I don't know why these cookies are called Mexican Wedding Cookies since the ingredients do not include traditional Mexican spices or flavours.
Could the name suggest that they are traditionally made in Mexico to celebrate weddings?
I just couldn't resist doing a little research on this yummy little treat and found that many countries have their own versions of this cookie.
You may have come across similar cookie recipes under such names as Kohlichky, Sand Tarts, Kourabi and Russian Tea Cakes to mention a few.
Food historians have traced them far back to Medieval Arab cuisine. They were imported by the Moors to Spain, diffused throughout Europe then introduced to the New World by 16th century explorers.
It would seem that each time the recipe entered a new country it was adopted under a new name and at some point took on the name of Mexican Wedding Cookies or Cakes.
Unfortunately this still doesn't explain why they are called Mexican Wedding Cookies. I will have to return to my initial assumption that they were delicious enough to be served at Mexican Weddings.
I'm sure this history lesson will inspire you to bake a batch, after all they have traveled such a long way.
If not, take my word. They are light and delicious, require simple ingredients, and are quite easy to make.
The best part is that you can easily loose count and eat quite a few before realizing how many you have actually eaten!
Mexican Wedding Cookies
1 cup butter (softened)
2 cups flour
3 tablespoons confectioner's sugar
1 cup finely chopped walnuts
1/4 teaspoon almond extract
1 teaspoon vanilla
pinch of salt
sifted icing sugar (to roll the cookies in)
- Cream together butter and extracts until well blended.
- Sift together flour, sugar and salt, stir into butter mixture.
- Add chopped nuts and blend well.
- Shape into small balls or crescents.
- Place on ungreased or parchment lined baking sheets.
- Bake at 400 degrees F. for 10 to 15 minutes or until set and lightly browned.(do not over bake)
- While still warm roll in sifted icing sugar several times until well coated.
- Cool completely before storing.
- Makes 25 to 30 cookies.
Notes, Tips and Suggestions
- Pecans can be used instead of walnuts.
- Although these can be shaped into balls, crescents add a different shape to a mixed cookie tray.
- Before serving, sift a little more sugar over tops of cookies just to even out the coating and improve the presentation.
- These freeze very well.
- Mexican Wedding Cookies have made their way into many holiday cookie trays and a few Italian weddings as well.