Tangerine Pistachio Snowballs

Mexican Wedding cakes, Russian Tea Cakes, Snowballs………..whatever you call them, I’m sure you have made some version of them. There is something about these that just screams Christmas!!!!

Last week I made some chocolate chip snowballs. While I love chocolate, eh, they were just not my favorites. But these fruit zesty nutty ones……Mmm-m-m-m-mm, Soooooo good. I like to slightly under bake them. They are buttery, soft little morsels that just melt in your mouth. I make them smaller too so you can just pop em in your mouth. That way you can avoid the powdered sugar lips.

As I write this post, it is only 7:00 in the morning but I just had to pop one in my mouth. Soooooooooooo good. Ok, maybe one more.

Ok, gotta go pack some up in cute little tins to give as gifts.

Tangerine Pistachio Snowballs

1 cup butter, softened
1/2 cup powdered sugar + more for dusting
1/2 tsp vanilla
2 1/4 cup flour
3/4 cup chopped pistachios
zest of 2 tangerines (3 if they are really small) or you can use orange zest

Heat oven to 350. In a mixing bowl, mix together the butter and 1/2 cup powdered sugar. Add vanilla. Slowly mix in the flour and nuts. Dough may seem crumbly, but with your hands, smoosh it together. Roll into 1/2 inch balls, gently compressing together. Place them on a parchment lined baking sheet, about 1″ apart. Bake until set, but not brown, approx 8 – 9 minutes. Let them sit on the baking sheet for about 5 minutes and then while they are still a little warm, gently roll them in a bowl of powdered sugar. I always do a second roll in the sugar later. Don’t try to package them until they are completely cooled, otherwise all the powdered sugar will melt into the cookie which is not really a bad thing 🙂

makes about 80 little balls

Note: Any kind of nut really works with these. Or you could use dried fruits.

other flavors:

Crushed peppermint candies
lime zest and coconut
Orange zest and dried cranberries
lemon zest
You could roll the dough around 1 chocolate chip
substitute the vanilla extract with rum or bourbon

Bacon Cheese Ball……

It’s the season of baking and whipping up lots of holiday treats. You just gotta have a cheese ball of some kind during the holidays, right? I never really stray from my traditional family cheese ball, but this year I thought I would try something different. I have friends who are crazy bacon lovers, so this will be something they will get to enjoy. (you know who you are!)

Who doesn’t like bacon! Oh, and cheese! Holy crap this is a good cheese ball. You can of course be creative and add different things, but I seriously recommend you trying this recipe.

I rolled mine in nuts, but I bet it would be soooooooooo good to roll it in crispy bacon crumbs. I bet my bacon loving friend Carolyn is drooling right about now.

I also added some heat…..chopped serrano peppers. OHHHHHHH, hotsy totsy and yummy.

Get some good crackers, some good wine……you’re all set!

Bacon Cheeseball

2 blocks of softened cream cheese (8 oz blocks)
1 1/2 cups grated cheddar cheese
5 or 6 slices of cooked and crumbled bacon
3 green onions, sliced thin
2 tsp Ranch seasoning
3 cups chopped and roasted walnuts (you can use almonds or pecans too)
1 large serrano or jalapeno pepper, minced (optional)
1/2 cup crushed pineapple (drained well) dried cranberries would work well too, but it’s just as good without the fruit

In a large mixing bowl, mix together everything but the nuts. Shape into balls or a log. Carefully roll it in the nuts, covering the entire outside surface. Wrap in plastic wrap and chill for at least 2 hours to let all the flavors come together.