Sugared Pecan Balls

Talk about starting fresh. This week has brought for me: a new year, abrupt unemployment, a new (very strict) diet intended to get my "silent migraine" symptoms under control and a drastic change in my daily routine. My emotions, feelings and thoughts have been all over the place. At times, it feels like I am living somebody else's life! I don't even have my beloved computer anymore (sniff), so until I get a new one I am using the verrrrry slow computer that I have owned for 7+ years. It still gets the job done, but it takes double the time. Weee!

These cookies are most definitely NOT part of my migraine diet, so it's a good thing we finished eating them well before I started. You know those treats that you don't necessarily think you'll love, but then you bite into them and you think, OHMYGOODNESS HOW AM I GOING TO STOP EATING THESE? Yep, this is one of those treats.

(Source: Real Simple magazine)

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F. Spread 2 cups of pecans on a rimmed baking sheet and toast in the oven, tossing occasionally, until fragrant, 6 to 8 minutes. Let cool. Process the toasted pecans in a food processor until they are finely ground.

In a medium bowl, whisk together:

Ground pecans

2 cups all-purpose flour

1 teaspoon salt

Set aside.

In a large bowl, combine:

1 cup unsalted butter, softened

1/3 cup confectioners' sugar

Using a hand-held mixer, beat the mixture on medium-high speed until it is light and fluffy, 2 to 3 minutes.

Beat in 1 teaspoon almond extract. (I believe the original recipe called for vanilla, but I love almond extract for holiday cookies and almost always make that replacement.)

Reduce the mixer speed to low and gradually add in the flour mixture, mixing until just incorporated.

Shape the dough into balls (about 1 tablespoon each) and place them 2 inches apart on ungreased baking sheets.

Bake in the preheated oven until just lightly brown, 12 to 14 minutes. Let cool slightly on the baking sheets, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.

Place 2/3 cup confectioners' sugar in a small bowl. Roll the cookies in the sugar to coat. Enjoy!

And HERE. Is to a FRESH. CLEAN. Start. Happy 2012, everyone. Thank you from the bottom of my heart for reading my blog and for being a part of my life.

Sugared Pecan Balls

These are super addicting and a holiday FAVE! (source: Real Simple Magazine)

Contributed by Megan Porta from pipandebby.com.

Published Jan 6, 2012

Serves: 36

Total time: 1 hr, 20 min

Sugared

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups pecans
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 cup confectioners’ sugar
  • 1 teaspoon almond extract
Instructions:
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Spread the pecans on a rimmed baking sheet and toast in oven, tossing occasionally, until fragrant, 6 to 8 minutes.; let cool. In a food processor, process the pecans until finely ground.
  2. In a large bowl, whisk together the ground pecans, flour and salt; set aside. Using an electric mixer, beat the butter and 1/3 cup of the sugar on medium-high until light and fluffy, 2 to 3 minutes. Beat in the almond extract.
  3. Reduce mixer speed to low and gradually add the flour mixture, mixing until just combined. Shape the dough into balls (about 1 tablespoon each) and place 2 inches apart on baking sheets.
  4. Bake until just beginning to brown, 12 to 14 minutes. Let cool slightly on the baking sheets, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely. Place the remaining sugar in a bowl. Roll the cookies in the sugar to coat.