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Hey everyone and welcome to Holiday Baking at Fine Cooking! I'm visiting for the next few weeks to answer all your baking questions. Maybe you're wondering how far ahead you can make a certain cookie or if you can substitute a different flavoring for the one listed or, perhaps you're thinking of making yeast doughs like dinner rolls or pizza for the first time and would like some tips and reassurance. Whatever your question, I'm here to answer!

I'd also like to hear what's on your "Must Bake"list. I'll kick things off with one of my childhood favorites that has stood the test of time -- Mexican Wedding Cakes (see below). Buttery and sweet, each bite melts away in your mouth – it’s no wonder that my Mom called them Cinnamon Melt-Aways. Nowadays, these cookies are still on my top ten best cookie list but I call them Mexican Wedding Cakes because they are traditionally served at, well, Mexican Weddings. Mexican “polvorones” are known in other parts of the world as Russian Tea Cakes, Italian Butternuts, Crescent Cookies, Southern Butterballs or Viennese Sugarballs. No matter what you call these sweet gems, they are always delicious! And.. YES! the recipe can be doubled and even tripled -- perfect for holiday giving.

Looking forward to chatting with all of you about my favorite subject: BAKING!

Mexican Wedding Cakes
Makes 30 cookies.

Ingredients for the Wedding Cakes:
8 ounces (16 tablespoons) unsalted butter (room temperature)
2 2/3 ounces (2/3 cup) confectioner’s sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon (optional)
¼ teaspoon table salt
9 ounces (2 cups) all-purpose flour
½ cup finely chopped pecans, lightly toasted and cooled (optional)
For Rolling: ¾ cup confectioners’ sugar

To make the Wedding Cakes:
1.Preheat to 350 degrees. Have ready 2 cookie sheets with non-stick liners.

2.In a large bowl, combine the butter, confectioners’ sugar, vanilla, cinnamon (optional) and salt. Using an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat on medium speed until the mixture is well blended. Add the flour and the nuts (optional). Mix on low speed until just blended.

3.With the mini ice cream scoop or your hands shape the dough into 1-inch balls of dough. Arrange on the cookie sheets, about 1 1/2 inches apart.

4.Bake until the cookies look dry and have a few tiny cracks on top, 13 minutes.

5.Using the potholders, move the cookie sheet to the rack. When the cookies are still warm but cool enough to handle, roll in the remaining confectioners’ sugar and set on rack to cool completely.