What's Baking: Chocolate Mexican Wedding Cookies

Classic Mexican Wedding Cookies get a little chocolatey twist with the addition of cocoa powder. 

Chocolate Mexican Wedding Cookies || A Less Processed Life

'Tis the season for cookies. Lots of cookies. Oy, so many cookies! I baked a couple of batches of cookies this past weekend to bring to a holiday get-together on Sunday night. Part of the festivities included a cookie exchange, and I'm sad to report that the panoply of cookies I brought home barely lasted 24 hours in our house. 

Chocolate Mexican Wedding Cookies || A Less Processed Life

Mexican Wedding Cookies – also known as Russian Teacakes or Italian Wedding Cookies – have a distinctly nutty flavor due to the generous addition of nuts in the dough. (A shocking turn of events, I know.) My Mom's recipe uses walnuts, so that's how I make them, although finely chopped pecans or almonds would work just as well. For extra flavor, toast your chopped nuts before adding them to the dough.

Chocolate Mexican Wedding Cookies Teacakes || A Less Processed Life

The classic Mexican Wedding Cookie does not have cocoa powder in them, but I was feeling like these sweet cookies could use a little cocoa kick. The key to the appearance of these cookies is two dips in powdered sugar – roll them straight from the oven (once they're just cool enough to handle), and then after they've completely cooled, give them another roll in the powdered sugar to get a nice even coating.

Chocolate Mexican Wedding Cookies (printer-friendly version)
makes 2 dozen cookies

1 cup (2 sticks/16 tablespoons) unsalted butter, softened
1/2 cup powdered sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
3/4 cups whole walnuts, chopped fine
1/4 teaspoon fine sea salt
1 cup powdered sugar, for rolling

1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
2. In a large bowl, cream together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy.
3. Add the vanilla and beat until combined.
4. In a separate bowl, whisk together the flour, cocoa powder, walnuts, and salt. 
5. Add the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients in three batches, thoroughly mixing between additions.
6. Chill the dough in the refrigerator for at least 20 minutes.
7. Shape the dough into 1-inch balls. Place on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper or a silpat. Bake for 10-12 minutes, or until just set.
8. While warm, roll in powdered sugar. Let cool, then roll again in powdered sugar. 
9. After completely cooled, store in an airtight container at room temperature for up to three days.

Variation: For regular Mexican Wedding Cookies, omit the cocoa powder and use 2 1/4 cups flour.