These delicious, sugary cookies SCREAM Christmas! Pecans and just 4 additional ingredients are rolled into a soft cloud of powdered sugar and form round cookies that are so light and delicious. These cookies are perfect for a cookie exchange or to share when friends and family come over!
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.
HOW TO MAKE SUGARED PECAN BALLS
(Source: Real Simple magazine)
The size of a donut hole, it'll be hard not to pop all of these into your tummy!
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, then set aside:
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt
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! If you love pecans, try making my Double Chocolate Pecan Pie. It's really rich and so tasty!
Make sure your butter is taken out of the fridge about 30 minutes before you prepare the recipe. If you forget, you can place the butter stick on a plate in the microwave and use the defrost mode for about 20 seconds.
Slow down and beat the butter and sugar mix to let it get light and fluffy. It's worth the time!
You can buy pecan pieces already chopped if you want to skip toasting the whole pieces. It's delicious and extra flavor though to toast them in the oven!
These balls will come out of the oven a little fragile. Let them cool on the pan before transferring them to a wire rack or into a container to help them keep their shape. Then they'll be ready to transport!
Melt a half cup of baking chocolate or chocolate chips in a microwave safe bowl with a tablespoon on heavy cream, stirring until its
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.
PERFECT CHRISTMAS COOKIE EXCHANGE IDEAS
THE BEST DESSERTS FOR PARTIES
These sugared pecan balls are great nibble on or pop in your mouth while milling around at a party. Here are a handful of other great party dessert options!