Noël Balls – Cover to Cover with The Bitten Word

Noël Balls-Magical balls of melt in your mouth shortbread cookie surrounded by powdered sugar snow. Messy, but oh-so-delicious! #ChristmasBaking #ChristmasCookies #NoelBalls

Noël Balls -Magical balls of melt in your mouth shortbread cookie surrounded by powdered sugar snow. Messy, but oh-so-delicious!

The Cover to Cover Challenge

Recently I started going through some older posts of mine and I found the Celery Salad  with Dates, Almonds, and Parmesan post that I wrote as part of the ‘Cover to Cover’ blog event hosted by The Bitten Word. Myself, and many other participants made every single recipe from the September 2013 Bon Appétit issue and reported our adventures back to Clay and Zach. My family certainly aren’t big fans of celery. I can honestly say we stepped out of our  ‘box’ and actually enjoyed the salad.

Noël Balls-Magical balls of melt in your mouth shortbread cookie surrounded by powdered sugar snow. Messy, but oh-so-delicious! #ChristmasBaking #ChristmasCookies #NoelBalls

Cover to Cover Noel Edition

I was just beginning to wonder if the lads were going to host another ‘Cover to Cover’ event. So I decided to check their blog and BINGO! They were asking for participants to cook 25 different holiday cookie recipes from six different magazines. This included the December 2014 issue of Food & Wine magazine. I responded right away without even though I still had some much to do before Christmas. Over the next couple of days I thought maybe I had spread myself too thin. What if the cookie I was assigned wasn’t ‘a keeper’ on our Christmas goodie tray? Would I have wasted precious baking time for nothing?

Noël Balls-Magical balls of melt in your mouth shortbread cookie surrounded by powdered sugar snow. Messy, but oh-so-delicious! #ChristmasBaking #ChristmasCookies #NoelBalls

My 2014 Cover to Cover Assignment

Assignments were emailed out and upon first glance of the Noël Balls recipe I was not really excited. The funny thing was that they also contained dates, just like the celery salad. The recipe also appeared to contain an excessive amount of icing sugar. With the dates and sugar involved I was expecting the cookies to be intolerably sweet.

Well I’m pleased to say I was wrong on all accounts. These cookies have a great buttery sweet flavour and superb texture. I was super impressed with how they turned out. They will surely be a big hit on our holiday goodie platter.

Noël Balls-Magical balls of melt in your mouth shortbread cookie surrounded by powdered sugar snow. Messy, but oh-so-delicious! #ChristmasBaking #ChristmasCookies #NoelBalls

Pin it HERENoël Balls-Magical balls of melt in your mouth shortbread cookie surrounded by powdered sugar snow. Messy, but oh-so-delicious! #ChristmasBaking #ChristmasCookies #NoelBalls

Other Merry posts from Dish ‘n’ the Kitchen

Homemade S’mores

Smoked Salmon and Caper Arancini

Noël Balls

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Noël Balls

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Magical balls of melt in your mouth shortbread cookie surrounded by powdered sugar snow. Messy, but oh-so-delicious!
  • Difficulty:Easy
  • Prep Time:35 mins
  • Cook Time:15 mins
  • Serves:20
  • Freezable:Yes

Nutrition per portion

Ingredients
  • 1 1/4 cups pecan halves
  • 2 1/3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped plump Medjool dates
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 2 sticks unsalted butter; softened
  • 3 3/4 cups confectioners’ sugar (This is the only change I would make to the recipe. 2 3/4 cups of confectioner’s sugar would be more than enough to get the job done)
  • 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
Method
  1. In a food processor, pulse the pecans until finely ground.
  2. In a medium bowl, whisk the ground pecans with the flour, dates and salt.
  3. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle, combine the butter with ¾ cup of the confectioners’ sugar and the vanilla and beat at medium speed until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes.
  4. Add the flour mixture and beat at low speed until just combined.
  5. Preheat the oven to 350°. Line 2 large rimmed baking sheets with parchment paper.
  6. Spread the remaining 3 cups of confectioners’ sugar in a large pie pan.
  7. Working in 3 batches, using a 1-ounce ice cream scoop or a tablespoon, scoop the dough into 1-inch balls.
  8. Arrange the balls on the prepared sheets at least 1 inch apart.
  9. Bake the cookies for 15 minutes, until lightly browned on the bottom; rotate the baking sheets from top to bottom and front to back halfway through baking.
  10. Let the cookies cool for 5 minutes on the baking sheet, then roll them in the confectioners’ sugar until completely coated.
  11. Let cool completely, then roll again in the confectioners’ sugar.
  12. Place balls on Christmas cookie platter and enjoy!