Thursday, December 25, 2008

merry christmas

miracle on 34th street

I know it's bad for the environment... but I still love it. Maybe they can switch to led?


Here is my more modest contribution.

Monday, December 15, 2008

christmas cookies and sparkly things







Sparkly antique Christmas ornaments (have developed a slight addiction to hand blown glass kugel ornaments...) Snowflake sugar cookies that have been dusted with pearl dust... I think they look somehow like milkglass. Eggnog in an amazing vintage milkglass punch bowl (thank you ebay) the recipe is based loosely on this one but with a whole lot more bourbon...actually all the liquor was tripled (should I admit that?) and I used pecan infused bourbon. Decorated with sugared rosemary and cranberries.

Mexican Snowball Cookies

This recipe started as a way to use up leftover "snow" from my gingerbread house. I don't really have any idea why I called these mexican snowball cookies except that they look snowball-ish and the coconut/almond/cinnamon combination seemed vaguely mexican to me at the time. It was pointed out to me after the fact that they have some resemblance to mexican wedding cookies which actually is far more logical than my own explanation. I was thinking more of pecan crescents when I was tinkering with them. I am pretty fond of the result and they make for a nice break in between chocolate cookies...

makes about 24 cookies

  • 1/2 cup pecans
  • 3/4 blanched almonds
  • 1 1/2 cups unbleached ap flour
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 1 tsp. cinnamon ( usually just sort of dump it in I probably end up with more)
  • 3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) butter slightly softened
  • 1/2 cups confectioner sugar
  • 1 tsp. vanilla

Coating:
  • unsweetened macaroon coconut (this is more finely ground- if you can't find it chop up regular flaked coconut in a food processor)
  • powdered sugar
  • edible white glitter (optional)

Preheat the oven to 350 F.

Toast the nuts in the oven until fragrant about 8 minutes. I tend to do this while the oven in pre-heating.

In a food processor combine 1/2 cup of flour with teh cooled nuts (you need the four to avoid making nut butter) and pulse until finely ground. Whisk the nut/ flour together with the remaining flour, salt and cinnamon.

In an electric mixer w/ paddle attachment beat butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in vanilla. With the mixer on low add the flour mixture in two additions and mix just until combined. I often finish with my hands as this is a fairly stiff dough. Refrigerate.

Combine the coconut, sugar and glitter together in a shallow dish. I eyeball this- the coconut tastes better, but the sugar sticks better so use your judgment.

Roll 1 tbs. of dough into balls and place an inch or so apart on a silpat lined cookie sheet. Bake until edges turn golden about 16-18 minutes. As soon as they are cool enough to handle roll them in the coconut sugar mixture and transfer to a wire rack to cool. If you don't roll them while they are still hot it won't stick very well. Alternatively you can roll them in the coconut mixture before you bake them which is tasty but loses the whole snowball effect.