Many years ago, during a trip to Sante Fe, New Mexico, I sampled some shortbread cookies studded with pine nuts. Delicious. Never forgot ‘em. So when I was baking a batch of traditional Mexican wedding cookies, I added pine nut instead of almonds. The other “secret” ingredient is Old Town Spiced Sugar from The Spice House owned by Dame Patty Erd.
Makes about 4 1/2 dozen cookies
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
1/2 cup confectioners’ sugar
1 teaspoon Chicago Old Town Spiced Sugar (see Headnote)
1 teaspoon vanilla, if available use clear vanilla
2 cups flour
1 cup toasted pine nuts
Additional confectioners’ sugar
1. Preheat oven to 325°F and line a baking sheet with foil. Spray with non-stick cooking spray.
2. Cream together butter, confectioners’ sugar, spiced sugar, and vanilla until light and fluffy. Gradually add flour beating until blended. Stir in pine nuts. Chill dough about 1 hour.
3. Using a 1/2-ounce (1 1/4-inch) ice cream scoop, drop dough onto parchment-lined baking sheet at least 1 inch apart.
4. Bake 15-20 minutes. Cookies do not need to brown.
5. Remove to cooling racks set on paper or a tea towel (to catch sugar). Generously dust with confectioners’ sugar. Cool completely and dust a second time with sugar.