These little cookies are the perfect tea snack. Call them Mexican Wedding Cakes, Russian Tea Cakes, or Butterballs, regardless they are delicious! These cookies have a shortbread-like texture and are made with ground pecans (or almonds) then are rolled in powdered sugar.
I think the reason I like these cookies so much is because they aren't very sweet. The powdered sugar on the outside provides a bit of sweetness, but compared to many other cookies these are actually quite tame.
On a completely un-cookie related note, it has been a fun week here in Arlington. If you saw my last post you know that my Nutella was featured in the Huffington Post's Kitchen Daily section which was such an honor. While this was very exciting it actually created a lot of work for me... you see just about everyone I know now wants me to make Nutella for them! So my food processor definitely will be running in over drive. Just in case you aren't nearby and I can't personally make you Nutella you can try it out for yourself by following this simple recipe here: Homemade Nutella Recipe.
Back to the cookie at hand! These are simple to make and keep quite well in an airtight container. They are nice options for brunch, snacks, or tea because of the limited sweetness. Just be sure to have napkins on hand as they can be a little messy with all the loose powdered sugar!
yields 2 dozen cookies
1 cup butter, softened
1/3 cup sugar
2 cups flour
1 t. vanilla
1 cup pecans (or almonds)
1/4 t. salt
1/3 cup powdered sugar
1) Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees.
2) Cream butter and sugar together. Creaming the butter and sugar means whipping them together until they become light and fluffy; it usually takes 2-3 minutes. This helps the cookies to rise without having to add a leavening agent.
3) Grind the pecans in a food processor until finely ground.
4) Add the flour, vanilla, pecans, and salt (everything except the powdered sugar).
5) Roll dough into small balls and place on a greased cookie sheet about 1 inch apart. They should be roughly the size of golf balls. You can make them larger or smaller as you like.
6) Bake 8 minutes. Remove from oven and allow to cool then roll them in the powdered sugar.