Pecan Dainties (Mexican Wedding Cookies) "Uncle Erk's favorite Christmas cookie" Joe Touch Every Christmas, my family makes several kinds of cookies to give to our friends and family. The cookies are set on a plate, sprinkled with a dose of holiday-colored Hershey Kisses, and wrapped in clear plastic wrap, laid flat under the plate and gathered up by a bow on top. Curly-ribbon is used for the knot and bow. This kind of cookie is my Uncle Erk's favorite, so we usually made a separate batch just for him, set in a holiday box. My sister, Suzanne, often made this batch. I hope you like them! Ingredients: 1 cup soft butter (usually one stick each of butter and (2 sticks) margarine; microwaved is OK, but not hot) 1/2 cup sugar 2 cups flour (sifted) 1 teaspoon vanilla 1 tablespoon water (cold, otherwise the flour lumps) 2 cups pecans, chopped (pre-chopped or by hand, NOT blender'd) 1 lb powdered sugar (for 'dusting' cookies in after they're cooked) Cream butter and sugar until (you can't whip it too long; the longer the light. better!) Add remaining ingredients, (nuts last, otherwise they get smashed) EXCEPT powdered sugar, and mix well. Chill until firm. (overnight in the fridge; hours in the freezer if in a rush - DO NOT SKIP THIS STEP!! - cold batter is the key to 'high' cookies; warm batter melts and spreads out before it cooks and firms) Shape into 3/4" balls. Bake at 325, about 15 minutes. (check bottoms - don't let it burn there the tops will NOT look very well cooked but that's OK) Roll in powdered sugar (works to roll when they're room-temp too, while warm (NOT hot) but not when cold we always roll them twice, letting them 'rest' 10-15 minutes in between) Dry/cool on rack (don't pack too soon - the moisture helps the sugar stick, but makes them gummy if packed before drying) Makes 6-8 dozen (about one mixing-bowl full after cooked) They freeze well, layered one-deep between waxed paper.
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