Pecan Sand Cookies (a.k.a. Mexican wedding cookies, Russian tea cookies, Sand Puffs)

Yield: approximately 30 – 50 cookies, depending on how large you roll them.

1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened
2 tablespoons white sugar
fat pinch of salt
1 teaspoon good vanilla extract
1 cup sifted cake flour
1 cup pecan halves
1/2 cup confectioners sugar for rolling
Preheat oven to 300 degrees F. Line cookie sheets with parchment. In a medium bowl or a stand mixer, cream together butter, sugar and salt until smooth. Beat in the vanilla. Roughly chop pecans in a food processor or blender so that you have a mix of textures; toss with cake flour. Stir the pecan mixture into the creamed mixture until well blended (at this point, the dough can be refrigerated and kept for several days, to bake at a later point. Or it can be frozen, probably for a couple of months). Roll the dough into balls “the size of a walnut,” then place them 1 inch apart onto the prepared cookie sheets.

Bake for 30 to 40 minutes in the preheated oven, or until nicely golden brown (keep an eye on them; ovens differ, so I’d begin checking at 20 minutes). Roll warm cookies in confectioner sugar.

Special thanks to A Finger in Every Pie for posting this recipe!