My Aunt Ruth spent her winter days in early December to make candies, cakes and cookies that she carefully wrapped and placed in a cookie tin to give as gifts. Family and friends devoured her special homemade gifts. It was a package of love, made by her, just for you.
As the winter comes in each year I think about Aunt Ruth and remember her special gifts. Thankfully one of my cousins picked her Mom’s brain and recorded the recipes of her candies, cookies and miniature cakes.
And even a bigger thank you, she’s making sure we all have a copy of those recipes to keep Aunt Ruth’s tradition going to our own families and special friends.
All it takes is a little time to prepare. A visit to the local craft store to pick up cookie tins and food safe decorative paper to line them with. A trip to the store to pick up the ingredients and some special time in the kitchen.
Aunt Ruth’s Winter Pecan Cookies
This makes about 2 dozen cookies and takes about 1 hour to 1.5 hours to make.
1 cup all purpose flour
1 cup toasted pecans, chopped
3 tablespoons sugar
½ teaspoon salt (optional, but they really do taste better with it.)
1 teaspoon vanilla
½ cup butter (1 stick), softened (I recommend using Land O’Lakes.)
1 cup powdered sugar for rolling
- Set the powdered sugar aside.
- Mix all the dry ingredients in a medium-sized mixing bowl.
- Add the vanilla and butter to the mixture and combine thoroughly by hand.
- Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes.
- Pre-heat oven to 350°F.
- While the oven is warming up, roll cookies by hand into 1-inch balls.
- Place on un-greased cookie sheet about 1 inch apart.
- Bake for 15 minutes or until set. Don’t let the cookies brown.
- Remove from the oven and let the cookies cool on the cookie sheet for about 3 to 4 minutes.
The idea here is to let then cool enough to be set, and so you can pick them up without burning your hands.
- When cooled slightly (you want them to still be warm), roll each cookie in powdered sugar. Cover each cookie completely. Aunt Ruth would roll each cookie, then when she had a coating on each one, she’d go back to the first one and roll them again. This allowed the moisture from the heat in the cookie to dampen the powdered sugar so when you rolled it a second time, it created a nice thick coating.
- Let the cookies cool completely.
- Store loosely covered or in a holiday Cookie Tin.
Happy Winter and I hope you enjoy my Aunt Ruth’s cookies!