The Great Cookie Exchange (and HNT!)

Howdy and hallooooo! It’s that most wonderful time of the year, with frantic shoppers and Christmas musak and honking horns and…*sound of screetching brakes…*

Well, No.

It doesn’t have to be.

Taking stock of what’s important to me (yes, it only took me 50+ years to get to this point)…and learning to let go of the things that bug me without always ranting on about them…and letting myself *enjoy* the season has been my own gift to myself in recent years. Christmas season is not a religious holiday to me, but an affirmation as we head into the darkest days of winter, that the light will return again, warmth will return to us, and we’ll put away the bitterness of cold for another season. But of course, first we must travel *through* this year, right? I spent last weekend festooning my own house with lights outside, greens gathered from the yard, a Rudolph (complete with blinking red nose!) and on the inside? Yule decorations every where you look.

Really…it’s like an explosion of Christmas. We worked for 12 hours on it, and we were whipped when we were done but the kids wanted *everything* out on the same day so we could enjoy it.

And yanno what?

They were right!

The colored lights on the houses as I come home from work cheer me, as do the songs on the radio. Although this isn’t a Christian holiday for me any longer, I still LOVE the old traditional carols, including “O Holy Night” and “What Child is This” and others.

And then there are the foods of the season, most notably…

COOKIES!

Cookies EVERYWHERE, right? I make (I shit thee not) about 100 dozen, all different kinds of cookies. I share them with neighbors, friends, coworkers, etcetera.

Now, I debated a lonnnnng time about which recipe to share.  This recipe is one I found and maybe shared in one of the other cookie exchanges, but it’s so good that people were disappointed when I didn’t put it in their cookie plates last year!  So although it isn’t the one I was going to originally post, I’m posting this one instead. (or, again!)

Do visit Jz’s blog here to find the rest of the participants in the 2013 Cookie Exchange!

Mexican Wedding Cookies

Mexican wedding cookies

1 cup CRISCO® Butter Shortening
2 cups powdered sugar, divided
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 cups All Purpose Flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/8 teaspoon salt
2 cups finely chopped walnuts

Directions:

Heat oven to 350 degrees F.
Combine shortening, 1 cup powdered sugar and vanilla in bowl of electric mixer; beat on medium speed until well blended.
Combine flour, baking soda and salt in medium bowl. Add to creamed mixture; mix well. Stir in walnuts; mix well. Roll dough into walnut-size balls; place on ungreased baking sheets.

nilla notes: I usually put 12 on a sheet but these don’t spread that much. I also use a cookie baller-tool to make them *fast*. Scoop the dough with the ball-thingy…I make a pile of them first, then roll them all between my hands to round them out, then, plop on cookie sheet. You can get really fast at it this way and prep several sheets, though I only bake one sheet of any cookie at a time. As I recall {haven’t made them yet this year– I’ve been waiting to do my cooking until I saw Jz’s list!} they don’t stick but if you’re worried about that you can line the pan with non-stick foil, parchment paper, or one of those sil-pat baking sheets.
Bake 15 minutes or until edges begin to brown slightly. Cool on baking sheets until cool enough to handle, but still warm. (This  step is important!) While still warm, roll the balls (and who doesn’t like a little ball-rolling, right?!)  in remaining 1 cup powdered sugar; place on cooling racks to cool completely. (if you put the powdered sugar in a gallon-sized food storage bag, it dramatically cuts down the mess!)

PREP
20 mins
COOK
15 mins
READY IN
35 mins

Warning–if you plan to give these away, don’t eat one.

You can’t just eat one.

(I should know)

And now for Master’s required HNT…(how I wished I’d made cookies…I think you know where I was going to go with that…!) Since I offered up one of my favorite cookie recipes to you all, I also offered up a little sumthin’-sumthin’ to Master last week.

offeringHappy Cookie Baking and Happy HNT