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  • Finnish Pecan Balls

    Posted by Dan from Madison on February 6th, 2021 (All posts by )

    Winter has fully set in here in flyover country and we are in the midst of our first and hopefully only polar vortex of the season. This gives plenty of inside time, and time for me to dive into my grandmother’s recipe box.

    Today we have Finnish Pecan Balls. I have no idea why the are Finnish, and honestly didn’t know what I was getting into when I started this one. When they were finished I said to myself “oh thooooose” when I realized that these where the dry, crumbly, sugary, tasty things that were on every single Christmas cookie platter I had ever seen since I was a wee lad.

    1/2 lb. butter
    4 tbsp sugar
    2 cups pastry flour (I used regular flour and it worked just fine)
    1 tbsp vanilla
    2 cup pecans cut coarse (I used almonds as my spousal unit overbought and they turned out great)

    Cream butter and sugar. Add flour, vanilla and nuts. Roll in hands size of butter balls (I went around an inch to an inch and a half). Bake 15 to 20 minutes in hot oven (come on grandma). I went 18 minutes at 350. Roll in powdered sugar while hot. Makes 3 doz.

    I ended up with 29. Super easy and delicious. Have a napkin handy or eat over garbage can.


    8 Responses to “Finnish Pecan Balls”

    1. Clark Says:

      A “hot oven” would be 400-450. My grandmother used to talk this way: moderate oven, hot oven, etc. I always associate her with baking because her bread box was always stocked with fresh homemade white bread, coffee cake, and cinnamon rolls. Always. That lingo makes sense when I consider the wood burning oven she had at the lake cabin. It was tough to regulate the heat of that oven very precisely. But those cinnamon rolls were always incredibly good.

      I think I will now have to go make some. (I am the only one of her 14 grand children that learned from her how to make them.)

    2. Jonathan Says:

      Sounds great, Comrade. Now let us modernize the name of this pleasant confection to something more nonbinary and inclusive. I’m thinking: “Victory Over Trump’s White Supremacist False Election Narrative Balls”. Has a ring to it, no?

    3. Harpoon Says:

      I brought some of these (unfamiliar to me) cookies home from an event once. My husband was astonished, and said they were exactly like the cookies his mother made when he was a kid. We eventually found them in her old cookbook, called Russian Tea Cakes. I have served them to friends who identified them from their childhoods as Mexican Wedding Cakes. The recipe calls for walnuts, but I usually use almonds, too.

    4. MCS Says:

      Pecans are, like potatoes and tomatoes, another of the European appropriations from the New World. And do we even get any credit? Finnish indeed. I’ve even eaten pecan filled kringle, which is a double appropriation since it isn’t really Danish but not honestly New World either.

    5. Dan from Madison Says:

      @Jonathan – you are right, we probably shouldn’t be culturally appropriating the Finns here on ChicagoBoyz. Please take the appropriate amount out of my pay for the week thanks.

    6. Tatyana Says:

      Dan: wrong! When [deservedly!]admitting guilt, one should not revoke despicable [capitalist!] money as means of recompense. A proper attitude is to thank authorities for their wise guidance and to disarm in the face of the party.
      You better do your homework and re-educate yourself, time is running out.

      Pastry flour will still be better suited – next time try it instead. It’s lighter and finer, you’ll get better adherence, smoother batter and probably full 3 dozen of cookies.

      I suspect the original recipe, if really coming from some local Finns (or Russians), would have walnuts, not pecans.

    7. Dan from Madison Says:

      @Tatyana – I have already received proper re-education procedures from the ChicagoBoyz HR department and yes you were correct. And good tip on the pastry flour thanks.

    8. Tatyana Says:

      Unfortunately (to say the least), I feel I’ll soon become an expert on what to expect next from our self-appointed betters. Maybe I should squeeze a lemonade out of lemons, and start charging.
      (“next: a formal percentage quote of ever-multiplying ethnic group, race, gender, grievance victim. Obtain an official paper stating degrees of your victimhood in preparation”, &&&)

      Made breakfast mini-cakes yesterday, loosely modeled on Deb’s recipe, substituting about 90% of ingredients. Try it, it’s fun