Wednesday, January 23, 2013


Last week it snowed here.  For those who live where it normally snows, our little 1 inch dusting wouldn’t be a big deal.  For those who live in the deep south and are accustomed to snow being a rarity, understand just how excited we were! 

The bad thing (or good thing, depending on how you look at the situation!) is that snow around here rarely lasts more than a day.  Such was the case Thursday.  By the time we played in it, came in, got warm and dry, and went back out, it was starting to melt and turning into a muddy mess!  My children were pretty distraught.  So I decided since I had to make cookies for a funeral at church the next day, I would include the kids and we would make snowballs!  Of course until we dipped the first tray of them into the powdered sugar, my kids kept saying “These don’t look like snowballs!”  But then after the first dipping, they nodded their heads and said (quite emphatically!), “Snowballs!”  And so we ended our snow day with getting “snow” (powdered sugar) all over our kitchen while making snowballs.  Of course, these tasted a bit better than the real ones. 

Here’s the recipe.  It’s from Land O’ Lakes and I later discovered my mom’s recipe is the
same except hers calls for ¼ cup powdered sugar in the cookies instead of granulated
2 cups all-purpose flour
2 cups finely chopped pecans
1/4 cup sugar
1 cup butter, softened
1 teaspoon vanilla
Powdered sugar

Heat oven to 325°F. Beat the butter and sugar, add the flour and mix until combined.  Mix in the pecans.  Shape dough into 1-inch balls. Place 1 inch apart onto ungreased cookie sheets. Bake 18-25 minutes or until very lightly browned. Cool 5 minutes; roll in powdered sugar while still warm and again when cool.

J's hands helping!

A's hands helping!

Beignets (Cook's Country)

finished product

Cutting them out

I have never tried making beignets. I admit that I've been afraid of them. I don't have a problem making yeast breads but beignets seem so...well, difficult! Also, I figured I couldn't possibly do them for breakfast...yeast stuff takes so long! 

Then I received my Cook's Country magazine the other day with beignets on the cover.  I immediately turned to the recipe and looked at the ingredients and realized I had everything in the house to make them.  I even had a reason to make them (a friend came over for supper and I know I can always try new stuff on her)!  I just couldn't do it. 

So this morning I was up at 4:30 and while I was working in the kitchen, I realized I would have time to make them to go with Austin's breakfast!  Then I discovered I only had ingredients for half a batch which turned out to be perfect for us!  Especially since I burned a few at first.

I’m a tea drinker but I admit to making myself a cup of cafĂ© au late this morning to go with these!  It just felt right.

I'm sorry I don't have a picture to prove I made them.  I can promise you they were ugly but they were so light and airy—simply perfect!  They were gone pretty quickly since my girls woke up early this morning.  So, no time to snap a picture.  I'll try to next time I make them.

The dough is pretty sticky so be sure to flour your rolling surface well.  Also, don’t drain on paper towels, simply put a cake wire rack over a cookie sheet!

1 cup warm water (about 110 degrees)
3 tablespoons sugar
1 tablespoon instant or rapid rise yeast (you'll need two packets--one is almost enough but not quite)
2 large eggs
2 tablespoons oil (more for frying in)

3 cups flour
3/4 teaspoon salt
Powdered sugar

Combine 1 tablespoon sugar, yeast, and water in bowl.  Stir and let sit for 5-10 minutes until foamy (it'll look like the yeast has risen to the top).  Whisk the eggs and oil into the yeast mixture.  Combine the flour, rest of the sugar, and salt in a separate bowl.  Add to the yeast and egg mixture and stir vigorously to combine.   Cover the bowl with plastic wrap (or a lid if the bowl has one).  Refrigerate 1 hour.

Remove the dough from the refrigerator.  Divide dough into two parts.  Pat into a rough rectangle on floured rolling surface.  Roll with a rolling pin to about ¼ inch thick.  Cut into 3 inch squares (I did them smaller and they lost their shape due to not having enough flour!) and fry in oil at 350 degrees (I just had my burner on medium) until golden, turn to cook other side. 

Remove to a wire rack that’s been placed over a cookie sheet.  Sprinkle with powdered sugar immediately.  Serve.

NOTE:  Admittedly we've discovered we prefer them with a simple cocoa, powdered sugar, milk icing.