Tuesday, November 27, 2012

25 Days of Christmas Cookies: Day 2 - Mexican Wedding Cookies

Mexican Wedding Cookies

Yes indeed, Mexican Wedding Cookies! Originally I had intended to bake a batch of Russian Tea Cakes, but when I described the cookies to my boyfriend he looked confused and said "Oh, you mean Mexican wedding cakes?" which apparently his mom used to make for Christmas every year. Upon further investigation, I discovered that Russian Tea Cakes and Mexican Wedding Cakes/Cookies are essentially the same thing. The only difference I noticed is that Russian Tea Cakes generally call for walnuts while Mexican Wedding Cakes generally call for pecans. I personally used both!

In any case, these turned out pretty well! Boyfriend approves (he ate four right off the bat) and I found them quite tasty also. They're very light and sugary and the nutty flavor and texture balances out the sweetness of the powdered sugar. Overall, a good cookie!

I didn't manage to take any photos of my own batch but I've shown a few pictures here of the different forms these little cakes can take. The recipe is from Paula Deen!


1 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 1/2 cup confectioners’ sugar, plus more for coating baked cookies
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting hands
  • 1 cup pecans, chopped into very small pieces (I used 3/4 cup pecans, 1/4 cup walnuts)


Preheat the oven to 275 degrees F. Line cookies sheets with parchment paper. Using an electric mixer, cream the butter and sugar at low speed until it is smooth. Beat in the vanilla. At low speed gradually add the flour. Mix in the pecans with a spatula. With floured hands, take out about 1 tablespoon of dough and shape into a crescent. Continue to dust hands with flour as you make more cookies. Place onto prepared cookie sheets. Bake for 40 minutes. When cool enough to handle but still warm, roll in additional confectioners' sugar. Cool on wire racks.


Monday, November 26, 2012

25 Days of Christmas Cookies: Day 1 - Ginger Cookies

Ginger Cookies

Oh MAN were these good!

I really wanted to start off with some sort of spice cookie because the smells of cinnamon and ginger really remind me of the holidays. I found this recipe for "Big Soft Ginger Cookies" on allrecipes.com (which is where I get many of my recipes) and it is definitely a keeper.

These cookies are sooo ginger-y and flavorful and absolutely addicting. I made a batch before class this evening and left the plate on the counter. When I got home there was half a cookie left on the plate. Granted, I live with four starving college boys, but nonetheless, these cookies are winners.

One thing to keep in mind when making these though, is that the dough is pretty crumbly so it will take some work to form it into balls.

You can see what I mean in this picture:

Another thing to note is that in the directions it says to "flatten (the dough balls) slightly" but what it should say is  "flatten those suckers like pancakes". They essentially don't spread out at all, so if you place them on the sheet as balls, you will get delicious ginger balls.

Here's my first tray just as I put it in the oven. They were not flattened nearly enough.

Here is what my finished product looked like once I figured it out. (Sorry about the bad picture quality, my camera is out of commission so I had to take these with my cell phone)

Not quite as pretty as the photo from the website, but just as scrumptious I promise! I suggest eating them about ten minutes after they come out of the oven, while they're still warm but not scalding. They are so chewy and moist on the inside. Yum!

Here's the recipe!

Ingredients (for 2 dozen)
  • 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons ground ginger
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 3/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 cup margarine (I used unsalted butter)
  • 1 cup white sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tablespoon water (orange juice can also be used)
  • 1/4 cup molasses
  • 2 tablespoons white sugar
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Sift together the flour, ginger, baking soda, cinnamon, cloves, and salt. Set aside.
  2. In a large bowl, cream together the margarine and 1 cup sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in the egg, then stir in the water and molasses. Gradually stir the sifted ingredients into the molasses mixture. Shape dough into walnut sized balls, and roll them in the remaining 2 tablespoons of sugar. Place the cookies 2 inches apart onto an ungreased cookie sheet, and flatten slightly.
  3. Bake for 8 to 10 minutes (10 was perfect for my standard oven) in the preheated oven. Allow cookies to cool on baking sheet for 5 minutes before removing to a wire rack to cool completely. Store in an airtight container.


Welcome to my newest endeavor into the world of social media! This is the uncomfortable first post of a new blog in which the author feels obliged to explain the reason they have created the blog.

Here's the short version: I love to cook.

I've been cooking for nearly all my life, and the more experienced I have become the more I have grown to absolutely love it. I want to use this blog to share my experiences, my love of food,  and some of the amazing recipes that I have (and will) come across in my cooking adventures. I certainly can't say that I'm any sort of top chef, but I do have a fair share of knowledge in what it takes to make delicious food; this knowledge I have, of course, gained from my vast consumption of various edibles.

My latest cooking project is an exploration of Christmas cookie varieties, which I have cleverly titled:

 "25 Days of Christmas Cookies"

My hope is to try a new Christmas cookie recipe every day, for the next 25 days, and to provide some insights on which are the most utterly delectable and deserving of baking for this joyous time of year!

There'll be more about that in my next post hopefully.

Thanks for tuning your browser to Full Belly!
I hope you enjoy all that is yet to come!