Pecan Puffball Cookies

Say hello to your perfect Christmas Eve cookies! If you didn’t get around to baking yet, or you did but all the cookies are mostly gone already (ahem) and you need a great Christmas Eve cookie to bake today, these are them. These cookies have so many different names I can never keep it straight. I just call them puffballs because that’s exactly what they look like. And taste like. They are just literally little puffballs that melt in your mouth. They are so so good. They’ve always been my absolute favorite. They’re completely addicting! And since they’re basically bite size, it’s so hard to not just keep popping them in your mouth. They’re also easy to make and really pretty quick– perfect for some last minute baking just to get the festive air going in your house for Christmas Eve but not actually spend all day slaving away in the kitchen.

Pecan Puffball Cookies

For a long time I kept trying all these different recipes for these cookies trying to make them exactly right and as best as they possibly could be. Then I finally remembered that I actually have a recipe written down from my aunt years ago. She always made great ones every year for Christmas and I think they were actually the ones I had in my mind as the example of the perfect pecan puffballs and I had just totally forgotten. This is now my new tried and true recipe and there is no reason to try any others. I also like that this recipe makes a large enough batch that they’re not gone in the first few minutes after making them. They lasted like two whole days in my house. I had all intentions of bringing some of these to people as little gifts and treats for Christmas since I had a couple of parties and dinners to go to, but my husband ended up eating literally all of them before I brought any anywhere! I’m just glad I found a treat he loves because usually he claims to not be into sweets which is just not something I can comprehend.Pecan Puffballs

So fluffy!

Definitely making these again though before this holiday season is over. I like that they are so festive and cute too because they work perfectly for New Years Eve as well as Christmas is my opinion. I don’t refer to these as Christmas cookies, they are just perfect celebration cookies in general.

:Pecan Puffballs:

INGREDIENTS

1 cup butter

4 tablespoons sugar

2 teaspoons vanilla

2 cups pecans

2 cups flour

1 cup confectioners sugar

ASSEMBLY

Heat oven to 300. Beat butter until soft. Add sugar and keep beating until creamy. Add vanilla.

Grind nuts in food processor until they are the consistency of sand. You want them totally tiny and ground up, but stop before you turn it into a nut butter. Add to butter. Add flour, and mix until both are thoroughly combined.

Roll into small balls, about an inch in diameter, and place onto parchment lined baking sheets. They expand a little but not much, so just leave a little space around each one. Bake for 30 minutes or until just beginning to brown. Let cool for only a minute or two, just so they’re cool enough to handle.

Pour confectioners sugar onto a plate and roll warm cookies in it until thoroughly coated. Let cool completely and sprinkle with another layer of confectioners sugar. The first layer will absorb into the cookies a bit, but the second layer will sit on top and make them look like little snowballs.

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Chocolate Chip Muffins

I’ve been craving chocolate cake and all kinds of cupcakes lately, and trying really hard not to eat them too much. I have to admit, while I like muffins and they are always good in their own right for certain situations, they are still always just muffins. A muffin is like a cupcake’s annoying little brother. Until these ones. These ones have chocolate chips in them and are so light and fluffy and delicious. And have chocolate chips in them. Need I say more?Chocolate Chip Muffin

These are a perfect morning treat with a cup of coffee, or an afternoon pick me up. They’re best after being reheated in the toaster oven for a few minutes to warm them through right before eating. I may have also turned them into complete dessert by sticking one in a mug and cutting an X in the top and sticking more chocolate inside (or a whole Trader Joe’s chocolate peanut butter cup) and then microwaving it for a few seconds. Yum. I may have had multiple ones of these for the last few days in a row. I wonder if three chocolate chip muffins in one day is really better than eating a cupcake? Somehow I worry it may not be…Chocolate Chip Muffins

This recipe is from Little Sweet Baker and I did not alter it at all when I made these. I may play around with it a bit just to see what else can be done with these, but for now her recipe is quite perfect for a wonderful, fluffy chocolate chip muffin.

:Chocolate Chip Muffins:

INGREDIENTS

2 & 1/2 cups all-purpose flour

1 tablespoon baking powder

1 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/2 cup unsalted butter, melted and cooled

1 cup granulated sugar

2 large eggs

1 cup milk

1 tablespoon vanilla

1 1/2 cups chocolate chips

ASSEMBLY

Preheat oven to 425°F and spray a 12 cup muffin tray with non-stick cooking spray.

Mix the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt and chocolate chips in a large bowl.

Whisk together melted butter, sugar, eggs, milk and vanilla and then add it to the dry ingredients. Gently fold together until JUST combined.

Pour into muffin cups (it will fill them all right to the top) and bake at 425°F for 5 minutes, then turn the oven down to 375°F and bake for another 13 minutes. Let cool for about 5-10 minutes but take them out of the pan before they have completely cooled so they don’t stick.

Recipe from Little Sweet Baker

Chocolate Chip Muffin

I had to mutilate one so you could see how chocolatey and delicious it is on the inside!