Dark Days Challenge: Cookie Exchange Part II

As part of the Dark Days Challenge, I thought it would be nice to depart from the norm and switch gears into baking while still keeping in mind using SOLE (sustainable, organic, local and ethical) ingredients. Not all of my ingredients turned out to be local, but they were all organic.

I started baking for this cookie exchange by going in a completely different direction. If you missed it, go read Part I. Having run into my own partially self-induced disasters I needed to switch gears and I needed to do it rather quickly. I started baking on a Monday for the cookie exchange on Wednesday. After my “attempts” on Monday, I still needed to make 12 dozen cookies… aaahhhh

Tuesday morning it was time to get serious.

With Sharon’s Mexican Wedding Cookie recipe in hand I still wanted to add cardamom to add a little twist to the flavor. The first batch I completely forgot to add the cardamom until everything was mixed in. I didn’t feel the dried cardamom was mixed well throughout the batch and I didn’t taste it in the cookies at all after they were baked.

The second batch I added 1/4 tsp of cardamom to the butter and sugar and creamed it all together. The scent was wonderful. During the taste test after baking the cookies, again, no flavor. At this point I left the cardamom out of the recipe completely and just kept baking batches.

Sharon’s Mexican Wedding Cookies

  • 1 cup soft butter (local & organic)
  • ½ cup powdered sugar (You can make your own – look here)
  • ½ tsp vanilla (not even close to being local)
  • 2 cups flour (organic)
  • 1/8 tsp salt (not local, I used Real salt)
  • 2 cups finely chopped nuts (local)
  • Additional powdered sugar for dusting

Cream butter, powdered sugar & vanilla w/a mixed. Add flour, salt & nuts and hand mix together.

The dough might not completely hold together, but that is alright. It will when you start working it in your hands.

Preheat oven to 350F

Roll balls of dough in your hands. Ball should be about the size of a large cherry tomato.

Recipe makes approximately 3 dozen (depends on the size of your balls) (giggling because a Saturday Night Live skit with Alec Baldwin comes to mind as I type this – You may remember Pete Schweddy talking about his Christmas balls – of course I am talking about cookies)

Bake approximately 15 minutes. Until you see slight browning on top, but not too brown, the bottoms of you balls will be crispy otherwise.

When you pull them out of the oven, immediately roll them in powdered sugar and place on cookie rack to cool completely.

When they are completely cooked, roll the balls in powdered sugar again

Note: I was talking to another friend after making my cookies. She mentioned that she has had better luck allowing the cookies to cool a bit when they are pulled out of the oven and then roll them in powdered sugar. Then allow them to cool completely before rolling them in powdered sugar a final time.

The last batch I made for to stay at home. I added 1/4 tsp of cardamom again and left of the vanilla. I realized that the vanilla was over powering the flavor of the cardamom. Instead of rolling the last batch into a ball I decided to flatten it and opted not to roll it in the powdered sugar after baking. I like the way that last cookie batch turned out and a slight flavor of cardamom came through.

While I am still laughing at the disasters from the cardamom peanut brittle, I am so very happy that the Mexican Wedding Cookies turned out great.  But the story still doesn’t end there.

Stay tuned for Cookie Exchange: Part III to find out what happened next.

Sincerely, Emily

This entry was posted in Dark Days Challenge, Food, Homemade, Homemade Holiday, Real Holidays and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Dark Days Challenge: Cookie Exchange Part II

  1. Joanna says:

    The mysteries of the cardamom… I tend to grind the seeds up if I am going to use it as the aroma seems to dissipate very quickly if you use the ready ground stuff. I am going to have a go (theoretically) at some Swedish papparkokke (spice biscuits) in the next couple of days, well that’s the theory. My cookie making this year was attempting to make shortbread in two strange earthenware moulds, one a tree, one a Santa, both huge! and both stuck, one mould broke, the other biscuit eventually came out with a lot of picking and poking…. my chic chip cookies on the other hand – for the hairdressers, a promise from much earlier in the year – yes they worked!

    Have a wonderful Christmas Emily and family. It’s been lovely getting to know you this year 🙂 x Joanna

    • You told me about the Swedish Papparkokke this summer and I had plans to make that for this exchange, I just procrastinated too long and finally went with something super easy. I know one day I will make them. I completely agree about grinding the cardamom seeds for better results. I love shortbread and I am sorry that I am laughing at your struggles with the moulds. I think your struggles remind me of my peanut brittle struggles and that is why I am laughing. hip hip hooray with successful chocolate chips cookies! I hope you and your family have a great Christmas too!

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