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Pecan Puffs

It's amazing what a little snow can do.  Today was the first real snow of the winter here in Northern Virginia.  By "real snow" I mean just a couple of inches.  It was enough, though -- enough to get a 2 hour early release from school for thousands of giddy kids and their even more ecstatic teachers. 

2 cups of pecans, from a highway pecan stand in Lamont, FL
When I arrived home today, I practically skipped with glee down my snowy sidewalk, filled with anticipation for holiday productivity.   The snow was just what I needed to get me in the holiday spirit.  As if a switch had magically been turned on within me, I instantly gathered butter, pecans and other baking necessities.  I lit a fire, plugged in the Christmas lights and turned on some festive tunes.  Recharged with optimism, I added four  tasks to my to do list for the day.

Finely ground pecans with 4 cute tablespoon-sized clumps of brown sugar

It's hard to imagine that just the day before I was sniffly, lethargic and nursing a cold on the couch.  Mindlessly surfing the television, I stopped to watched "Sarah's Holiday Party" on HGTV.  How had I not discovered this woman before? I was impressed and slightly envious of her gorgeous home, modern style, and seemingly endless amounts of time and money to prep for a fabulous holiday shindig.  That's beside the point... 

More to the point were these Pecan Puffs.  Sarah made them for her holiday party and I immediately decided I needed to make them ASAP. This vintage recipe combines some of my favorite ingredients: butter, pecans, and a heavy dusting of powdered sugar.  Need I say more?  Motivated by my snow-induced burst of energy, I immediately began prepping for my own batch of Pecan Puffs. 

These wintery puffs couldn't be easier to make. The ingredients are simple -- just butter, pecans, brown sugar, cake flour, and vanilla.  Even better, you can quickly whip up the batter in a food processor.  When you take them out of the oven you top them off with a thick dusting of snow, er, powdered sugar.  The sugar melts slightly into the warm cookie and helps to add a little sweetness.  Once the cookies have cooled, you  top them off with a fresh dusting of sugar.  

Let it snow, let it snow, let it snow!

You can get the recipe (and directions for her other holiday craftiness) on Sarah's facebook fan page.

(In the interest of full disclosure, I must admit that these cookies, sadly, didn't live up to my expectations.  I'm not sure what I expected, but they didn't quite hit the spot. Mine didn't turn out as puffy as Sarah's.  I knew the  cookies would be very crumbly and then instantly melt in my mouth.  However, I wasn't prepared for exactly how delicate they actually were.  The melt in my mouth was good...but the stick to the roof of my mouth wasn't as great.  Overall, the puffs are good and remind me of cookies I had eaten long ago. They're very close to a pecan sandy. On the upside, they have an heir of nostalgia about them and their powdery white tops certainly remind me of snowy holidays.)

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