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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Peanut Butter Glaze

adapted from the glaze used on Peter Pan’s Peanut Butter Pound Cake. I felt their recipe did not make enough glaze for my Triple Chocolate Bundt Cake and it was thinner than I wanted.

2 – 2 1/2 cups powdered sugar
6 Tbsp creamy peanut butter
1 tsp vanilla extract
3-4 Tbsp milk

  1. Combine 2 cups powdered sugar,  peanut butter, and vanilla in medium bowl.  Add about 3 Tbsp milk.  Beat together until creamy, adding more sugar or milk to get the desired consistency.
  • I prefer this glaze to be fairly thick – pourable, but not so thin that it pools at the bottom of the cake.

Starlight Cakes

This recipe is from my friend Patty Davis Grigsby’s mother, Virginia Davis.  She made these beautiful, delicious cakes every Christmas.

Cake

3/4 cup shortening
1  1/2 cups sugar
1  1/2 tsp vanilla
2  1/4  cups flour
1 Tbsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
1 cup milk
5 egg whites

  1. Heat oven to 375.
  2. Cream shortening and sugar.  Beat in vanilla.
  3. Combine flour, baking powder and salt.
  4. Add dry ingredients alternately with milk, beating well after each addition. Beat for 2 minutes after the last addition.
  5. Beat egg whites until stiff.  Fold into batter.
  6. Pour into a well-greased and floured 9×12 pan or in 2 1/2 to 3 inch individual cake molds.
  7. Bake for 25 minutes or until center springs back when touched.
  8. Cool for 5 minutes before removing from pan.
Icing

6 cups powdered sugar
1/3-1/2 cup milk
1 tsp vanilla
1/8 tsp salt

  1. Add milk to powdered sugar until icing is a pouring consistency.
  2. Add vanilla and salt.
  3. Spoon over cakes until well coated.
  4. Decorate with silver metallic candy balls (dragées).
  • Virginia had cute star-shaped molds that she used for these cakes, making them especially beautiful.

Lemon Butter Tart

recipe courtesy of Mary Kay Korn
Mary Kay is the mother of my daughter Alycia’s friend and kindly shared her recipe when Alycia fell in love with these tarts.

Shortbread Crust

3/4 lb butter, softened
1 cup powdered sugar
3 cups flour
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp vanilla
1/4 cup sugar

  1. Cream butter & pwd sugar.  Add vanilla and blend.
  2. Sift flour, butter and sugar, add to butter mixture.  Stir to combine.
  3. Cover dough in wax paper, chill 4-6 hours.
  4. Press into tart pan.  Bake at 325 until golden brown – about 27-30 minutes in a silicone pan.
Lemon Butter Filling

finely grated zest of 7 lemons
1 cup granulated sugar
9 extra large eggs
1 1/2 cups freshly squeezed lemon juice
6 Tbsp unsalted butter, at room temp, cut into 6 pieces
powdered sugar

  1. In a food processor, combine lemon zest with 1/4 cup sugar.  Mix for several minutes, until fine and moist.
  2. Combine eggs, remaining sugar and zest mixture in a medium bowl.  Whisk until well blended, then stir in lemon juice.
  3. Cook in a double boiler, stirring frequently until mixture thickens to lightly coat the back of a wooden spoon, about 6-8 minutes.
  4. Stir in butter one piece at a time, mixing until melted and smooth.
  5. Immediately pour into tart shell and set aside.  Filling will set as it cools.
  6. Cool completely before serving.
  7. Just before serving, dust the edges of the tart with pwd sugar.
  • Makes two 9″ Tarts, 1 1/2″ deep. You can also make individual tarts.
  • The amount of juice needed is about what you’d get from 7 lemons…convenient.