Sunday, December 28, 2008

Pecan Powder Puffs

Pecan Powder Puffs.....say that three times fast!

Trying to decide what I would make for Christmas dessert to bring to my parents' house, I was flipping through some of my cookbooks. While going through my "Baking from My Home to Yours" by Dorie Greenspan, I came across the recipe for Pecan Powder Puffs. Upon reading this I realized it was pretty darn close to sounding like my husband's grandmother's "pecan puffs" that she made often at the holidays.

I had full intentions of making these for Christmas but time got away from me and the dough sat in the refirgerator for 2 days (which is ok per the recipe) before I made them the day after Christmas. All in all, this recipe is a keeper. My husband said they were pretty close to his grandmother's (not that I expected it could compete). I have to say they are pretty tasty and just the right size to pop in your mouth for a quick treat. Next time though, I hope to get this recipe baked in time for its intended destination. Oh well, it's not like my husband is complaining about having extra goodies in the house!

Pecan Powder Puffs
(from "Baking from My Home to Yours")

1 cup pecans
1/4 cup sugar
1 cup minus 1 tablespooon all purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
Pinch of ground cinnamon (optional)
1 stick unsalted butter at room temperature
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
Confectioner's sugar, sifted, for rolling

Put pecans and 1 tablespoon of sugar in food processor and process in very short pulses until the nuts are pulverized. Scrape the nuts into a bowl, add the flour, salt, and cinnamon (if you're using it), and whisk to combine.

Put the butter in the processor and process, scraping down the sides of the bowl as needed, until the butter is smooth and creamy. Add the remaining 3 tablespoons sugar and the vanilla and process for 30 seconds or so to blend. Pour in the pecan and flour mixture and, using short pulses, process only until it is worked into the dough. You want to process the dough as little as possible - the less you work the dough, the lighter and more appealing crumbly the cookies will be. Scrape the dough out of the bowl onto plastic wrap, gather it together and form it into a ball. Wrap and chill for at least 2 hours, or, for up to 2 days.

Getting ready to bake: Center rack in oven and preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line two baking sheets with parchment or silicone mats.

Remove dough from fridge. Using a small spoon break off marble-size pieces, then roll each piece of dough between your palms to form a smooth ball and place them on baking sheets; there's no need to leave much space between balls.

Bake the cookies one sheet at a time for 12 to 15 minutes, or until they are lightly golden and almost firm. Gently transfer them to a rack to cool to room temperature.

Just before serving, roll cookies in confectioner's sugar and toss them gently from hand to hand to shake off excess sugar.


Tiff said...

Yuuuummm....they look good!

Joelen said...

These look so easy to make! I love pecans so I'll have to give this a try soon!