When it comes to cookies, I generally have a type. If I were to sign up for a cookie-dating service, these are the characteristics I’d put into my profile: Not too sweet. Not overly complicated. Light in texture. Perhaps a bit nutty. Chocolate welcome, but not required.
I love the light, powdered-sugar pecan cookies that come around during the holidays (does anyone make these any other time of year?). They’re called Pecan Dreams, or sometimes Mexican Wedding Cookies (though there are many variations of those). I call them Pecan Snowballs.
This pecan cookie recipe is super easy and would be fun to make with kids, provided you don’t mind a whoosh of powdered sugar all over the kitchen.
pecan snowball cookies (aka pecan dreams)
1 cup plus 2 Tbsp. flour
1/4 cup powdered sugar
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, softened
3/4 tsp. vanilla extract
pinch of salt
1/2 cup chopped pecans, lightly toasted in a dry skillet until fragrant
1 cup powdered sugar for dusting
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Sift together flour and powdered sugar onto a piece of waxed paper. Cream together butter, vanilla and salt. Add dry ingredients and mix to combine, then add pecans and blend thoroughly. Place 1 cup powdered sugar in a plastic bag; set aside.
Roll dough into balls about 1 inch in diameter; place on an ungreased cookie sheet and bake for about 15 to 18 minutes (watch carefully toward the end of the baking time; you want the bottoms to be nicely golden brown, but not the tops). Remove baking sheet from the oven and let cookies cool for about 2 minutes. Place several cookies at a time in the plastic bag of powdered sugar; shake gently to coat. Remove cookies and set on a wire rack to cool. When cool, toss them again with powdered sugar to coat. Makes 2 dozen cookies; recipe is easily doubled.