Friday, December 4, 2009

Effie's Pecan Butter Balls

These cookies seem to be a staple at Christmastime all over as most families make these. They go by many names: Russian Tea Cakes, Mexican Wedding Cakes, and Melting Moments, just to name a few. These are a true shortbread cookie made with lots of butter and pecans.
Growing up, Grandma always had a tin of these cookies that she would make as she knew Aunt Effie like them and that we did, too. These had been cookies that Aunt Effie made regularly.
I use a nut mill to run the pecans through so they will be chopped up fine. I have used walnuts in place of the pecans with good success. I prefer to use pecans, but one year the price of walnuts was $1.99 a pound while the cost of pecans were around $4.99 a pound! This has happened several times over the years, and I will not pay that big of a price difference. On those years when  pecans are so much higher in price, I use walnuts instead. These are one of Kim's favorite cookies and I usually make some for her.

Effie's Pecan Butter Balls

1 cup butter or oleo, softened (DO NOT use spreads!)
3/4 cup powdered sugar
2 tsps. vanilla
2 cups flour, sifted
2 cups finely chopped pecans
powdered sugar

Preheat oven 350 degrees.
Cream butter with powdered sugar. Add vanilla, then flour and pecans; blend well.  Flour your hands and shape into balls the size of walnuts. Place on greased cookie tins and bake at 350 degrees for 15 minutes. Remove from oven, then roll in powdered sugar and place on wire racks. When cool, re-roll in powdered sugar. Store in airtight containers or freeze from 2-6 months, depending on how well wrapped.
Makes about 4 dozen.

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