December 6, 2016

It's Not Christmas Without Nutty Fingers!

Have you been to any Christmas parties yet?

I attended one last weekend, and although I didn't get the time to make nutty fingers, I hope to take them for the next party.  I shared this recipe four years ago, but the moment we flip the calendar to December, I start thinking about these cookies.

Nutty fingers have been a part of Christmas as long as I can remember. When the large red cookie tin with the clipper ship on the lid appeared on the side counter, every member of my family knew what was inside. It didn't take long before someone eased over and popped open the lid.  The sound is unmistakable.  Anyone within earshot flocked to the tin,  fingers itching to sample this years' batch.  Before you knew it, you'd eaten six or seven or a dozen.

Some of you may take one look at this recipe and decide to not bother because it will look like a wedding cookies recipe. That would be a BIG mistake.  If you follow the tips I list below, the nutty fingers will come out light and melt-in-your mouth.  If you ignore these tips, the disappointing result will be hard, heavy wedding cookies.

You choose.

Essential Tips
1. Don't refrigerate the dough. Your cookies will become dense.  Don't refrigerate!
2. Use a metal cookie tube without a tip. This helps you deliver the perfect quantity and consistency of dough for each cookie.
3. Keep blending after the dough is mixed.  This was where I messed up for several years (and had to get my mother's help to figure out the problem).  When combining the ingredients (step #2 in the recipe) in the mixer, you want to keep mixing until the dough has a smooth, butter-like texture. This will take several minutes The dough should have enough consistency to not run out of the cookie tube but smooth enough that it slides easily from the tube when you press the plunger.

Enjoy!


Nutty Fingers

Ingredients
2/3 cup butter, softened
1 cup flour
3 T sugar  (to triple recipe, 9T = 2/3 cup)
1 cup chopped pecans
1 tsp vanilla

Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 325 o
  2. Combine ingredients, cream in mixer until smooth and butter-like consistency
  3. Separate into cookies:
    • Use a cookie tube without a tip
    • Dispense onto cookie sheet, separating into 1 1/2 - 2 inch lengths with a knife
  4.  Bake for 20 minutes
  5. Cool on wire rack
  6. Roll in confectioner’s sugar
  7. Store in air-tight container with wax paper between levels
Warning, these cookies are addictive if made properly.  Watch them disappear.

Merry Christmas!


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