Christmas can make anyone a nutcase, but this delicious cookie recipe offers a case in how specific nuts are used in various regional cuisines
By Louise Crosby
We no longer exchange gifts at Christmas in my extended family, except for the little ones. That simplifies things: no need to shop malls, get stuck in traffic, or go into debt. It leaves me, at least, free to get serious about baking. This year’s baking bonanza started with these powdery Mexican Wedding Cakes from Alice Medrich’s Chewy, Gooey, Crispy, Crunchy, Melt-In-Your-Mouth Cookies. They aren’t actually cakes, they’re cookies, and according to Medrich they go by many names depending on what kind of nuts you put in them: if you’re using pecans, you have Wedding Cakes, or polvorones; if almonds are your choice, you have Viennese crescents or Greek kourabiedes. Walnuts produce Russian tea cakes. I’ve also seen them called Butter Balls and Melt-a-Ways, Snowballs and Sandies. Whatever you want ...