Penny Eisenberg's Pecan Snowballs
|If you haven't taken a look at Penny Eisenberg's Amazing Dessert Recipes blog, you absolutely must, and we know your mouth will be instantly watering. Penny has been a food professional for over twenty-five years, and authored her first cookbook, Passover Desserts, in 1994. We're also proud to highlight her new book, Amazing Desserts, available on CD-rom or as an ebook. There's 110 delightful recipes inside, including chocolate layer cakes, cheesecake, turnovers, and so much more. Just check out her blog to find it!|
Penny posts on her blog all about her delicious dessert creations, with each dessert just looking so divine. She's here today to share her Pecan Snowballs recipe with us. She says: "These are my favorite cookies because they're absolutely scrumptious and so fast and easy to make. Although most cookies of this type have little or no sugar in the dough, this one has enough to make them sweet and a little crunchier than others. They're also cooked a bit more than is typical – giving them the buttery, rich taste of toasted pecan."
Makes about 42 one-inch cookies
2 cups (260 grams) all-purpose flour, fluffed, scooped and leveled into measuring cups
2-1/3 cups (255 grams) pecan pieces
8 ounces (227 grams) unsalted butter – cool room temperature
1/2 cup (100 grams) sugar
1-1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1-2 cups 120-240 grams) powdered sugar
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. with oven shelves in the upper and lower thirds of the oven. Line 2 cookie sheets with parchment paper. Cut two more pieces of parchment to fit the cookie sheets, and set them aside.
In a food processor pulse-process the flour and the pecans until the nuts are finely ground.
* If you only have a small or mini-processor, you'll need to grind the nuts in batches. Add a few tablespoons of flour per batch to absorb oil so you don't end up with pecan butter instead of ground pecans. Stir in any remaining flour before adding it to the butter mixture.
In a large mixer bowl beat the butter just until creamy (1 minute). Add the sugar and beat on medium speed, just until blended. Beat in the vanilla. If using a stand mixer, beat in the flour mixture, all at once, on low speed, and beat until the dough just comes together. Scrape down the sides of the bowl and beat for a few seconds more. Otherwise, stir in the flour by hand.
Pinch off enough dough to form a 1-inch ball (about the size of a malted milk ball). Roll the dough lightly between the palms of your hands until it is round and smooth. Place on the prepared cookie sheet. Repeat with the remaining dough, spacing the balls 1 – 2 inches apart on both cookie sheets and the extra parchment.
Bake for a total of 15-25 minutes, moving the top cookie sheet down to the bottom shelf and the bottom sheet up after half the baking time (no need to do this if using convection), and cook until the cookies are just starting to brown. Slide the parchment onto cooling racks and let the cookies cool for 5 - 10 minutes. Meanwhile, slide the parchment with the remaining dough onto the cookie sheets, and bake and finish as with the other cookies.
Place the powdered sugar in a shallow bowl (the amount you will need depends on the depth of the bowl). Place a couple of the cookies in the sugar and roll them around until well coated. Repeat with remaining balls. Discard excess powdered sugar as it will have bits of pecans and fat in it that can spoil. Cool the cookies completely before eating or storing.