Monday, December 12, 2011

Mexican Wedding Cookies and Holiday Conflict

I’m watching the local news.  The local news has a way of usually cracking me up, even though I know it isn’t really supposed to be funny.  Sometimes it is the graphics, the way the reporter is reporting, the person being interviewed or just the story that makes me laugh.  Today they are talking about way to avoid conflict at your holiday family gatherings.

The expert advice was:

·        *  Underlying tensions don’t help
·         *  Constructive format
·         *  Know yourself
·         *  Have a side-stepping plan
·        *   Avoid alcohol

This all left me saying, “huh?”  She said a lot, but didn’t really say anything.  I think the best course of action is just to go on a drunken family rampage.  Side-step your foot right into the turkey and kick it off the table.  Show up naked and start knowing yourself in front of your family.  Maybe scream out a few lines from The Exorcist at your senior relatives.  Pick up the Christmas tree, hold it by the tree stand and start turning rapid circles.  The likelihood of you hitting relatives and/or knocking over precious family ceramics is extremely high.  Just bring those underlying tensions to the surface in the most dramatic fashion possible.  ‘Tis the season!

I was watching VH1 Big Morning Buzz Live last week.  The show has videos and then live segments filmed in the hallway of the VH1 offices…yes, the hallway.  You can see the elevators in the background.  Anyway, Stephen Collocci who is the Pastry Chef at Colicchio & Sons (yes, Collocci works at Colicchio) was on making Mexican Wedding Cookies/Pecan Snowballs.  My first thought was yum!  My next thought was, “whoa…those would be really good with a glass of Pinot Noir.” 

Mexican Wedding Cookies/Pecan Snowballs

½ pound room temperature butter
½ cup powdered sugar
1 teaspoon Vanilla Extract
2 ¼ cup All Purpose Flour
¾ cup Finely Chopped Pecans
¾ teaspoon salt
Powdered sugar for coating

Using a paddle attachment, cream together butter and sugar until combined.  Add flour, vanilla, and salt and mix until incorporated.  Add pecans and mix until combines.  Remove from bowl and scoop ½ oz pieces of dough using appropriate ice cream scoop (which means don’t use your giant ass ice cream scoop – think donut holes).

Roll each piece of dough into a ball and bake on a lined sheet pan.  Bake cookies at 350 degrees for about 10 minutes or just long enough that the bottom of the cookies turn golden brown.  Let cookies cool slightly and when they are just barely warm, toss cookies in powdered sugar completely coating the cookie.  Let cool.

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