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I had high baking aspirations this Holiday season….

There were to be all sorts of delectable goodies created in my Brooklyn kitchen.  Linzer Cookies stuffed with Nutella, a Chocolate and Fruit Tarte I found in my new subscription to Bon Appetit,  Shortbread Pretzel Twists, and, last but not least, our household’s favorite – Pecan Snowball Cookies.  Why buy gifts this Christmas?  Cookies (made with all organic ingredients, of course) would be wrapped in crinkly paper with shiny bows and bestowed upon the shining faces of friend and neighbor alike.

But, (and sorry to get all cliche and Rachael Ray-ish on you), I am a lousy baker.  I can never seem to remember to leave butter and eggs out to bring them to room temperature.  My measuring cups are for liquids.  I confuse tablespoons with teaspoons.  My baking powder is always past its expiration date.  I detest kneading and rolling.  Let’s face it, if you are coming to my house for a dinner party, you can’t go wrong by bringing dessert.

Still, I did manage to churn out one baked item this Christmas, and in my opinion, if you are only going to do one cookie, nobody is gonna complain if its Pecan Snowball Cookies.

Pecan Snowball Cookies
(aka:  Mexican Wedding Cookies, Russian Teacakes)

1 cup sweet butter (softened)
1 box confectioner’s sugar
1 egg
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 1/2 cups all-purpose white flour
1 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup ground pecans (toasted or not – your choice)

1)  Beat together the butter and 1 1/2 cups of the confectioner’s sugar in the bowl of a stand mixer, or with a hand held mixer.  When they are creamed together, add the egg and vanilla and continue beating until good and fluffed.  2)  Slowly add the flour, baking powder, and salt, mixing until incorporated.  Now add the nuts and keep mixing.  You may want to stir with a spoon if your mixer is having a hard time.  3)  Form the dough into a flat circle, and pop in a plastic bag in the fridge until you are ready to use, but at least two hours.  You could even freeze the dough and thaw when ready to complete the cookies.  4)  Break off hunks of dough and form into balls smaller than a golf ball, spacing them out on a cookie sheet lined with a silpat or parchment paper.

5)  Bake on the middle rack of a preheated 375F oven for 10 minutes.  6)  Remove from oven, and immediately toss the cookies into a bowl of the remaining confectioner’s sugar.

Transfer to a cooling rack.  Once cooled, roll the cookies in the sugar once more.

And now for some Holiday cuteness….Merry Christmas!

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