12/8/09

Snowballs - Use Pecans or Walnuts



I've been making Snowballs (Russian Tea Cakes, Mexican Wedding Cakes) for years and typically use walnuts as the original recipes call for. Sometimes I would use almonds and other times I've used pecans. This year I planned to use pecans as I had bought 2 bags for Thanksgiving pies and had some left over. I smiled when a newsletter from myrecipes.com popped into my email box this week that also called for pecans. I'm not the only one that uses pecans in place of walnuts!









Snowballs

1 cup pecans, roasted and chopped
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 3/4 cups confectioners' sugar
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon pure almond extract
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 cups all-purpose flour

Heat oven to 350° F.

With an electric mixer, beat the butter and 1 cup of the sugar until fluffy. Mix in the vanilla and almond extracts and salt. Gradually add the flour, mixing until just incorporated. Mix in the pecans.

Shape the dough into tablespoon-size balls and place on a parchment-lined baking sheet. Refrigerate for 30 minutes.

Transfer half the balls to a second parchment-lined baking sheet, spacing them 1 1/2 inches apart. Bake until lightly golden, 18 to 22 minutes. Let cool on the baking sheets for 10 minutes.

Place 1/2 cup of the sugar in a large bowl. Toss the warm cookies in the sugar and return to the baking sheet. Sift the remaining 1/4 cup of sugar over the cookies before serving.
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