These Mexican wedding cookies are irresistibly tender, buttery, and crumbly. These butter based, vanilla flavored cookies are filled with pecans and rolled in powdered sugar.
TOAST PECANS: Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Spread the pecans in an even layer on the sheet pan. Bake for 5-7 minutes or until they smell fragrant. Watch carefully, you don't want to burn them. Remove and allow to completely cool before transferring them to a mini food processor or cutting board. Pulse on the "chop" setting or finely chop. You want very small pieces. Avoid over-pulsing in the food processor or you'll end up with pecan butter.
WET INGREDIENTS: Either in a bowl of a stand mixer with the whisk attachment OR a large bowl (and using hand mixers) combine butter and 3/4 cup powdered sugar. Cream together until smooth and creamy, about 3-4 minutes. Add in the vanilla, salt, cornstarch, and pulsed/chopped pecans. Beat until smooth and combined. Add in the flour and beat, slowly, until combined and smooth. It will seem sandy and crumbly at first, keep mixing, it will come together :) Once combined, do not overmix.
CHILL: Wrap the dough in plastic wrap and put it in the fridge for 1 to 2 hours to chill (at the least 1 hour)
BAKE: After being chilled, measure out cookie dough using a 1 tablespoon measuring cup (each ball should be exactly 1 tablespoon). If the dough gets overly warmed from being rolled or sitting in a warm kitchen, put in the freezer for 10-15 minutes. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Line a light colored sheet pan with a silpat liner (Note 3) Bake for 7-11 minutes (mine always take 10 minutes). Remove from the oven, let stand on tray for 3-5 minutes and then transfer to a wire cooling rack. Let cool for 2-3 or so minutes.
POWDERED SUGAR: Add powdered sugar to a bowl (I start with 1 cup, you may need slightly more). Roll the warmed cookie in the powdered sugar and then return to the wire cooling rack. Let cool down a few more minutes and then roll in the powdered sugar again.
STORAGE: store in an airtight container at room temperature. Re-roll in additional powdered sugar as needed. Best enjoyed within 1-3 days.
Note 1: it's important to use really good quality butter, not margarine. Use unsalted so you can control the salt amount. Make sure the butter is at room temperature, not melted or softened. 1 cup is the equivalent of 16 tablespoons or 2 sticks.
Note 2: I'll also occasionally use vanilla bean paste; 1 teaspoon of paste if using!
Note 3: I tested this recipe with no parchment paper, with parchment paper, and with a silpat liner. Bottoms of cookies turned out best every-time with the silpat liner. The darker the trays, the darker the bottoms of the cookies. The best results I found were with a light colored tray.