Oh, hi! Yes, I am still blogging. Yes, I have a backlog of recipes and photos all clamoring to be posted. And no, I haven’t really been that busy. Well, actually, I was; I was a little crazy-busy this month frankly, but then Saturday, December 19 arrived and marked the beginning of a glorious two weeks off from work. Two whole weeks! For cooking and baking and going to the market every day for ingredients for dinner. For working my way through a pile of books and watching movies with Terwilliger and going for runs and taking the dog for walks.
I’m really quite sad that I’m already almost through my first week of freedom.
I’m also quite sad that T and I will not be seeing our families for the holidays this year. We’re staying in our own little house in SoCal, with the three pets who seem to whirl around in every room at once, and enjoying our first married Christmas together, as a two-person three-pet family. But I’ll miss baking dozens of cookies with my mom. And I’ll miss having homemade blackberry pie at Terwilliger’s parents’ house. And I’ll miss opening gifts with my parents, Christmas music in the background, A Christmas Story on the television on mute.
It is indeed different this year.
But Terwilliger and I have blue skies and sunshine and a two-foot tree in a glazed pot. And each other. And lots of giggling. And also, presents.
And these, my favorite Christmas cookies
1 cup butter, softened*
1/2 cup powdered sugar, sifted
1 tsp. vanilla
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup pecans, finely chopped
Extra powdered sugar
*If you’re using unsalted butter, I would encourage you to add 1/2 – 1 tsp. salt to the batter when you add the flour. I think these cookies need a little salt or they taste just the slightest bit anemic. Maybe you should just use salted butter. That’s probably what I’ll do next time.
Preheat oven to 350. In the bowl of an electric mixer or by hand, cream butter until smooth. Stir in powdered sugar and mix until combined, then add vanilla. Stir in flour, then mix in pecans.
Roll dough into skimpy 1-inch balls, then place on parchment-lined cookie sheet. Bake for 20 minutes, or until the bottoms are light golden.
Remove cookies to wire rack. When cool, roll in powdered sugar. (I just dump a scoop of powdered sugar on a plate, then roll the cookies on the plate.)
Happy holiday eating, everyone!