Bear with me a bit longer…The High Altitude Bakes Holiday Cookbook is coming soon, I promise. We are just ironing out the wrinkles. Soon you will be on your way to even more holiday baking at altitude!
In the meantime, I’ve been busy in my kitchen baking up some homemade gifts- jars of cranberry pomegranate jelly and lots of cookies. Christmas this year is quite exciting because I will get to celebrate with my family for the first time in three years. Working in a resort town will do that!
Yesterday evening it started to snow and it’s given our bare ground a nice fluffy blanket. It was a perfect evening in- I could see big snowflakes hitting the kitchen window while I baked. And the glow of the Christmas tree was magical. Even Benny thought so!
The first cookie dough on my to-do list was for Nutmeg Meltaways. My mom and I began making these years ago, out of a Taste of Home magazine. We use pecans instead of almonds, but nearly any ground nut would be delicious. They’re buttery, crunchy, and rolled in a nutmeg-scented powdered sugar. And they practically melt in your mouth. I think that given our recent weather, they are quite fitting, as they look like little snow-covered mounds.
The cookies can be baked ahead of time and frozen. Then when you are ready to serve them or gift them, simply roll the defrosted cookies in the powdered sugar mixture. The key to their tastiness is toasting the ground nuts. It really brings out their flavor.
Adapted from Taste of Home magazine
- 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
- ½ cup sugar
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- ¾ cup (3 oz) ground pecans, toasted
- 1 cup powdered sugar
- 1 tablespoon ground nutmeg
- In the bowl of an electric mixer, cream the butter and sugar until light and fluffy.
- Add the salt and vanilla.
- Beat in the flour and ground pecans until a dough forms.
- Wrap the dough in plastic and chill for 1-2 hours until firm enough to handle.
- Preheat your oven to 350 F.
- Roll the dough into 1" balls and place 2" apart on parchment-lined baking sheets.
- Bake for about 13-15 minutes, or until the edges are just slightly golden brown.
- Cool completely on wire racks.
- Combine the powdered sugar and ground nutmeg.
- Roll each cookie in the powdered sugar mixture.
- Makes about 2½ dozen cookies.
Note: While this recipe was adapted at high altitude, it should work fine at sea level.