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Mexican Wedding Cakes

1/2 cup whole, unblanched almonds
1/2 cup pecans
1/2 cup confectioners' sugar
1 teaspoon anise seeds, optional
1 cup cold, unsalted butter, cut in small pieces
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 cups flour

1/4 cup confectioners' sugar
1/4 cup canned vanilla frosting, tinted deep green, or red

Heat oven to 325 degrees. Have a cookie sheets ready.

Put nuts, confectioners' sugar and anise seeds in a food processor,
Process until finely ground. (Don't overprocess or you'll have a
paste.) Add butter and vanilla and process until smooth. Add flour;
process just until blended. With lightly floured hands, roll dough
on a lightly floured surface into a thick log. Cut log in 8 equal
pieces. Roll each into a 12" rope. Cut each rope in 8 pieces. Roll
some pieces into balls, others into crescents. Place about 1" apart
on ungreased cookie sheets.

Bake for 16 minutes or until bottoms are light brown. Cool on sheets
on wire racks 15 minutes. Gently (they're very fragile) transfer
to a sheet of waxed paper and dust warm cookies with confectioners'
sugar. Let cool completely. To decorate: Spoon red or green frosting
into ziplock bag, snip off 1 corner and pipe a squiggle on each

Storage tip: Refrigerate airtight (undecorated) with waxed paper
between layers up to 1 month. Decorate before serving.


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