St. Nick Nutter Butter Cookies

St. Nick Nutter Butter Cookies 
December 6:
Feast Day of St. Nicholas

Islander participates in some cookie exchanges during this time of the year. She enjoys getting new ideas and potential blog recipes at these unique holiday gatherings. One cute cookie that caught her eye was the Santa Claus creation made out of peanut butter sandwich cookies, melted white chocolate, red candies and coconut flakes. Although they are a little time consuming to assemble, they are a fun project to do with the help from little elves/kids! Make St. Nick Nutter Butters for Christmas cookie exchanges, seasonal parties and especially for the Feast Day of St. Nicholas.

Recipe

(Inspired by Internet Images)

Ingredients

  • 1 package of Nutter Butter cookies
  • white chocolate chips or white confectioner’s candy melts
  • red confectioner’s candy melts
  • red sugar crystals (optional)
  • coconut flakes (for the beard)
  • white tube frosting
  • red tube frosting
  • mini chocolate chips (for the eyes)
  • red round candy (M&Ms or Red Hots) (for the nose)

Directions

Line a cookie sheet with wax paper. Melt the white chocolate according to the package directions (microwave or double boiler). Dip one end of the Nutter Butter cookie into the melted white chocolate. Lay on the prepared cookie sheet. Before the chocolate hardens, sprinkle some coconut flakes to make the beard. Continue dipping the rest of the cookies and making the beards. Allow the chocolate to cool and harden.

St. Nick Nutter Butter Cookies

Melt the red candy according to the package directions (microwave or double boiler). Dip the other end of the Nutter Butter cookie into the melted red candy, being careful not to get coconut flakes into the dipping bowl. Lay on the prepared cookie sheet. Before the candy hardens, sprinkle some red sugar to give texture to the hat (optional). Continue dipping the rest of the cookies and making the hats. Allow the candy to cool and harden.

St. Nick Nutter Butter Cookies

Use red frosting to adhere a red round candy as the nose. Use a star tip on the white tube frosting to add the “snowball” and a small round tip to draw the white fur detail on the hat. Use a little bit of frosting to adhere the mini chocolate chips for the eyes. Allow the frosting to set before arranging the finished cookies on a decorative platter.

St. Nick Nutter Butter Cookies

Notes

  • A variation in the process of making the Santa hat is by dipping the other end of the Nutter Butter cookie in white instead of red candy melts and sprinkling the red sugar crystals halfway on top of it to have the white fur border.
  • Others attach a mini-marshmallow or white chocolate chip for the Santa hat “snowball” instead of using white frosting and a star tip.
  • Try the traditional St. Nikolaas Koekjes recipe for the Feast Day of St. Nicholas.
  • Search our blog for other Santa Claus/St. Nicholas and Christmas-inspired recipes.

Pfefferneuse

Pfefferneuse

December 23: National Pfefferneuse Day

We had blogged about Mexican wedding cookies before and wanted to try the similar-looking powdery pfefferneuse cookies. Both look like little snowballs but the latter is uniquely spiced with pepper and anise and has a softer texture.

Pfefferneuse means “pepper nuts” in German, Danish and Dutch. They are traditionally served around the Feast Day of St. Nicholas (December 6) and throughout the Advent season. When we entertain guests, we put pfefferneuse on a platter with St. Nikolaas Koekjes, fruitcake cookies and white chocolate candy cane drops to offer everyone a variety of Christmas confections.

Add this recipe to your ritual of holiday baking to celebrate winter and National Pfefferneuse Day!

Recipe

(Adapted from Cooking Light)

Ingredients

  • 1 cup flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon white pepper
  • ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • ½ teaspoon groung nutmeg
  • ¼ teaspoon ground cloves
  • ¼ cup (½ stick) butter, softened
  • ¼ cup sugar
  • 1 egg
  • ¼ cup milk
  • ½ teaspoon lemon peel, grated
  • ¼ cup walnuts, chopped (we used walnut chips)
  • ½ teaspoon anise seed
  • powdered sugar

Directions

In a bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, salt, white pepper, cinnamon, nutmeg and cloves. Set aside. In a mixer or another bowl, cream the butter with the sugar. Beat in the egg. Stir in the milk until smooth.

Pfefferneuse

Add the grated lemon peel. Gradually add the flour mixture and blend well. Fold in the walnuts and anise seed.

Pfefferneuse

Roll into one-inch balls. Place about two-inches apart on a lightly greased baking sheet lined with foil. Bake in a preheated oven at 350 degrees F for 15 minutes. Remove from the oven and cool slightly on wire racks. While still warm, roll the cookies in powdered sugar. Yield: Approximately 3 dozen.

Pfefferneuse

Notes

  • Pfefferneuse is also spelled as pfeffernüsse (German) and known as pebernødder (Danish) and pepernoten (Dutch).
  • Search our blog for other cookie recipes.

Mexican Wedding Cookies

Mexican Wedding Cookies

December 4: National Cookie Day

As marriage sponsors at our church in South Texas, we frequently work with engaged couples who are of Latino descent. At our FOCCUS sessions, we serve “symbolic” snacks—Mexican wedding cookies/cakes. The bizcochitos para bodas are tiny treats that represent fertility (nuts) and a sweet married life (powdered sugar). Not only are the cookies appropriate for wedding-related gatherings but also for upcoming holiday socials and National Cookie Day!

Recipe

(Adapted from “Viva el Amor: The Latino Wedding Planner”)

Ingredients

  • 1 cup (2 sticks) butter, softened (we used a local mantequilla)
  • ½ cup powdered sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla (we used Mexican vainilla)
  • 2 cups flour
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 2 cups finely chopped nuts (we used pecans, which grow abundantly in our area)
  • 1-2 cups powdered sugar (for the final coating)

Directions

In a mixer or large mixing bowl, cream the butter with the sugar. Add the vanilla. Gradually stir in the flour with the salt until the cookie dough is smooth. Mix in the nuts until well incorporated. Shape into a large ball, cover and refrigerate for 30 minutes.

Mexican Wedding Cookies

Pinch out 1- 1 ½-inch size balls and place on a lightly greased cookie sheet. Bake in a preheated oven at 350 degrees F for 15 minutes, being careful not to brown the cookies. Remove from the oven and gently roll in powdered sugar. Let the cookies cool and harden on a wire rack. Roll again gently in powdered sugar.

Mexican Wedding Cookies

Notes

  • Mexican wedding cookies/cakes are also known as Russian tea cakes, butterballs, meltaways and snowdrops.
  • Some Mexican wedding cookies/cake recipes call for ground nuts but we prefer ours packed with pecan pieces for a more substantial sweet treat.
  • The cookies are quite crumbly and delicate when hot out of the oven. Be patient and let them cool and harden.
  • Place them in mini white or pastel paper cups or on pretty platters, dessert stands or tiers and serve them at bridal showers, bachelor/bachelorette parties, rehearsal dinners and at the wedding itself. Or package the cookies creatively as festive favors.
  • We sometimes sprinkle white edible glitter on top of the cookies to give them an extra sparkle for special occasions.
  • The gold coin box in the photo above has 13 coins to represent Jesus and His 12 apostles. Las arras (earnest money) symbolizes that the newlyweds vow to share their worldly goods with each other for richer or poorer. We incorporated this tradition in our own multicultural wedding ceremony in 1996. Learn more about Latino wedding customs from “Viva el Amor: The Latino Wedding Planner.”