I stood on a chair next to her at the kitchen counter watching her every move as she pulled out the ingredients, measuring each and setting it to the side. Into the bowl she would start to pour, stirring occasionally and then pouring some more. First the butter and sugar, the eggs, vanilla and flour. She would pause from time to time handing me a cup of some ingredient to pour into the big ceramic bowl. Then she’d give me the spoon, ”Give it a stir Honey, not to fast now, that’s right smash it together.” Then, I watched as she slowly and meticulously took the perfect pinch of cookie dough into her cupped hand and rolled each ball into a circular motion making sure that each ball was perfectly round and the same size as the one before. Memories that I will always be grateful to have.
My love of holiday cookies came from my Grandma. Thelma made cookies for every holiday and even the days in-between. Peanut butter cookies were my favorite. It’s such a good feeling to know that I’m the one making the cooking now and it’s a compliment to be known as the “Cookie Fox.” I don’t mean to brag, but it was my Grandmother who taught me to cook and bake and she did one hell of a job. Now my cookies are legendary.
There have been times over the years where I’ve tried to cut back sighting that I didn’t want the holiday calories, because lets face it, you have to sample. But in the long run my family has made me feel so guilty that I end up baking cookies at the 11th hour.
Today the Holiday cookie baking began. Snowballs also known as Russian Tea Cookies. They’re super simple and did not take any more than an hour from beginning to clean up.
INGREDIENTS · 1 cup butter softened · 1/2 Cup powdered sugar · 1 teaspoon vanilla · 2-1/4 Cups all-purpose flour · 1/4 teaspoon salt · 3/4 Cup finely chopped pecans · 1-1/2 Cups powdered sugar in a bowl off to the side to roll cooked ball in
DIRECTIONS 1. Heat oven to 400 degrees F 2. Beat butter, 1/2 cup powdered sugar and the vanilla in large bowl with electric mixer on medium speed or mix with spoon 3. Stir in flour and salt 4. Stir in the pecans 5. Shape dough into 1-inch balls 6. Place about 2 inches apart on ungreased cookie sheet 7. Bake 8 to 9 minutes or until set but not brown 8. Immediately remove from cookie sheet; roll in powdered sugar 9. Cool completely on wire rack 10. Roll in powdered sugar again
Makes 48 cookies
10 Cookie Making Tips
You don't have to mix cookies dough by hand. If you have a Food Processor, Hand Mixer or a Kitchen Aid those work perfect. However, you will need to stir your extras like chocolate chips, fruits or nuts by hand.
Chop all nuts or fruits ahead of time. If you don’t, they are inconsistent in size or cherries will turn your dough pink.
Butter is amazing but there are some recipes that your results are better with Crisco Butter Shortening (just my preference)
Have a big mixing bowl ready for your final mixing or multiple bowls if you are separating dough to color.
I use a 1” cookie scoop for perfectly sized cookies. There are different sizes and they can be purchased at various places, Williams Sonoma, Pampered Chef and Bed, Bath and Beyond.
If you are adding sprinkles without icing, this is the time to add them before they go into the oven.
I go with the first time on cookies to start. Normally they’re done but if not, I will go in minute increments until they are golden brown. If you like a crisper cookie go with the second time.
Let your cookies cool for about 2 to 3 minutes before removing to a cooking rack.
If you have a cookie that needs a filling, wait for them to cool completely.
Finally, if you are giving cookies for gifts or need them for entertaining closer to the holiday, let them cool/set and store them in Ziplock bags or container until your ready to use.