I thought it would be fun to share my recent artwork with you. I love to draw and use chalk pastels. They are so fun and forgiving with just a few tools. It’s also an inexpensive hobby.
This one was done for my dear friend Rhonda. She loves Flamingos! When we were in Aruba together she was on a mission. The Renaissance has a private island appropriately named, “Flamingo Island”. It’s a little island that you can see when coming into Aruba by plane. They escort you there by boat, if you are staying at the hotel. She was able to go with a mutual friend, mission accomplished. She loved it!!!
I try to make my gifts by hand for my friends and family. At this stage in my life I just think it’s more personal and memorable. The fact that I like to do it is an even bigger perk. I couldn’t wait to give it to her! I actually started writing this post before I was able to gift it to her. Anyway, it was a hit and she has another piece of artwork to hang in her home to remind her of our time.
I invited her to the house for lunch. At her request we had Chicken Caesar salads. I do have a killer recipe for Caesar dressing. Sadly, it remains a secret and will for a while. I am looking into bottling, and selling it. I will share her favorite cookie. She requests these at Christmas. I figured since we needed dessert, why not for her birthday?
We call them snowballs. They are also known as Russian Tea Cakes and Mexican Wedding Cookies. I think there are probably more names than there are recipes. I have had this one for years. I have no idea where it came from so I won’t take total credit for it. It’s a great tea cookie. It’s covered in snowy, powdered sugar and melts in your mouth. If you make them…..just don’t tell Rhonda! I hope you enjoy!
- 1 C, unsalted butter, softened
- 5 T sugar
- 2 t vanilla
- 1/4 t fine grey sea salt (you can also use Kosher)
- 2 C, all purpose flour (King Arthur is my choice)
- 2 C finely chopped, pecans or walnuts
- Confectioners / Powdered sugar for dusting
- In the bowl of a mixer, cream butter and sugar together until light and fluffy.
- Beat in the vanilla and salt.
- Gradually and slowly add the flour until all is combined.
- By hand, stir in the nuts and mix until fully incorporated.
- Divide the dough in half, wrap in plastic wrap and let it chill for at least one hour in the fridge.
- Line 2 baking sheets with parchment or a silpats.
- Using a 1 inch dough scoop, scoop dough making sure it is a level amount. Roll between the palms of your hand to form a ball.
- Place the dough balls on a baking sheet about 1 1/4 inch apart.
- Bake at 350 degrees, for 10-12 minutes (stove temps vary). The underside of the cookie should be lightly brown and not cracked.
- Cool on the cookie sheets for 2 minutes. Remove to wire racks but first roll gently into the powdered sugar while warm.
- Let them cool completely on the racks and before storing roll them again in powdered sugar.
- Store them in an airtight container for up to 4 weeks.
I hope everyone is staying safe and healthy in these uncertain times. May God Bless and Keep you all. I pray we get through this soon.
Until next time,