Mexican Wedding Balls Recipe
1 250-mL bottle maraschino cherries (32 cherries)
1/2 cup chopped pecans
1 cup butter, room temperature
2 cups flour
1 cup icing sugar, divided in two
1/2 tsp vanilla
Pinch of salt
Step 1: Preheat oven to 375°F.
Step 2: Drain the cherries and dry by rubbing between paper towels. Chop the pecans in a food processor until finely chopped, but still with a little residual texture — the nuts should not be powdered. Add in the butter, flour, 1/2 cup icing sugar, vanilla and salt to the processor and pulse just until the dough forms a ball. Be sure not to over-process or cookies will be tough.
Step 3: Take a walnut-sized piece of dough and wrap it around the cherry by rolling it in the palms of your hands. Take care to control the amount of dough around each cherry so that you end up with the right balance of dough to cherry. Too much dough, especially if you over-bake it, will produce a dry cookie.
Step 4: Bake the cookies at 375°F for about 15 minutes, until just golden. Allow cookies to cool until warm but no longer hot, then roll in remaining powdered sugar to coat. Allow to cool completely, then store (they keep for weeks). You will find that, with storage, the first coat of icing sugar soaks in, so you need to recoat them with sifted icing sugar just before serving. The recipe doubles easily.
Watch Lynda Reeves demonstrate this cookie recipe in Episode 53 of H&H Online TV.