I mentioned a few posts back that we have been thinking about ideas for traditions that we could start with Jane. Traditions have always been very important in my family, and Mark and I are so excited to create new ones. Recently, I saw on a blog post an idea that I fell in love with. The blogger and her family spend Christmas Eve baking cookies for Santa. Every person got to pick their favorite cookie to make for ole Saint Nick. I love the thought of a family filled kitchen!!
Even though we still have a few weeks until Christmas Eve arrives, I have been scrouing the web for cookie recipes that sound perfect for the occasion. After going through several "cookie of the day" options on Martha Stewart's website, I arrived at one for Pecan Sandies that sounded delicious and easy to prepare. Even more perfect, I currently have all of these ingredients in my fridge and pantry - and you probably do too. I love a recipe that is full of flavor but has basic, always-in-the-cupboard, ingredients. I think this might be my cookie choice for 2011!!
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature
1/2 cup packed light-brown sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup all-purpose flour (spooned and leveled)
1 cup pecans, coarsely chopped
Preheat oven to 350 degrees, with racks in upper and lower thirds. In a large bowl, using an electric mixer, beat butter and sugar until light and fluffy; beat in vanilla and salt. With mixer on low, gradually add flour, beating just until combined. Fold in pecans.
Roll dough into 1 1/2-inch balls, and place on two baking sheets, 2 inches apart. With the dampened bottom of a glass, lightly flatten each ball.
Bake until cookies are golden brown, 15 to 17 minutes, rotating sheets halfway through. Transfer to wire racks, and let cool.
Do you have any Christmas traditions that you love?