Nuts – LA

Posted on December 3, 2012


2012-11-29 00.25.172012-11-29 00.24.55It’s usually hard to get in the holiday spirit in lala land.  Lately, it’s been chilly, rainy and downright gloomy, and I’m loving it.  I’m pretending it’s winter in a place that rarely slips below 50 degrees, even at night.

A nontraditional, yet spectacular Thanksgiving spent in Joshua tree helped to set the mood with crisp, biting-cold evenings.  I’m already planning for some cold-weather cooking to match our cloudy skies–lasagna, sunday gravy, latkes, whole wheat bread, lentil soup and of course, tons and tons of holiday cookies.

We’re in prime citrus season, so I love the Meyer lemon twist on these classic snowball cookies.  There is something savory about them, and they are the perfect accompaniment to tea.  Please note that these cookies are akin to pecan sandies, so their texture should be buttery and dry like shortbread.

Meyer Lemon Snowballs

Adapted from Desserts for Breakfast.  Makes two to three dozen cookies depending on the size of the snowballs.  Store in a dry container with a lid.  

  • 2 cups of pecans
  • 2 1/2 cups of flour
  • dash of salt
  • 2 tablespoons of Meyer lemon zest (about 3 small lemons)
  • 1/2 cup of sugar
  • 3/4 cup of cold butter, cut into cubes
  • 3 tablespoons of freshly squeezed Meyer lemon juice
  • confectioners’ sugar

1. Preheat oven for 300 degrees, and line baking sheets with parchment paper.

2.  In a food processor, pulse flour, salt and pecans until fine.  In a small bowl, massage lemon zest into the sugar.  Add to the flour mixture and pulse until combined.

3. Add butter to the food processor and pulse until the butter is the size of peas.  Add the lemon juice a tablespoon at a time and pulse until dough forms and sticks together.

4.  Scoop about a tablespoon of cookie dough and roll with your hands into balls.  Space about an inch apart on the cookie sheet.

5.  Bake the cookies for about 45 minutes until golden brown, rotating them halfway through.

6. Cool on a rack.  After about 10 minutes, roll cookies into confectioners’ sugar.  Let them cool completely and roll again in the confectioners’ sugar.