History of Mexican Wedding Cookies
Mexican Wedding cookies were thought to have originated in Medieval times, with the first documented wedding cookie appearing in the ancient Arab culture, where sweet foods were a treasured delicacy. From the Middle East, this tradition spread across the globe to Europe. When Spanish explorers arrived in Latin America in the 16th century, they brought the tradition of Mexican wedding cookies, or biscochitos as they are also sometimes known, with them.
These small, sweet, shortbread cookies made with flavoursome anise and cinnamon have become a genuine tradition at Mexican weddings, baptisms, religious holidays and other special occasions. Original Mexican wedding cookies were diamond shaped as the diamond was seen to represent the symbol of innocence and purity appropriate for a wedding. The cookies are also sprinkled with white icing sugar powder in order to match with the rest of the wedding décor, as Mexican weddings are traditionally all white affairs.
Mexican wedding cookies are popularly served at the end of Spanish and Mexican weddings, due to the love in the Spanish culture for rich, sugary foods cooked with excellent, good quality ingredients such as the very richest, thickest butter, finest sugar and most expensive nuts. Using these ingredients ensures that no cost is spared at a Mexican wedding and is thought to point to a rich and happy life for the bride and groom, with many years of wealth and joy ahead of them.
Crescent Shaped Cookies
There are typically three main types of wedding cookie, with a variety of shapes. The most popular are the traditional round shaped balls, a round but flattened shape, a diamond shape as described above and a crescent, or moon-shaped cookie. Although most commonly the cookies are covered in powdered sugar, it is also possible to have non-powdered versions that taste just as delicious.
Official State Cookies
As well as being a wedding tradition in Spanish and Latin American cultures, these cookies are also the official cookie of the state of New Mexico, and the vast majority of New Mexico residents enjoy eating these delicious cookies.
The Russian Connection
There are also very similar versions of these cookies served in countries across the world – for example, Russian tea cakes have been served at special occasions in Russia since the 18th century, and are almost identical to Mexican wedding cookies. However, in Mexico there is the addition of anise to the recipe for the cookies, giving them a mild spicy flavour that is lacking in Russian tea cakes.
If you are thinking of having a traditional Mexican wedding ceremony, then you cannot go without the addition of some Mexican wedding cookies in the occasion, to add some authentic culture to your wedding.