. Because gluten free flours lack the structure (gluten) that makes these cookies hold together, unless they get some help from being chilled, the dough will 'melt' too quickly in the oven and the cookies will turn out flat.

Once chilled, place pan into a preheated oven and bake for 12-15 minutes. Once done, sprinkle each cookie with a bit of icing sugar then let sit for  5 minutes. This first layer of icing sugar will melt onto the cookie. After 5 minutes sprinkle on more icing sugar, this coat will better adhere to the melted sugar already on the cookie. Allow to cool completely before removing from pan (they are very fragile while they are still warm).

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Mexican Wedding Cookies
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Prep time:
Cook time:
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Serves: 24
A buttery, nutty rich cookie.
Ingredients
  • 1 cup pecans (or walnuts/ hazelnuts/almonds), toasted & finely ground
  • 1 cup butter, softened
  • ½ cup icing sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1¾ cups GFC Flour Blend for Baking, divided
  • ½ tsp xanthan gum
  • Pinch salt
Topping
  • ¼ cup icing sugar
Instructions
  1. Heat nuts in a dry skillet over medium high heat for 5-8 minutes, shaking pan often until nuts start to turn golden. Remove from skillet and allow to cool completely. Place nuts in mini food processor along with 1 tablespoon of the flour and process until finely chopped. Set aside.
  2. Cream butter and sugar together until smooth and creamy, then add vanilla.
  3. Combine remaining flour, xanthan gum and salt, mixing well. Add into butter mixture in three parts, blending well after each addition.
  4. Stir in the ground nuts then shape dough into a disc and wrap in plastic. Chill for 30 minutes until dough is cold.
  5. Take a teaspoon of dough (the small cookie scoop is the perfect size) and with floured hands roll into a ball. Roll into a 3" log then bend into a crescent shape and place on lined baking pan.
  6. Place baking pan in fridge and chill shaped dough for 15 minutes - this will help them keep their shape as they bake.
  7. Bake at 325°F for 12-15 minutes.
  8. Once done, sprinkle each cookie with a bit of icing sugar (in a small sieve/shaker) then let sit for 5 minutes. This first layer of icing sugar will melt onto the cookie. After 5 minutes liberally sprinkle on more icing sugar as desired.
  9. Allow to cool completely before removing from pan (they will firm up as they cool), then store in a an airtight container.
Notes
If your cookies are spreading out too much in the oven, use an ungreased baking sheet.

 

8 Responses to Mexican Wedding Cookies

  1. Lynn September 11, 2015 at 5:23 pm #

    Tried these tonight. Used exact ingredients and amts. Sadly there doesn't seem to be enough fat/liquid so I can't even form a ball. It's too crumbly. Very frustrating ???? Any suggestions?

    • Marla Hingley
      Marla Hingley September 13, 2015 at 5:44 pm #

      Sorry about that! You're right, there needs to be more way more butter in the recipe. I've re-worked the recipe and updated the recipe and pictures. They turned out great - I hope you like them!

    • Lynn September 14, 2015 at 3:10 pm #

      After posting this I kneaded the dough with my fingers and it eventually started to stick together. Used a 1 tsp measuring spoon to make balls and baked them that way. First batch was on silicone mat and cookies spread too much. Second batch I did on ungreased pan and they were perfect. Put chocolate design on them and icing sugar and they were a big hit at two dinners. Thx. I'll try the new version too

  2. Nancy Beckham October 21, 2015 at 8:22 am #

    Do you think these would work with vegan buttery spread since I'm vegan as well as wheat free?

    • Marla Hingley
      Marla Hingley October 21, 2015 at 8:07 pm #

      Not sure, I've never used a vegan spread before. If you make them, please let me know how they turned out!

  3. Regina October 21, 2015 at 8:40 am #

    I just made a batch of these cookies with a non-gluten free recipe and they do not have any sugar in the cookie, only the sugar that is on the outside and they are sweet enough.

  4. Kathy October 21, 2015 at 11:47 pm #

    These look awesome..I usually make Russian Tea Cakes....which are about the same in taste and texture as Mexican Wedding Cookies....was just diagnosed with gluten intolerance..so look forward to trying this recipe and see how your recipe compares. Also do you have a recipe for sugar cookies? The kind you roll out and cut with cutters? Thanks, Kathy

    • Marla Hingley
      Marla Hingley October 22, 2015 at 7:45 pm #

      Every culture seems to take ownership of this cookie and call it their own...Mexican Wedding Cakes, Russian Teacakes, Swedish Tea Cakes, Italian Butter Nut, Southern Pecan Butterball, Viennese Sugar Ball. But whatever the name they are all are a shortbread style cookie filled with finely chopped nuts and dusted with powdered sugar. I hope you like our version!
      If you enter 'sugar cookie' in the search box, our Classic Sugar Cookie recipe will come up. Perfect for rolling out.

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