December is officially cookie month here on Positive Kitchen! We’re excited to share some of our favorite Christmas cookie recipes with you throughout the month. First up, those snowball-cookies known as Mexican weddings cakes, Russian tea cakes or pecan balls.
A very close family friend, Paula, was staying with me and we started talking about Christmas cookies. I asked Paula what super traditional Christmas cookies we could make. She immediately mentioned Mexican wedding cakes. I remembered eating them at other people’s homes thinking “wow these sure are delicious.” So I dug out a couple cookbooks and was delighted to see that they do not have egg in them. That is always great news because taking the egg out of a recipe is really the hardest part of converting. So we moved ahead and made a batch of these incredibly delicious, very easy, and quite beautiful cookies.
There is a homemade mix that is attached to the end of this recipe that works extremely well in cookies. You’ve seen it used in the chocolate chip cookie recipe. And you will see it as the month unfolds in a few more cookie recipes. Before cookie baking season, I tend to make a giant batch of it and keep it in a very large plastic container in the dining room so I don’t have to re-measure it every time.
I gave some of these to a friend, who shared the cookies with her office to rave reviews, so you know it’s going to be good. This is also a recipe children can help with as it goes a lot faster when many hands chip in to make the dough into balls.
So enjoy this recipe. And as you can see from the photographs they will dress up your holiday table. And perfect for cookie exchanges.
Mexican wedding cakes, Russian tea cakes, Pecan balls:
Yield 3 dozen cookies
Prep time 20 minutes
Bake time 12 to 15 minutes
- 90 grams of coconut oil
- 112 grams of Earth Balance margarine spread
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 cup powdered sugar
- 2 teaspoons vanilla
- 1 Cup finely chopped toasted pecans (But stop before they are powdery or oily)
- 250 grams or 2 cups gluten free flour mix (below)
- 1 teaspoon xanthan gum
- Beat coconut oil, Earth Balance, salt, ½ cup powdered sugar and vanilla on medium speed until fluffy and well blended.
- Gradually beat the pecans into the mixture.
- Combine gluten free flour mix and xanthan gum and blend very well with a fork.
- Sift these dry ingredients over the top of the nut mixture and beat until well blended.
- With wet fingers pull off pieces of dough and roll into 1-inch balls. Space about 1 1/4inches apart on parchment lined baking sheets. Make sure to anchor the parchment paper on the cookies sheet with a drop of oil or it will slide off and the cookie balls will roll all over the inside of the oven. (I know from experience 🙂 )
- Bake until cookies are faintly tinged with brown 12 to 15 minutes. Rotate the sheet halfway through baking for even browning. Remove the cookie sheet to cooling rack and let stand until cookies firm slightly. Transfer cookies to racks to cool completely. Either roll the cookies until coated all over in powdered sugar or sift with powdered sugar. This takes about a third of a cup of powdered sugar.
FYI – These freeze really well.
Artisanal gluten free baking mix
300 grams brown rice flour
123 grams sorghum
128 grams cornstarch
65 grams potato starch
22 grams potato flour
1&a half teaspoons xanthan gum
Blend very well and store in freezer ziplock bag. Before using bring to room temperature and stir very very well before measuring. I actually doubled this batch so that I always have it on hand. I use it in lots of different cookie recipes including chocolate chip cookies these Mexican wedding cakes and chocolate cookies as well.
If you are allergic to corn feel free to substitute additional potato starch for the corn starch amount.
Christmas cookies 2014:
// We want to know about your favorite cookies to make during the holidays! Let us know in the comments below!