Monday, December 21, 2009

Christmas Balls!

Happy Holidays everyone! I wanted to share with you my favorite Christmas cookie recipe -- Christmas Balls. Of course I can't talk about delicious Christmas balls without channeling the SNL sketch with Alec Baldwin showing off his Schweddy Balls on NPR. Trust me, bake these balls and you won't be able to wait to get them in your mouth too! Christmas Balls
  • 1 c. butter 2 t. vanilla
  • 1/3 c. sugar
  • 2 t. water or milk
  • 2 c. sifted all-purpose flour
  • 1 c. chopped pecans (chop 'em pretty small)
  • thin confectioners frosting (about 3/4 c. powdered sugar + 1-2 T. milk)
  • coconut or colored sugar

Cream butter and vanilla; add sugar, creaming the mixture until light and fluffy. Blend in water. Stir in flour, mixing well. Add pecans. Shape in 1" balls. Bake 1" apart on ungreased cookie sheet in 325 degree oven. Bake 20 min. or until firm to the touch. Cool before removing from pan. Frost with conf. frosting and coat with coconut or with red and green colored sugar.

I decided to bake Christmas Balls yesterday when the first blizzard of the season had me holed up indoors, relishing wearing my jammies all day. Turned out I had all the necessary ingredients for balls except for 1 cup of pecans. Rats! I tore apart the cabinet looking for some kind of nutty stand-in, and luckily I came across the remains of a stash of "Culinary Touch" nut mixes sent my way by the fine folks at Fisher Nuts. These blends, intended to "add delicious flavor to any dessert or meal" were about to do just that.
Fisher's pecan, cranberry, orange blend seemed like it would work, and perhaps even improve my balls.

Whatta you know, the touch of cranberry and orange made my favorite Christmas cookies even more delicious. Didn't even think it was possible! It took me awhile to find a use for the Fishers Culinary Touch blend, and this was the perfect occasion.

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