Where I'm from, we call these "Mexican Wedding Cookies," even though no Mexican I know has these at their wedding. BUT WHATEVER. WHITE PEOPLE IN TEXAS LOVE THEM. (My friends from Mexico call them Polvorones. I JUST CALL THEM DELICIOUS, HEY NOW!)
You need: food processor (or patience to mince toasted pecans until they're teeny), vanilla AND almond extract and about 3 hours, total.
Mexican Wedding Cookies
Makes 2 dozen, exactly.
2 C sifted all-purpose flour (sift flour, measure THAT to be 2 C. It's slightly less than scooping out 2 C worth)
2 sticks of butter, softened (protip: cut into tiny pieces, let those soften)
1 C finely chopped pecans that have been lightly toasted
1/2 C powdered sugar/confectioner's sugar, sifted (scoop, THEN sift)
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/4 tsp almond extract
powdered sugar for dusting (about 1/4 cup, min.)
Note: use your VERY BEST BUTTER. You're going to taste it, like you would with shortbread, so get the best you can.
Toast the pecans in a hot oven for a few minutes, shaking your pan vigorously to toast evenly. Let cool, throw in food processor and get them nice and tiny chunk'd.
In a large bowl, put everything BUT the sugar for dusting. Mix well with your hands - this is sticky, sticky dough, so be prepared to have it all over your hands. But because it's sticky, there should be no flour/sugar/pecans that go solo in the bowl. Get it all mixed together.
Wrap in plastic (either in bowl, or in the plastic itself) and chill in fridge for 2 hours.
Preheat oven to 375F and line baking sheet with parchment. (I do two pans.) Form the dough into small balls, about the size of a half-dollar. I inch-ish. You want them small, enough for two bites, max. (They're crumbly, delicate things, so you don't want to waste them to the floor or your bewbs.)
Place on parchment-lined baking sheet, and slightly press them down to flatten the underside. Give about 1 - 2 inches of room in between each ball. PROTIP: make them all into balls, get one sheet set up for the oven with about 9, the rest go on the other sheet. Transfer both to the fridge to rechill. After about 5 - 10 minutes, take the pre-set sheet out and pop it into that hot, hot oven and set your timer for 12 minutes (shouldn't take more than 15, though).
You want the bottom edges to be browning, but not the top. They should look pale. Remove from oven, transfer them to a cooling rack (with some parchment under that, you'll thank me later) and pop the next chilled round into the oven. By this time, the cookies should have cooled enough that you can touch them. Move them close on your cooling rack and dust/sift GENEROUSLY with powdered sugar. Let them cool the rest of the way.
They can be stored in tupperware on the counter, but I bet they won't last long. (And I don't know about doubling this recipe - the dough would be unmanageable, imo.) They come together quickly, you just have to be patient with the chill time. But they are HEAVENLY. Not too sweet, even though you'd think they would be with the sugar coating. DELICIOUS.
(not my photo, but this is what they look like.)