This has been an extraordinary year for the Silver Fox and me. We spent most of October in the mountain kingdoms of Tibet, Nepal and Bhutan, and fortune continues to smile on us. We are about to depart on an oft postponed trip to Egypt. We are scheduled to fly to Cairo on Thursday and we'll be back just before the Christmas holiday. While the countdown is not yet quite complete, it looks like all systems are go and we will finally get to see all that Egypt offers. I am going to put the blog on autopilot for most of December, but while I'm gone I have new recipes to share with you and it's my hope you'll continue to check in to see what I am featuring. All the recipes are for seasonal cookies and breads that will make your guests smile and help contribute to your holiday merriment. I plan to bolster my normal posts with pictures and verbal reflections of Egypt as I am able. I'll resume normal posting four or five days before Christmas.
I had a function for which I had to make cookies this afternoon. With everything that's going on here, I needed something that was simple to prepare, so I decided to fall back on a recipe I used as a bride. As you can tell from the picture, I decided to make walnut balls. With small changes, these are alternately known as Mexican Wedding or Russian Tea Cakes, but whatever you call them, they are delicious and well-deserving of a spot on your Christmas cookie tray. I usually roll my walnut balls in granulated sugar, but that makes for undefined photos, so I decided to use a coating of confectioners' sugar for this post. Here is the recipe I use for these cookies.
Walnut Balls...from the kitchen of One Perfect Bite courtesy of Good Housekeeping magazine
1 cup butter
6 tablespoons granulated sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 cups all-purpose flour
1/8 teaspoon salt
1 (8-oz.) bag walnuts, finely chopped
1-1/4 cups confectioners' sugar
1) Preheat oven to 325 degrees F.
2) In large bowl, with mixer on medium speed, beat butter, granulated sugar, and vanilla until creamy, occasionally scraping bowl with rubber spatula. Reduce speed to low; gradually beat in flour and salt just until blended, occasionally scraping bowl. Stir in walnuts.
3) Shape dough by rounded measuring teaspoons into 1-inch balls. Place balls, 1 inch apart, on ungreased cookie sheets. Bake cookies 13 to 15 minutes or until bottoms are lightly browned.
4) Place confectioners' sugar in pie plate. While cookies are hot, with metal spatula, transfer 4 or 5 cookies at a time to pie plate with confectioners' sugar. Gently turn cookies with fork to generously coat with sugar. Transfer cookies to wire rack to cool completely. Repeat with remaining dough and confectioners' sugar. Store cookies in tightly covered container at room temperature up to 1 week or in freezer up to 3 months. Dust with additional confectioners' sugar before serving if you like. Yield: 3 dozen cookies.
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