Mexican Wedding Cookies

Mexican Wedding Cookies

December 4: National Cookie Day

As marriage sponsors at our church in South Texas, we frequently work with engaged couples who are of Latino descent. At our FOCCUS sessions, we serve “symbolic” snacks—Mexican wedding cookies/cakes. The bizcochitos para bodas are tiny treats that represent fertility (nuts) and a sweet married life (powdered sugar). Not only are the cookies appropriate for wedding-related gatherings but also for upcoming holiday socials and National Cookie Day!

Recipe

(Adapted from “Viva el Amor: The Latino Wedding Planner”)

Ingredients

  • 1 cup (2 sticks) butter, softened (we used a local mantequilla)
  • ½ cup powdered sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla (we used Mexican vainilla)
  • 2 cups flour
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 2 cups finely chopped nuts (we used pecans, which grow abundantly in our area)
  • 1-2 cups powdered sugar (for the final coating)

Directions

In a mixer or large mixing bowl, cream the butter with the sugar. Add the vanilla. Gradually stir in the flour with the salt until the cookie dough is smooth. Mix in the nuts until well incorporated. Shape into a large ball, cover and refrigerate for 30 minutes.

Mexican Wedding Cookies

Pinch out 1- 1 ½-inch size balls and place on a lightly greased cookie sheet. Bake in a preheated oven at 350 degrees F for 15 minutes, being careful not to brown the cookies. Remove from the oven and gently roll in powdered sugar. Let the cookies cool and harden on a wire rack. Roll again gently in powdered sugar.

Mexican Wedding Cookies

Notes

  • Mexican wedding cookies/cakes are also known as Russian tea cakes, butterballs, meltaways and snowdrops.
  • Some Mexican wedding cookies/cake recipes call for ground nuts but we prefer ours packed with pecan pieces for a more substantial sweet treat.
  • The cookies are quite crumbly and delicate when hot out of the oven. Be patient and let them cool and harden.
  • Place them in mini white or pastel paper cups or on pretty platters, dessert stands or tiers and serve them at bridal showers, bachelor/bachelorette parties, rehearsal dinners and at the wedding itself. Or package the cookies creatively as festive favors.
  • We sometimes sprinkle white edible glitter on top of the cookies to give them an extra sparkle for special occasions.
  • The gold coin box in the photo above has 13 coins to represent Jesus and His 12 apostles. Las arras (earnest money) symbolizes that the newlyweds vow to share their worldly goods with each other for richer or poorer. We incorporated this tradition in our own multicultural wedding ceremony in 1996. Learn more about Latino wedding customs from “Viva el Amor: The Latino Wedding Planner.”

Triple Chocolate Macadamia Nut

Kisses Cookies

Triple Chocolate Macadamia Nut Kisses Cookies

December 4: National Cookie Day

Islander likes to “aloha-fy” regular recipes by using ingredients from Hawaii. For a holiday cookie exchange on the mainland, she wanted to bake a familiar-looking favorite yet subtly share her culture in a cookie.  She decided on “Hawaiian-izing” a chewy chocolate drop cookie studded with chocolate chips/chunks and topped with a chocolate honi (kiss).

While Hershey’s produces a variety of Kisses (classic milk chocolate, special dark chocolate, limited edition fruit flavors, etc.), only in Hawaii are the milk chocolate macadamia nut Kisses available. She adapted the company’s recipe and included sugars (granulated white and golden brown) from C&H (California and Hawaii brand), organic vanilla from the Big Island, finely ground ala’ea (Hawaiian sea salt) and exclusive milk chocolate macadamia nut Kisses from Hershey’s and Mauna Loa to bake this chocolate triple threat “tropical-ized” treat. It was  a crowd pleaser at the holiday cookie exchange, especially with chocoholics.

For National Cookie Day and all the upcoming Kalikimaka (Christmas) related events this month, try baking these triple chocolate macadamia nut Kisses cookies and give the gift of aloha this holiday season.

Recipe

(Adapted from Hershey’s)

Ingredients

  • 3-4 dozen Kisses (we used Hershey’s-Mauna Loa milk chocolate macadamia nut Kisses)
  • ½ cup (1 stick) butter, softened
  • ¾ cup sugar (we used C&H brand, granulated white)
  • ¾ cup brown sugar (we used C&H brand, golden brown)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla (we used Hawaiian Vanilla Company brand)
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tablespoon milk
  • 2 ¼ cups flour
  • 1/3 cup cocoa (we used Hershey’s brand)
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon salt (we used Hawaiian sea salt, finely ground)
  • 1 cup chocolate chips (we used Hershey’s brand semi-sweet)

Directions

Unwrap the Kisses and set aside. In a medium bowl, mix the flour, cocoa, baking soda and salt and set aside. In a large bowl or mixer, cream the butter with the sugars. Add the eggs and vanilla. Gradually stir in the flour mixture and blend well.

Triple Chocolate Macadamia Nut Kisses Cookies

Fold in the chocolate chips/chunks. Roll one-inch balls from the dough. Place about an inch apart from each other on a lightly greased cookie sheet. Bake in a preheated oven at 350 degrees F for 10-12 minutes or until slightly flattened but set.

Triple Chocolate Macadamia Nut Kisses Cookies

Remove the cookies from the oven.  While still hot, gently press a chocolate Kiss onto the center of the cookie. Transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.

Triple Chocolate Macadamia Nut Kisses Cookies

Notes

  • Our wedding favors featured Hershey’s “Hugs”—milk chocolate and sweet white cream-swirled Kisses—to represent our mixed marriage.
  • Thanks to Islander’s parents for a care package containing the ala’ea (sea salt) and milk chocolate macadamia nut Kisses from Hawaii. Thanks to Lisa L. for the bottle of Big Island vanilla.
  • During our move to New Jersey from Oklahoma, we drove long distance but made a delicious detour to Hershey, Pennsylvania. Our short stop on “The Sweetest Place on Earth” included a tour of Hershey’s Chocolate World where we rode through a simulated factory and learned how Hershey harvests cocoa beans and processes them into their products, such as chocolate bars, Kisses and more! We enjoyed eating the free samples at the end, of course, and roaming around the candy store. Islander even climbed on the Kissmobile!

Hershey's Chocolate World