Well, now that I've returned from the almost dead I have a couple of recipes to post. The first one is the classic "snowball cookie." I know that they show up on cookie platters everywhere around the holidays, but I figured I'd post this one here just because my family has been making them my entire life.
2 cups of flour
2 sticks of unsalted butter (1 cup)
2 cups of chopped pecans or walnuts
1/4 cup of sugar
1 1/2 tsp vanilla
Powdered sugar (however much you need to coat all the cookies)
Makes about 48 small cookies
Okay, this recipe looks really simple, but a lot of online and print recipes I've read don't get the steps right. First, pre-heat the oven to about 350 degrees F. Next, use a mixer to cream combine the butter, sugar (not the powdered sugar; the regular sugar) and vanilla together in a large mixing bowl. I typically use a stainless-steel bowl. THEN you add the flour and chopped nuts to the butter/sugar/vanilla mixture.
After it's all combined into a dough, you use a round tablespoon measure (about the size of a melon baller) to measure out the amount of dough you'll need for each cookie. You'll need to round each cookie with your fingers, by the way.
Next, put the cookies on an ungreased cookie sheet. You'll probably end up using about four, maybe five, cookie sheets overall. I can usually fit two sheets in the oven at a time. The butter in the cookies keeps them from sticking.
Put them in the oven for about 10-12 minutes (sometimes 15, depends on whether your oven has been pre-heated long enough). Take them out and let them sit for about 10 minutes or so. They have to set so they don't fall apart when you roll them in the powdered sugar.
Once they're cool, gently roll each cookie in the powdered sugar. After your're done rolling all of them, eat!
In the next installment, I'll be writing about a meal I nearly destroyed and then salvaged. Smoky times in the kitchen and all that.