Yes, I realize Christmas is over! It's just with all of the holiday hoopla, I wasn't able to carve out any baking time! My mom and brother were in town for the holidays, we drove up to Lake Arrowhead to join the rest of the clan for Christmas, then my husband surprised me with an anniversary tryst down to beautiful Temecula, California for wine tasting and marathon eating! So Christmas Cookies will aptly be renamed New Year's Cookies!
Most people have never heard of Cocoons. I think it may have been a name made up by one of my Maw-maw's great aunts and passed down through the Fontaine family for generations. Making cocoons with my Maw-maw and my mom is one of my favorite childhood memories; the three of us in the kitchen, pine scents wafting in from the christmas tree, the perpetual pot of coffee brewing and cocoons baking to perfection. A splendid blend of holiday smells.
So, here's the big family secret: cocoons are in fact, russian tea cakes, shaped like little cocoons. The recipe is the same!
|The Fontaine Family Cocoons|
So let's get to it!
2 sticks of butter
2 teaspoons of vanilla
1/2 cup of powdered sugar
2-3 cups of powdered sugar for coating
2 1/4 cups of flour
1/4 teaspoon of salt
1 1/2 cups of crushed pecans
First start with softened butter. Put butter in the mixer and cream, slowing adding the vanilla. Slowly mix in the powered sugar, then the sifted flour and salt, then fold in the pecans. Preheat your oven to 325 degrees. Form dough into little cocoons, roughly an inch long and place onto cookie sheet. Bake for about 15-20 minutes. If you let them get to golden brown, they'll be overcooked, so keep a close eye on them! When cookies are done, as my mom and maw-maw used to do, take a brown paper lunch bag and fill, a third of the way with powdered sugar, place in paper bag, in small batches, fold the bag closed and shake (this is the part where the kids can help!) Tip: Tossing cookies in the powered sugar while still warm allows the sugar to stick better! Enjoy!
What is your family's Christmas cookie tradition?