Be wise. Be brave. Be tricky. (slithytove) wrote,
Be wise. Be brave. Be tricky.

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Pecan Crescents

Meeting of The Nameless, my local crit group, yesterday, in pointoforigin's secret lair. mroctober, oracne, and filomancer in attendance. A short story of mine and a novella by filomancer were subjected to the sizzling energies of five mighty brains critiqued. filomancer's novella is really good. The last time it came up for crits, mroctober joked that he was going to join SFWA just so he could nominate it for a Nebula. At least, I think he was joking. (Isn't he a member already?) But I've been having the same thought, and I'm not joking. It's really good. Even if you don't like dialect stories. The title is "Pelago," stress on the first syllable. I predict that when the novel, of which "Pelago" is an extract, is finally published, the sf world will be turned upside down and shaken until stuff falls out of its pockets.

I brought cookies. Because I'm running out of new cookie recipes to bring to Nameless gatherings, I blew the dust off this one, which I haven't made for thirty years. The card in my recipe file is titled 'Linda Swetlow Meade's Pecan Crescents'. Linda was a college friend of my ex-wife (my pre-wife, at that time) in the mid-1970s. Haven't talked to her in 30 years, either. Just googled her, and can't find anything. Linda, Linda, where are you now?
----- Exported by Krecipes v1.0-beta1 [Meal-Master Export Format] -----

      Title: Pecan Crescents
 Categories: Desserts, Cookies
   Servings: Serves 1 smallish crit group

    0.5 lb butter
      5 tb Granulated sugar
      2 t  vanilla
      1 tb water
      2 c  flour; sifted
    0.5 t  salt
      1 c  pecans; finely chopped
      1 c  powdered sugar; to coat

 Cream butter until light, with granulated sugar. Blend in vanilla and water.
 Add flour and salt. Mix in pecans.
 Shape into crescents, about a tablespoon per cookie. Cover baking sheets with
 aluminum foil. Bake at 350 degrees. Check after 10 minutes. Cool on rack. When
 cool, roll in powdered sugar.

Notes: This is basically a crisp, delicate-textured shortbread cookie flavored with nuts and vanilla. There are many minor variations on this recipe, often called 'wedding cookies' of some sort: 'Mexican Wedding Cookies', 'Italian Wedding Cookies', and so on. Also called 'Russian Teacakes', and 'butterballs', when shaped as a ball rather than a crescent. Other nuts, such as almonds, may be substituted for the pecans, which are, of course, an American thing.

One nice thing: they don't burn easily, and unlike many other cookie recipes, are forgiving if you leave them in the oven a minute or two too long.

The cookies are very rich, and the oils tend to soak into powdered sugar after a few hours. If you are giving them to friends, wait to roll them in the sugar just before you give them away, or re-roll them after a few hours.

I don't know where they originally come from, although I've run across a couple of comments linking them to Eastern Europe. Linda's ancestors were from Hungary, IIRC, so maybe there's some truth there.

Note all the supposed exotic place names of origin. People are always seeking validation, aren't they? I think it's related to the practice of urban legend emailers to attribute the legends they circulate to government officials or people with academic titles.

I'm going to start calling these Tibetan Dragon Tarts, and see if they taste better.

cross-posted to cooking
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