Tuesday, December 23, 2008

It's Snowing Down South

No, not that kind of snow. The only kind of precipitation we ever get for Christmas is rain. Occasionally sleet.

But I am making one of my favorite cookies this afternoon--Snowdrops--hence the snow reference. These cookies are also commonly referred to as Sand Tarts, and I think they're the same or similar to one called a Mexican Wedding Cookie. I think the only difference between all of these is the shape--Snowdrops are made into little balls, which flatten a little on the bottom as they bake; Sand Tarts you make little balls and flatten them before you bake them; and Mexican Wedding cookies are usually mad1e into little half moons or crescents--or sometimes I think they look kind of like little footballs (!)

Here is the version I made this afternoon:
  • 1 c butter or margarine, softened
  • 1/2 c powdered or confectioners sugar
  • 1/2 t salt
  • 1 c finely chopped almonds or pecans
  • 1 T vanilla extract
  • 1 c self-rising flour
  • additional powdered sugar to roll cookies in after baking

Cream together butter and powdered sugar; add salt, vanilla, and nuts; gradually stir in flour. This makes a very dry and crumbly dough. Shape the dough into little balls--larger than a marble, smaller than a walnut. Bake at 325 F for 15-20 minutes. Remove to wire rack and let cool . Roll in powdered sugar.

Note: I use self-rising flour almost exclusively, unless a recipe states that you absolutely-must-or-the-recipe-will-fail use all-purpose flour. I usually just leave out the salt and baking powder that the recipe calls for, or in this just the salt. I have no idea if these would turn out differently using all-purpose flour and salt instead of self-rising flour, because I've never made them that way.

Also--I always make these with pecans, I've never tried them with almonds, although I'm sure they'd be just as good. You might even want to add a little almond extract to the dough if you decide to use almonds.

One of the things I like about this recipe is that it doesn't make a huge batch. I love to bake cookies, but once I've mixed everything and done about the third pan into the oven, I'm ready to be through. With this one, it makes about three cookie sheets full, and that's all. So you have to time to do other things, like bake a different kind of cookie. Or blog.

At any rate, these are a pretty, light tasting, not overly sweet cookie, and if you do any kind of baking at all, you probably have all of these ingredients on hand most of the time, so they're any easy, quick cookie for any time of the year, not just Christmas.

My apologies for not posting pictures--we are at home in rural Louisiana for the holidays, and it just takes too long to upload pictures using dial-up. I'll try to post some pictures later.

Good cooking, and good eating, and happy holidays to everyone!


  1. I might make these today. I was going to make Ranger cookies from the Better Homes and Garden's cookbook.

  2. I made some of these yesterday--they are just as good as I remembered!