Mexican Wedding Cakes

These are a cookie that we make every year at Christmas time for as long as I can remember. It is similar to many of the “tea cake” cookies, but I’m not sure where my mother got the recipe.

Makes 36 cookies

1 cup butter
green food coloring
1/4 cup sugar
2 cups flour
1 tsp vanilla
1 cup nuts, ground or chopped very finely
powdered sugar

  1. Preheat oven to 325℉.
  2. Beat butter until fluffy.
  3. Add food coloring.
  4. Mix in remaining ingredients until well combined. The dough will be a little dry.
  5. Roll in 1/2 – 3/4″ balls (they will expand when baked). Place on ungreased baking sheets.
  6. Bake for 18-20 minutes or until lightly browned on the bottom.
  7. Remove from pan and roll in powdered sugar while hot.
  • You can omit the food coloring if you like, or use a different color, but we always color them green.
  • We usually use walnuts or pecans, but you can use any nuts you like. 

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Bisenchitos / Biscochitos

This is New Mexico’s traditional cookie. My mother made them for as long as I can remember. She never said where she got the recipe. We always called them “bisenchitos”, but that is probably due to misinterpretation from “biscochitos” by the person who wrote this recipe.  I keep trying to change, but I tend to fall back to “bisenchitos” when I am not thinking about it and then have to correct myself. Whatever you want to call them, they are delicious and one of my favorite cookies.

1 cup shortening
1 cup sugar
1 egg
1 tsp anise extract
3 cups flour
1 Tbsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
brandy
cinnamon sugar

  1. Preheat oven to 350℉.
  2. Cream shortening and sugar.
  3. Beat in egg and extract.
  4. Mix flour, baking powder and salt.pinwheel_folding
  5. Blend into sugar mixture.
  6. Add enough brandy to hold the dough together.  If it seems dry, add more brandy.  If it crumbles when you roll it out, add more brandy.
  7. Roll out about 1/8″ thick to make pinwheels.
  8. For pinwheels, cut dough into squares. Cut from each corner halfway to center of square. Lift alternating corners and press gently into the center.
  9. Sprinkle with cinnamon sugar.
  10. Bake for 8-10 minutes or until lightly browned.
  • This does not need expensive brandy, but avoid flavored varieties such as apricot brandy.
  • I used to make these with lard, but I have adjusted the recipe to use shortening instead.  It tends to need more brandy, but we’ll suffer through. 
  • We always made them into pinwheels, but you can cut them into simple shapes if you prefer.   Roll out 1/4″ thick to cut into shapes. This will make a softer cookie. 

Molasses Crinkles

Betty Crocker’s Boys and Girls Cook Book
This is the cookbook that I was given when I was 10 years old and was given permission to cook by myself.

3/4 cup shortening
1 cup brown sugar, packed
1 large egg
1/4 cup molasses
2 1/4 cups flour
2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp ground ginger
1/2 tsp cloves
1/4 tsp salt

  1. Cream shortening, sugar, egg & molasses.
  2. Mix dry ingredients together in a separate bowl.
  3. Add dry ingredients slowly to sugar mixture until thoroughly combined.
  4. Chill in refrigerator for at least 2 hours.
  5. Heat oven to 375.
  6. Roll teaspoonfuls of dough into balls. Dip in sugar. Place, sugar side up, 3″ apart on greased cookie sheet.
  7. Bake for 10-12 minutes or until set, but not hard.
  8. Makes 4 dozen 2″ cookies.
  • NOTES

Chocolate Chip Cookies

adapted by my mother, Sherry Salvage ReVeal Bradley, from Nestle’s Toll House

2 cups shortening
3/4 cup sugar
3/4 cup brown sugar
2 large eggs
1 tsp vanilla
2 1/4 cups flour
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
2 tsp water, as needed
1/2 cup walnuts, chopped
6 oz semisweet chocolate chips

  1. Heat oven to 375.
  2. Combine shortening, sugars, eggs and vanilla. Mix thoroughly.
  3. Stir in flour, baking soda and salt. Add water if mixture is dry.
  4. Stir in walnuts & chocolate chips.
  5. Drop dough by rounded teaspoonfuls 2 inches apart on baking sheet.
  6. Bake for 8-10 minutes or until lightly browned at the edges and still soft in the center.
  7. Makes 4-5 dozen 3 inch cookies.
  • Cook one batch – if the cookies do not spread out, you need to add more water. Add a few teaspoons at a time.
  • We used to use semisweet chocolate chips, but recently we switched to Hershey’s Special Dark chocolate chips which are slightly darker than semisweet.

Peanut Blossom Cookies

adapted from Joy of Baking

These are the most tender cookies of this type that I have ever tasted.  I switched to dark brown sugar because I like the deeper flavor it adds.  I prefer creamy peanut butter because they have such a wonderful texture.  I also prefer not to roll them in sugar which gives them a crunchy coating.

peanut_butter_blossom

1/2 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
3/4 cup creamy peanut butter
1/3 cup dark brown sugar
1/3 cup sugar
1 large egg
1 tsp vanilla
2 Tbsp milk
1 1/2 cups flour
1 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
48 Hershey’s Kisses, unwrapped

  1. Beat butter until creamy and smooth.
  2. Add peanut butter and sugars and beat until light and fluffy, about 2 – 3 minutes.
  3. Add egg and vanilla and beat to combine.
  4. Beat in milk.
  5. In a separate bowl whisk together flour, baking soda, and salt.
  6. Add to the peanut butter mixture and beat until thoroughly combined.
  7. Cover and chill for about an hour, or until firm enough to roll into balls.
  8. Preheat oven to 375 and place rack in the center of the oven.
  9. Roll the batter into 1″ balls.
  10. Place on baking sheet covered with parchment paper or silicone mat, spacing about 2″ apart.
  11. Bake for 8 – 10 minutes, or until the cookies are lightly browned.
  12. Immediately after removing from the oven, place a Kiss into the center of each cookie, pressing down gently until the cookie just starts to crack.
  13. Remove from baking sheet and cool completely on a wire rack.
  • Makes about 4 dozen cookies.
  • You can substitute any type of chocolate candy for the Kisses – Dove Promises, mini peanut butter cups…

Raspberry Strips

Gold Medal “Cookies From the Heart”

Cookies

1 cup butter, softened
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar, packed
1 egg
1 tsp vanilla
2 1/2 cups flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 cup raspberry jam

Vanilla Glaze

1 cup powdered sugar
1/2 tsp vanilla
2 tsp water

Directions

  1. Mix butter, sugars, egg & vanilla.
  2. Stir in flour & baking powder.
  3. Cover & refrigerate at least 1 hour.
  4. Divide dough into 8 pieces. Roll each into a 8″ x 2″ rectangle 1/8″ thick  – you can roll out smaller pieces if you like – they are easier to handle.
  5. Place on cookie sheet & spoon 1 tsp jam in a line down the center of the dough. The jam will spread in the oven, so don’t make it too wide.
  6. Bake at 350 for 10-12 minutes or until light brown; cool slightly.
  7. Drizzle with Vanilla Glaze – mix powdered sugar, vanilla and water until smooth & thin enough to drizzle. Add more water if needed.
  8. Cut diagonally into 1″ strips (a pizza cutter works well for this).
  • You can substitute another jam for the raspberry – I have used blackberry, marionberry & mixed berry. I think I will try orange marmalade next.
  • Omit the jam and glaze for a delicious sugar cookie.