Better known as Mexican wedding cookies, Russian tea cakes or simply… Butterballs! These are buttery, melt in your mouth cookies, dusted with a generously coat of icing sugar.
If you don’t fancy anything too sweet, just cut back on the icing sugar. The cookie itself isn’t too sweet, so a light coating will help. Because the butter shines through in this cookie like shortbread, use best butter you can find possible! Boy was I glad that my favourite butter Lurpak is now on offer at the local supermarket Cold Storage… Yay for Christmas and all the ingredient offers it brings :p
There are variations of this recipe across the internet. Like this from Allrecipes or this from King Arthur’s Flour. The recipe I’m sharing below has been in my baking notebook for a while now, with no recollection where I got it from! They are all quite similar with the flour main ingredients – butter, icing sugar, flour, vanilla – with some variations in the amount of each ingredient. So feel free to take a look at the recipes and see which you prefer!
Makes about 60 1 1/2 inch cookies
(Adapted from King Arthur’s Flour The Cookie Companion – Walnut Butterballs p.g. 282)
440g butter, 4 sticks
1 cup icing sugar
4 tsp vanilla extract
4 cups flour
1 cup chopped walnuts (optional – you could use other nuts such almond, cashews; or even use dried fruits such as cranberries!)
Additional icing sugar for coating
1. Cream butter, powdered sugar and vanilla. Add the flour and additional nuts or dried fruits (if using).
2. Chill the dough for 1 hour, up to 2 days.
3. Preheat oven to 175 degrees C. Remove from the chilled dough from the fridge, shape into 1 inch balls and place on baking tray.
4. Bake for 15 – 18 minutes. Cookies are done when they’re a pale golden brown :) (Yes I overbaked my cookies a little on top haha)
5. Place your additional icing sugar in a bowl. Roll the cookies in icing sugar and leave on rack to cool. Once cooled, roll them in sugar again to have a nice white coat! Or if you’re like me who don’t like it too sweet, I roll it only once when it’s cooled.
….Just 15 days to Christmas! :)