When my oldest son, Christopher, was in Kindergarten, his classroom studied a unit on heritage. Christopher became fascinated with his heritage and was excited to learn more about where our families came from. This was great to see because my husband and I always believed in cultivating an environment at home for the kids to equally embrace and be proud of their mixed heritages-Korean, Mexican, and American.
One of the events that our elementary school holds is an International Potluck, and it encourages the kids to bring a dish that represents their heritage. Christopher was very excited about the event and the food that we would bring. I had planned to bake Mexican Wedding cookies which I usually make for parties and potlucks, as well as a traditional Korean dish, such as mandu (dumplings), to make sure that both countries were represented. However, as the day wore on running around doing errands, I ran out of time and could not make two dishes. I had to tell Christopher that he had to pick only one country to represent and one dish to prepare. You should have seen the expression on his face! Telling him that he had to choose between two countries was like telling him he had to divide himself in half, and he pitched a fit! With desperate quick thinking, I decided to make a Mexican wedding cookie with an Asian twist, by adding matcha green tea to my dough. Matcha is available in specialty tea shops, but in a pinch, I’ve substituted crushed green tea leaves. I used plain matcha green tea, but I have seen flavored matchas such as vanilla which I think would be lovely in this recipe. The kids loved these cookies and affectionately named the cookies “MexiKors.” It’s a made-up name for a cookie and a child I like to think of as half-Mexican and half- Korean. I watched Christopher serve them to all his friends and these cookies remain a household favorite today. We enjoy these cookies at afternoon tea for their sweet, crunchy texture and I love how their subtle green tea flavor pairs well with any flavored, fruity green tea. I also like to think that the cookies are semi-healthy! We kept their name and continue to bake them to this day.
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 tablespoon matcha green tea
- 1 cup salted butter, room temperature
- ½ cup powdered sugar
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 1 cup pecans, toasted*
- To Coat: ½ cup confectioners’ sugar
- Sift the flour and green tea into a bowl.
- In a mixer bowl, beat butter and powdered sugar until fluffy. Add vanilla.
- Add flour mixture and pecans to mixer bowl and mix slowly until dough just comes together. Cover and chill for about 3 hours, until the dough is very cold.
- Pre-heat oven to 325°F. Shape dough into 1-inch balls and place on an ungreased baking sheet.
- Bake for 15-20 minutes or until the cookies are just starting to turn golden around the edges. Allow to cool on the baking sheet for about 10 minutes and then transfer to a cooling rack and cool completely. When cookies are cool, roll in the powdered sugar. Store at room temperature in an airtight container.
- To toast pecans: Place pecans in a small ungreased skillet heated to medium-low heat. Stir until very lightly browned and fragrant, do not burn. Remove from pan, chop with a knife, and set aside to cool.