Monday, December 19, 2016

Rum nutmeg snowballs and handling cookie dough on a hot day

Rum nutmeg snowballs / Bolinhas de noz-moscada e rum

Weeks ago, while I was putting together the list of recipes I wanted to bake to give as gifts to my friends I saw these cookies on one of Martha’s digital magazine issues (the subscription that was a real bargain). So I decided to make that money count and use the recipe – the cookies looked adorable after all, and the flavor combo sounded delicious.

However, I was baking the cookies on a very hot day, so it was a nightmare trying to shape the dough into crescents – by the time I had finished shaping two cookies the whole dough was going soft. So I put it back in the fridge for a while and decided to turn the crescents into balls – snowballs, for that matter. In the end it was a good decision: cookies looked pretty and tasted great. Win/win situation. :)

Rum nutmeg snowballs
slightly adapted from Queen Martha

2 cups (280g) all purpose flour
1 ½ teaspoons freshly grated nutmeg – do not pack it in the spoon when measuring it
¼ teaspoon table salt
¾ cup (170g/1 ½ sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
½ cup (70g) confectioners' sugar, sifted
2 tablespoons white rum (Martha uses brandy)
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

For rolling the cookies:
½ cup (70g) confectioners' sugar, sifted

Whisk together flour, nutmeg, and salt. In a large bowl, using an electric mixer, beat butter with confectioners' sugar on medium-high speed until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes. Add rum and vanilla; beat until combined. Reduce speed to low and add flour mixture, beating until just combined. Divide dough into 2 disks; wrap each in plastic and refrigerate until firm, at least 1 hour and up to overnight.

Preheat oven to 180°C/350°F. Line two large baking sheets with baking paper.
Working with one disk at a time (keeping the other refrigerated), scoop 1 leveled tablespoon of dough per cookie and roll into a ball. Arrange 2.5cm (1in) apart onto prepared sheets.
Bake until golden on the bottom, 16-18 minutes. Transfer cookies on sheets to wire racks; let cool 5 minutes. Working in batches, carefully toss warm cookies in confectioners' sugar, then transfer to racks and let cool completely.

Cookies can be stored in an airtight container at room temperature up to 3 days. Dust with more confectioners' sugar before serving.

Makes about 42

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