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Pecan Cookie Balls (VRP 090)

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Pecan Cookie Balls are a delightful treat, combining the rich flavors of buttery nuts and sweet powdered sugar in a bite-sized form. These cookies are perfect for holiday gatherings, as a gift, or simply as a sweet snack to enjoy with coffee or tea.

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Pecan Cookies Balls

Front of the recipe card for Pecan Cookies Balls.

Food History

The concept of nut-based cookies has roots in many cultures, but Pecan Cookie Balls are particularly reminiscent of traditional European pastries, such as Russian Tea Cakes or Mexican Wedding Cookies. These treats have been adapted in American cuisine using local nuts like pecans, which are abundant in the Southern United States.

Recipe Discussion

This recipe starts with creaming butter with powdered sugar, salt, nutmeg, and vanilla extract to create a rich and flavorful base. The addition of all-purpose flour forms a sturdy dough, while finely chopped pecans give the cookies their signature nutty texture and taste. Once shaped into balls or crescents, the cookies are baked until just set. The warm cookies are then rolled in powdered sugar, which melts slightly to form a sweet coating that enhances the cookie’s appearance and taste.

Serving Suggestions

Pecan Cookie Balls are wonderful when served on a dessert tray, complementing coffee, tea, or a glass of dessert wine. They are also ideal for festive occasions like Christmas, where they can be beautifully packaged in decorative tins as homemade gifts.

Preparation Tips

  • Uniform Size: Use a small cookie scoop to ensure all your cookies are the same size for even baking.
  • Powdered Sugar Coating: For best results, roll the cookies in powdered sugar while they are still warm but handle gently. A second coating after they cool ensures a generous, even layer of sugar.
  • Storing: Store the cookies in an airtight container to keep them fresh. They can also be frozen for longer storage, but dust with additional powdered sugar after thawing for best taste.

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Pecan Cookies Balls

Pecan Cookies Balls

Ingredients

  • 1 cup butter or margarine
  • 2½ cups sifted powdered sugar
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon nutmeg
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 2 cups sifted all purpose flour
  • 2 cups finely chopped pecans (or walnuts)

Instructions

  1. Cream butter until soft; add ½ of the powdered sugar, salt, nutmeg and vanilla; continue creaming until thoroughly mixed.
  2. Stir in flour and pecans.
  3. Shape fough into small balls (or crescents.)
  4. Place on baking sheet and bake at 350 degrees 15 minutes.
  5. Remove from baking sheet and quickly roll the hot cookies in the remaining 2 cups powdered sugar.
  6. Cool; roll again in powdered sugar.
  7. Store in tight container.

Pecan Cookie Balls are a versatile and delightful treat that’s sure to please any crowd. Their easy preparation and exquisite flavor make them a go-to recipe for any baker looking to impress. Enjoy the process of making these little gems and the joy they bring to your table!

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