I can remember where I was the first time I bit into one of these buttery, delectable cookies. I was 9 years old, and I was sitting at the kitchen table of my soon to be best friend. It was an afternoon in December, after school, and her mom sat us down with a plate of her newly basked assortment of Christmas cookies. Most of the cookies on the plate looked like what my mom usually made, but I had never seen these little, round sugar coated cookies before. One delicious bite led to another, and I think I impressed them with how many of these cookies I could consume in one sitting. So naturally, they gave me a few to take home to share with my family. I thought about eating them all on the car ride home, but my conscience stopped me. I should share these balls from heaven. I really should. And I did, and my family loved them. My mom asked for the recipe, and so the tradition of the pecan butter ball cookies began. I still make them every year, and the aroma of them baking in the oven, still reminds me of that winter day in December when I was 9. My love for pecan butter balls began on that day, as well as a wonderful, lifelong friendship.
Just one warning, however…..these cookies are the perfect size for popping into your mouth, which makes them an easy target. I keep them in a tin with a tight lid, so there is some level of difficulty to get to them. Honestly, if you keep them on a plate, they will disappear in no time.
RECIPE: makes 2 dozen
1 cup butter
1 tsp. vanilla
2 cups sifted flour
1 cup chopped pecans ( I use a food processor so I have finely chopped pecans as well as some larger pieces)
3 TBSP Confectioners sugar, plus extra to roll the cookies in once they are baked
1. Cream the butter.
2. Mix in the vanilla, flour, pecans and confectioners sugar. Mix well with hands to form a moist dough.
3. Roll into tiny balls and place on cookie sheet.
4. Bake in a 350 degree oven for 20 minutes.
5. Fill a plate with confectioners sugar. Roll the warm (barely cooled at all) cookies in the sugar, coating them on all sides. Then place on parchment paper to cool.