I knew it was time to bake when I put on a beloved episode of Hogan’s Heroes and reached for a Russian Teacake. And I didn’t have one. Crushing.
From an early childhood, these two disparate things have gone together and somehow signify the holiday season, taking me back to a comforting time.
I think most people have some version of this cookie in their repertoire under a variety of names – Mexican Wedding Cookies, Pecan Balls – but I’ll share the recipe that my mom passed down. There is a little extra step that makes this one stand out on your cookie tray. Since these are one of my favorite cookies, I always double the recipe. They also freeze beautifully.
I know it is down to the wire for holiday baking, but if you have a little time today, treat yourself to a batch of these. You probably have the ingredients around, and these are a simple cookie to bake. If you don’t get to them for this holiday, don’t worry: you really don’t need an occasion. They’re delicious anytime. Enjoy!
¼ cup sugar
½ pound butter, softened
2 teaspoons vanilla
2 cups flour
½ teaspoon salt
2 cups finely chopped pecans
How to Make them:
Preheat your oven to 325 F. Cream together the sugar and butter until light and fluffy. Beat in the vanilla.
Add the flour and salt and mix to a soft, smooth dough. Stir in the pecans.
Shape into 1-inch balls by rolling between your hands, and place them 2 inches apart on an ungreased cookie sheet.
Bake for 25 minutes until the cookies are firm and light brown on the bottom.
Remove from the cookie sheet and gently roll in the confectioners’ sugar. Cool on wire racks.
Now, here’s the “something special” step: when the cookies are totally cool, roll them a second time in confectioners’ sugar.
This leaves them snowy and beautiful! Store in an airtight container or freeze. Happy Holidays!