Sunday, December 25, 2011

Two Christmas Cookies

Christmas is a horrifying time for my family, I was never sure why but the stress is just unbearable for my parents. They cannot handle any sort of disarray or over-activity in the house without exploding in fits of rage. That disarray and over-activity is unfortunately what I live for.

For all the "stress" that the holidays produced, I can at least bring forth two decent cookie recipes. One is a Betty Crocker recipe that my mother has been using for years and the other is a cookie my distant relatives have made for even longer. These are my too absolute favorite holiday cookies. The Russian Tea Cakes (Mexican Wedding Cakes) are crumbly and not overly sweet. These Pignoli Nut Cookies don't taste artificial like in most bakeries. Happy Holidays!

Russian Tea Cakes
Pignoli Nut Cookies
Russian Tea Cakes
Adapted from: Betty Crocker

1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter or margarine, softened to room temperature
1/2 cup powdered sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 1/4 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
3/4 cup finely chopped nuts
1/4 teaspoon salt
Powdered sugar or sprinkles for rolling

Heat oven to 400ºF.  
Cream butter, 1/2 cup powdered sugar and the vanilla in large bowl. Stir in flour, nuts and salt until dough holds together. Roll in sprinkles (if using).

Shape dough into 1-inch balls. Place about 1 inch apart on an ungreased cookie sheet. Bake 10 to 12 minutes or until set but not brown. Remove from cookie sheet. Cool slightly on wire rack. Roll warm cookies in powdered sugar; cool on wire rack. Roll in powdered sugar again (skip this step if you rolled them in sprinkles before baking).

Pignoli Nut Cookies
2 egg whites
2 8oz cans almond paste
1/2 cup confectioner's sugar
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/8 teaspoon salt
About 3/4 cup pine nuts

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
In a large bowl, beat egg whites until foamy. Add almond paste (broken into pieces). Beat until almost smooth, scraping sides of bowl with a spatula. Add sugars and beat until smooth and creamy. Mix in flour and salt. Refrigerate 1 hour or until firm.

Dip hands in water and roll dough into 1-inch balls. Roll in pine nuts (if you can afford to do this) or sprinkle them on top. Bake 15-18 min or until slightly golden brown on the edges.

1 comment:

  1. Delicious and beautiful cookies. Love the festive color.