Many of you may already have this delicious cookie in your recipe arsenal. It’s an old favorite of mine, and their snowy appearance makes them perfect for Christmas festivities. I like to compare them to Pecan Sandies, except they are softer and all the more lovely with a generous coat of confectioners’ sugar. The best part? They are so easy to make!
The icicle candy is a little more challenging. Preparing the candy mixture is easy enough because you make it in the microwave. I was worried because (me) + (candy making) – (candy thermometer) = disaster². I’m not kidding. I was sure I’d have a big lump of sugary mess stuck to the bottom of my glass measure. In spite of my phobia, everything went as indicated in the recipe text. The most challenging part is cutting the candy into strips and twisting them before they harden.
These are really pretty and would make a neat homemade gift. If you plan to make them for this purpose then I would suggest making a trial batch. You will learn much the first time around. I fumbled with re-heating the candy and I twisted some of the candy too tightly. Now that I know what I’m doing, I’m ready to make my second batch! I think they’d be cute in cello bags tied with pretty ribbon.
Snowball Cookies [click for printable]
Yield: 2 dozen cookies
2 cups flour, sifted
1 cup butter softened
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/4 tsp salt
3/4 cup chopped pecans
1 cup powdered sugar for dusting
Preheat oven to 325 degrees. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with paddle attachment, combine butter and sugar; beat until creamy. Add vanilla extract and mix well. Add flour and salt. Mix until partially incorporated and then add nuts. Mix until a thick, uniform dough forms.
Roll cookies into 1″ balls and place on parchment lined baking sheet. Bake for 20 minutes or until cookies are slightly golden and fragrant. Remove cookies from oven and allow to cool completely on the pan before trying to remove from the baking sheet.
Coat cookies with a generous amount of powdered sugar.
Icicle Candy [click for printable]
Adapted from LorAnn Oils, with my notes added.
1 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup light corn syrup
1 dram flavoring oil such as peppermint or blueberry
Blue food coloring
White food coloring *optional (I added a drop or two for opacity)
Disco dust *optional
Preheat oven to 185 degrees. Spray a cookie sheet and large knife with cooking spray (I found that a pizza cutter worked very well in place of the knife).
In a 4 cup glass measure, mix sugar and corn syrup together until a thick, uniform paste forms. Cover with plastic wrap. Microwave on high for 3 minutes 15 seconds. Quickly stir mixture and cover with a new piece of plastic wrap. Microwave for another 3 minutes 15 seconds. Remove from microwave and stir with a clean spoon. After the mixture stops boiling, add the food color and flavoring. The cooked candy mixture will have a golden appearance, so when you add the blue food coloring you will get a blue/green (turquoise) color result.
Pour melted candy onto the prepared pan. Tilt the sheet to spread the candy to a 6×8 inch puddle. As the sugar starts to set (one or two minutes after pouring) cut candy into 1/2 x 4 inch strips. Remove one strip and twist gently. Allow to cool on wire rack. Repeat with remaining pieces. To keep the candy malleable, place in the oven for 1-2 minutes. You may prefer to keep the cookie sheet heated and work out of the oven. I found this to be a successful method. When candy pieces harden, lightly coat them with disco dust using a 2″ soft-hair paintbrush.
*This recipe is meant to be prepared in a standard household microwave (600-700 watts). Mini microwaves and commercial microwaves are not recommended.
*Please use caution when making this recipe. Candy mixture is extremely hot when in liquid state.