Tuesday, March 29, 2011

TWD: Pecan Powder Puffs [Cut-Outs]



Today's TWD recipe was chosen by *me*! Thank you everyone for baking along with me this week. I hope you all enjoyed the cookies as much as I did.

I joined Tuesdays with Dorie about 2 years ago and have been baking along religiously. I think I have only missed 2 or 3 weeks during that whole time. As a result of this amazing group I have pushed myself to try recipes I would normally skip over and techniques which are foreign to me. It was a challenge to pick a recipe since we have already baked through so many of them. The name of these cookies reminds me of the Power Puff Girls - one of those Sailor Moon type cartoons that was popular with little girls a few years ago.



Sorry, just had to throw that in there.

Now onto the cookies! They are a lot like Mexican Wedding Cookies (made with almonds) but so much flakier and better. They just crumble and melt in your mouth - like the crumbliest of shortbreads or meltaway cookies.



I shaped these cookies 2 different ways: into little balls as the recipe instructs and also rolled and cut using spring-themed cookie cutters. The cut-outs were VERY delicate and I ended up breaking more than half of them while removing them from the baking tray. I brought them to work anyway with a little note that read, "Oops, I broke a bunch of these but they are still yummy!" and depite their not-so-perfect appearance, they were devoured in no time. One of my co-workers said, "I don't care WHAT they look like, they are delicious and I need the recipe." They are insanely crumbly, flaky and rich in flavor.

Pecan Powder Puffs
from Baking: from My Home to Yours

1 cup pecans
1/4 cup sugar
1 cup minus 1 tablespooon all purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
Pinch of ground cinnamon (optional)
1 stick unsalted butter at room temperature
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
Confectioner's sugar, sifted, for rolling

Put pecans and 1 tablespoon of sugar in food processor and process in very short pulses until the nuts are pulverized. Scrape the nuts into a bowl, add the flour, salt, and cinnamon (if you're using it), and whisk to combine.

Put the butter in the processor and process, scraping down the sides of the bowl as needed, until the butter is smooth and creamy. Add the remaining 3 tablespoons sugar and the vanilla and process for 30 seconds or so to blend. Pour in the pecan and flour mixture and, using short pulses, process only until it is worked into the dough. You want to process the dough as little as possible - the less you work the dough, the lighter and more appealing crumbly the cookies will be. Scrape the dough out of the bowl onto plastic wrap, gather it together and form it into a ball. Wrap and chill for at least 2 hours, or, for up to 2 days.

Getting ready to bake: Center rack in oven and preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line two baking sheets with parchment or silicone mats.

Remove dough from fridge. Using a small spoon break off marble-size pieces, then roll each piece of dough between your palms to form a smooth ball and place them on baking sheets; there's no need to leave much space between balls.

Bake the cookies one sheet at a time for 12 to 15 minutes, or until they are lightly golden and almost firm. Gently transfer them to a rack to cool to room temperature.

Just before serving, roll cookies in confectioner's sugar and toss them gently from hand to hand to shake off excess sugar.

33 comments:

Jules Someone said...

Thanks for hosting this week! I can't believe you tried cut outs with these. Good for you!

Valerie said...

Great pick!! I was pleasantly surprised by these.

Your cut-out versions are brilliant! :)

Becky said...

Thanks for a great pick! I loved these cookies. Pleasantly surprised as well!

Anne said...

I loved these and your cut outs are stunning, way to go! Thanks for the fun choice!

chocolatechic said...

I love these cookies.

Great pick.

Your cut outs are lovely.

Cakelaw said...

I am with you - these are all about the taste and they taste sensational! Thanks for choosing these this week.

Mary said...

Thank you for hosting this week. I love this cookie and never think to make them myself :).

Jessica said...

What a great pick - even though I had to skip this week (houseful of nut-avoiding houseguests - I didn't want to taunt them), these are some of my husband's favorite cookies, so I can't wait to try Dorie's recipe.

Yours look great - both ways!

Flourchild said...

Thank you for the great selection! My family and I love these cookies! I am amazed that you could use cut outs on this dough!! Great job!!

Jill said...

I wasn't sure what these were unti I dusted them with the powdered sugar, then I recognized them! Great pick.

Katrina said...

Great pick, Tia! I never thought you could roll this dough out for shaped cookies. Loved them. I made the cocoa version.

sarahe said...

thanks for the pick! these were great!

PheMom said...

You're an enabler. ;) I was doing a great job of ignoring this recipe up until now! LOVE them!

I laughed so hard when I was the power puff girls in your post because these cookies made me think of them too - and I love your cutouts! Very cool idea!

spike. said...

great pick! Love the power puff girls!

natalia said...

Ciao Tia ! You are right they are insanely good ! Too much !!

Jacque said...

Nice pick, and a fun post! I really liked these... a little TOO much.

cindy said...

This cookie is a delicious classic. What a great pick. I love to make treats out of 'season'. I have been dreaming of Dories All in One Holiday Bundt. There is no way I can wait till November to make it. It just might be dessert this Sunday!
Great pick from a great gal!

April said...

delicious pick. I ate way too many!

Peggy the Baker said...

These were great! And it was inspiring to see your cutouts--I'll have to give them a try sometime.

Peggy said...

What a fabulous pick. I am running late this week but I plan to make them because I love wedding cookies and they look so similar. You did a great job with the cutouts too.

scrambledhenfruit said...

This is a lot like a cookie my mom makes that everyone loves. We call them exploding cookies because they are so tender they just seem to melt in your mouth. I would have never thought to make cut-outs with them! They look great!

Jennifer said...

These were FABULOUS. I will make these again and again and again!

Nicole said...

Thanks for such a great choice! These were really good.

lola said...

Thanks for the great pick. Don't you know broken cookies have no calories!

Criollobylisa said...

Can't wait to try these! They're in the oven right now! Midnight snackin at it's best! I did walnuts too but was in such a hurry didn't read side notes, so I've got cinnamon in mine. Cool idea rollin em out!

Stephanie said...

This was such a great selection! I have been snacking on these cookies all day.

Joy said...

Thanks for the great pick! I can't believe you were able to make cut-outs with this recipe! They look cute - and they had to be one of the tastiest cut-outs ever!

jillbert said...

Thanks for the great pick! These are one of those classic cookies, but I had never made them before. These were fun to make, and they were delicious!

Lynne said...

Thanks for hosting-great pick with these melt-in-your-mouth cookies. Your cut-outs look delicious!

Nichi said...

I love your pick this week but I didn't have time to bake it yet. Hopefully I will have time this weekend cuz your photos look delicious!

steph- whisk/spoon said...

excellent choice! these are fantastic cookies, and i like what you did with the roll-outs

dorie said...

Beautiful! Beautiful! What a fabulous idea to roll the cookies and make cut-outs -- they're so lovely and yes, I bet they were hard to work with. The dough is delicate even when all you're doing is shaping it into a ball. Three cheers for you for being creative AND talented. I'm so glad you were happy with your pick.

Di said...

This was a great recipe. I didn't manage to get the original cookies posted (I did bake some of them), but I used some leftover dough for my ice cream tart shell this week. It was excellent.