Actual conversation I had with my then-13-year-old son last spring:
Jake: “Oh Ma, I forgot…I need to bring a baked good to school for Spanish class. Can you make something?”
Me: “You mean can we make something?”
Jake: “Do I really have to help?”
And this is my life.
In the end, he did help (he had no choice). I did the “mixing with your hands” part, but Jake helped with everything else, beginning with deciding what to make. Jake googled recipes and settled on Mexican wedding cookies aka Polvorones (and because they look like snowballs, they are now a holiday cookie in my house!). We needed a cookie that would be easy to make and travel well (because I just knew he would put them in his bookbag). These fit the bill. And the best part? His Spanish teacher thought we bought them! There is no greater compliment than someone thinking your homemade baked good came from a bakery. It warms my heart.
I was pleasantly surprised with how our Mexican wedding cookies turned out. I did not think I would like them as much as I did, since I don’t really love nuts. I expected a dry cookie and I worried the confectioners sugar would get soggy after 24 hours. Totally not the case. They are crumbly when you take a bite, but not dry. I don’t know how that works exactly—maybe it’s magic. And the confectioners sugar? Not soggy after 24 hours. Not soggy after 72 hours! No joke—these cookies were still good after sitting on my kitchen table for a week. Magic again? Perhaps.
I don’t know the history of Polvorones or why they are called Mexican wedding cookies. I could look it up, but at the risk of getting it all wrong and somehow offending someone, I’m not going to. I do recall noticing there are a million different Polvorones recipes, so it seems “Polvorones” are a different cookie to different people. I think my Italian grandma makes a similar cookie, but I don’t think I ever tried it. Now I’m regretting that, because if I liked the ones I made, I probably would love grandma’s version! Oh well…next time I see them on a cookie platter at a family gathering, I’ll take a taste.
The minute I took a bite of our Mexican wedding cookies, I added them to my mental “Christmas cookies” list. They look like perfect little snowballs! Unlike anything else I make at the holidays. Hopefully my family and friends will enjoy this addition as much as I do, and not ignore these cookies like I always did, opting for the more glitzy holiday treats. Lesson learned!