Lydia’s Butter Balls

It’s that time again – cookies, cookies and more cookies!

Always the first to be gobbled up out of my repertoire of holiday treats are Lydia’s Butter Balls.

Lydia’s gone, but her recipe brings sweet thoughts of her to mind.  Mother of an old friend, Lydia had to make this friend an entire batch of butter balls every holiday.  This old friend (and roommate for a few years) would hide the tin under her bed so as not to have to share them.  Occasionally one cookie would be doled out as payment for a favor!  Maybe you are still friends with Lydia’s daughter, in which case, my holiday gift suggestion for her would be a tin of these cookies.

I like to make them on the big side – they take just a tad longer to bake.

 Lydia’s Butter Balls

Makes about 3 dozen 1″ balls

1 cup butter (softened) 

4 teaspoons sifted powdered sugar (plus about a cup for rolling)

1 teaspoon vanilla 

2 cups sifted flour 

1 cup coarse and finely chopped pecans

Preheat oven to 350F.

Cream butter, add sugar and beat until light and fluffy. 

Add vanilla. 

Add sifted flour and mix well. 

Fold in chopped pecans and shape into small balls.  

Place one inch apart on ungreased baking sheet. 

Bake for 15 to 18 minutes.

Allow to cool slightly then roll in powdered (confectioner’s) sugar.

Don’t have time to do any baking for the holidays?  Check out the “baked” offerings at wkf.com

Our Italian cookie assortment from the “Hill” is a very popular and often re-ordered item – and we have some cute containers to go with them!

 

Of course I made enough filling and dough for 2 birthday pies!

Happy Birthday

Happy Birthday

But, unfortunately my dyslexia took over – Rick is obviously not a day over 46!

Rick by the way was our host this past weekend for the Acardia Valley Bluegrass Music Festival down in Ironton, MO. See the Walter Knoll Florist Director’s Chair! That was a Christmas gift company-wide last year. Comes in very handy!

ricktodddenny

And finally, I wanted to share a family recipe I received from our customer and my blog pen-pal Sheri Vandermolen in India – another use for cherry pie filling that I can’t wait to try.

DENVER CRUNCH

CRUST
2 c. flour
1 c. pecan pieces
1 c. butter
1/2 c. light brown sugar

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Soften butter slightly, letting it warm up some (I usually just set my wrapped sticks on the stovetop for a couple of minutes), and then use a mixer to combine it with the brown sugar and flour until crumbly. (It won’t be as smooth as cookie batter, since there are no eggs.) After it is blended, stir in pecans by hand. Press mixture into an ungreased 9X13-inch pan and bake approximately 15+ minutes, until light golden brown. Remove from oven and set aside to cool for a few minutes, and then crumble the dough with a fork, setting aside about 1 c. to use as topping. Press the rest into an 8X8-inch Tupperware container, to form the crust (a 9-inch round casserole dish or a combination of smaller dishes works too).

If using the same mixing bowl for the crust and filling preparation, wash it thoroughly in between, so the residue doesn’t interfere with the rising action of the Dream Whip.

FILLING
8 oz. cream cheese
1 c. powdered sugar
2 pkgs. prepared Dream Whip (+ milk and vanilla, see package)
1 can sweet cherry pie filling (or any sweet filling of your choice)

Prepare the Dream Whip according to the directions on the packages (using 2 packets Dream Whip + milk and vanilla), beating it with a mixer for several minutes, until fluffy After finishing the Dream Whip, add the powdered sugar and cream cheese to it (in chunks/spoonfuls) and mix until relatively smooth.

After pressing the crust into the desired container, spread half of the cream-cheese mixture over the crust. Then spoon all of the pie filling over that. Spread the remaining cream-cheese mixture over the cherries. With your hand, finely crumble the cup of pecan crust held in reserve and sprinkle it on as a topping. (Layers = crust / cream-cheese mix / pie filling / cream-cheese mix / crumb topping)

Cover and chill immediately. It tends to taste best after it’s been in the refrigerator at least overnight (so I’ve been told).

Thanks Sheri!

So, as easy as Sheri’s Denver Crunch sounds, if you just don’t have the time or inclination and need something sweet for a celebration or hostess gift – might I suggest something from Mimi’s family’s bakery on the Hill like Italian Cookies, Peach, Apple or Cherry Pie, or our fresh baked cookies or chocolate covered fruits – or perhaps a fancy cake or cheesecake!

How about a Cookie Recipe!

BUTTER BALLS

Whether you call them Cuernitos (Mexican), Kourabiedes (Greek), or Butter Balls these cookies are everyone’s favorite! The following recipe uses granulated OR powdered sugar—the granulated sugar cookies have a more “sandy” texture and the powdered sugar version is a creamier cookie. If you use almonds, add 1/2 tsp almond extract along with the vanilla extract.

3 sticks unsalted room temp butter
3/8 cup granulated sugar
OR 3/4 cup powdered(confectioner’s) sugar
3 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 tsp salt
3 cups flour
1.5 cups finely chopped nuts, either pecans, walnuts, almonds or pistachios (chop with a knife—don’t use a grinder or food processor, the nuts will be too fine)
1.5 to 2 cups powdered sugar for dusting

Preheat oven to 325F.
Cream together softened butter and sugar until well combined, mix in the extract(s) then gradually add salt and flour and finally the chopped nuts. Roll into 1 tsp size balls and lay out on un-greased cookie sheet about an inch apart. Bake for 15 to 20 minutes. They’ll just barely brown on the edges and bottoms. Remove to cooling racks and dust liberally with powdered sugar. (I put tea-towels under the racks to collect the excess powdered sugar which can be collected and used for the second dusting.) When cool, again sift more powdered sugar over them. These keep really well in a cookie tin.

These cookies are often called
“Wedding Cookies” and we just happen to have lots of wedding information.

And, finally, if you just don’t have the time or urge to bake, you can buy freshly baked cookies for delivery anywhere across the USA!