Friday, July 25, 2014

The Cookie Project: Biscochitos (Frida's Favorites)

If you are a frequent visitor of this blog you will not be surprised by my decision to dedicate a recipe to Frida Kahlo for The Cookie Project. My acquired taste and growing admiration for this artist has its roots in my love of Santa Fe, New Mexico.  On a trip down Canyon Road you will find Frida inspired artworks throughout the many galleries, and respectful tributes to her in the local shops.  This Sunday I am returning  again to Santa Fe for the Creativity and Madness Conference.  In honor of Frida I researched a cultural recipe that is usually served at traditional Mexican weddings on the dessert bar, or given as gifts to the wedding guests.  These Mexican cookies are beautiful, more fragile than they look, and very high maintenance. I like to think that Frida would approve.
Biscochitos (Mexican Wedding Cookies)

1 Cup Walnuts
1 Cup room temperature unsalted butter
1/2 Cup granulated sugar
1 teaspoon sea salt
1 Tablespoon vanilla extract
1 3/4 Cups flour

Powdered Sugar for rolling
Makes 2 dozen medium sized cookies

Step One
In a medium skillet toast the walnuts over medium heat, shaking often until lightly browned (this took me two tries- I had the flame too hot!) for about five minutes.  Transfer toasted walnuts into a freezer container and freeze for at least one hour (I did overnight).

Step Two
Beat the butter until creamy, add sugar and beat again.  Add salt, vanilla extract and beat again.  The cookie dough will be crumbly.

Take the frozen walnuts and crush them to small bits.  I put my walnuts into a baggie then used the flat side of a large knife to repeatedly "wack them" (highly technical baking term).  Some recipes suggested a food processor to "grind" them- you get the gist I hope.

Stir the ground walnuts into your cookie dough and refrigerate for one hour.

Step Three

Preheat oven to 325 degrees

Form the dough into little balls (about tablespoon size) and place one inch apart on a parchment lined cookie sheet.

Bake for 12 minutes.

Step Four

Sprinkle powdered sugar on a clean room temperature cookie sheet.  When the cookies are still warm (about 3 minutes) roll them CAREFULLY in the powdered sugar and set aside.

When the cookies are completely cooled- roll them again in the powdered sugar.

Step Five

Eat them- you've worked hard for this nutty, sweet, crumbly treat!