Food Finds: Mexican wedding cookies from Alon’s

posted on November 26, 2010 at 1:44 pm

Sometimes the simplest recipes are the easiest to screw up. Mexican wedding cookies — buttery, shortbread-like confections — are a perfect example. If you add too much fat or too many nuts (pecans are traditional), the cookies fall apart. Too much powdered sugar and the eater finds himself inhaling and then coughing clouds of the dusty sweet stuff. It’s a funny sight, but less than pleasant. Given the ease with which they can be botched, it’s no surprise that most specimens are inferior. Alon’s Bakery, however, has the recipe down pat. Really, these are the best Mexican wedding cookies I’ve found in Atlanta or anywhere else for that matter — outside of my own kitchen, of course.

Wedding cookies (or cakes) are traditional celebratory fare in countries all over the world — Italy, Russia, Greece, Cuba — and each country has its own variation. In Mexico, the cookies we know today purportedly descend from Polvorones, which were introduced to Spain by the Arabs. While the Spaniards used lard in their version, most Mexicans — my family included — stay true to the Arab preparation made with butter, although you’ll occasionally find some shortening-based cookies.

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