Yield: About 2 dozen 1-inch cookies
½ pound (2 sticks) unsalted butter
1 ½ cups plus 2 tbsp powder sugar, plus extra for dusting
¼ tsp salt
1 ¼ cups all purpose flour sifted
¼ cup masa harina sifted (found at many supermarkets)
1 cup coarsely chopped pecan (toasted)
A few hours before making the cookies brown the butter. Melt the butter in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Cook until the solids separate and brown to a dark golden brown, 7- 10 minutes. Remove from heat and let cool at room temperature, then chill in the refrigerator until solid.
Using a standing mixer or hand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream the brown butter on medium speed until cream color, about two minutes. Scrape down the sides of the bowl and paddle. Add 1 ½ cups plus 2 tbsp of powdered sugar and the salt. Cream on medium speed until it is smooth and lump free about 1 minute. Scrape down the sides of the bowl and paddle.
On low speed, add the two flours beat until just combined, do not overbeat. Scraped down the sides of the bowl and paddle, add the cooled pecans and mix for another 30 seconds until just combined. Remove the dough from the mixer and wrap it up in plastic film, chill for 30 minutes. At this point, the dough can be kept tightly wrapped in the refrigerator for up to 1 week or in the freezer for up to 1 month. (When ready to bake make sure you thaw the dough for at least 30 minutes until you can pinch off pieces.)
Preheat the oven to 350°F. Adjust the oven rack to the lower third of the oven. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.
Flour your hands, pinch off pieces of dough and roll them into 1-inch balls. Then roll the balls in granulated sugar and the extra powdered sugar. Place the balls 1 inch apart on the prepared baking sheet. Continue with the rest of the dough making sure you flour your hands so the dough does not stick to your hands.
Bake one sheet at a time for 12-15 minutes, or until light golden brown around the edges, turning the sheet from front to back halfway through the baking. Do not overbake or the cookies will be to dry.
As soon as you take them out of the oven cover them completely with powdered sugar. The best way to do this is to place the powdered sugar in a strainer and tap it over the cookies. This must be done when they are hot. Don’t be shy with the powdered sugar, picture snow covered mountains. Let them cool before removing them and serving.