WRITTEN ON December 14th, 2010 BY Meredith AND STORED IN Uncategorized

Last night we had our first snowfall in the new ‘hood.  Hubster was out at a work dinner, but he got home just in time to head out for a nighttime walk in the snow.

We live on a street of older homes, an area where you can look out your window and see your neighbors’ house and yard. We did this on purpose; while many people crave privacy, we wanted to be a part of a community of homes and families.

Bundled against the bitter cold which was making its way in from the Midwest, we traversed the streets of our neighborhood, admiring the Christmas decorations. Smoke puffed cozily out of many chimneys as we walked past house after house adorned with little white lights.  Fresh greenery was draped over lampposts, mailboxes and porch railings, tied with bright red ribbon.  Festive wreaths hung on most doors. Here, a wooden reindeer tucked into the tapestry of winter gardens, there, a path lit by candy cane ornaments.  A Christmas tree nestled in a bay window, lit from within and dusted with a hundred tiny ornaments, a gift for all passersby.

We marveled at how much can happen in one year. Counted ourselves lucky to be a part of such a thriving community.  Felt childlike wonder at being the first footprints in the new fallen snow. Made snow angels and picked out our favorite decorations, planning what we would do next year to match them.

But the very best part was when we turned the corner onto our own street. There, in the flaky wonderland, tucked behind a magnolia tree frosted with snow, was a house with blue shutters complete with pine tree cut outs, columns wrapped in white pine garland and tied with miniature red bows. In the far window, an eight foot tree stood glowing, beckoning us in from the cold. I could almost smell the cookies that I knew were waiting for us. We dusted ourselves off, stomped our boots on the welcome mat, and walked inside.

A snowy treat

Snowball Cookies (makes about two dozen)
1 cup flour
1/4 tsp salt
1 stick butter, at room temp
1 cup powdered sugar
2 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1 cup pecans, toasted and finely chopped
Preheat oven to 350. With an electric mixer, beat butter until light and fluffy. Add 1/4 cup powdered sugar, vanilla and salt. Beat to combine. Mix in flour until just combined and then fold in pecans. From dough into a ball, wrap in plastic and chill about 30 minutes.  Combine the rest of the powdered sugar and cinnamon into a large ziplock bag. Remove the dough from the fridge, and working with 2 tsp full sized pieces at a time, gently roll the cookies into balls. Place on cookie sheet, bake 16-18 minutes until chalky on the top and golden on the bottom.  Cool for about 5 minutes, then toss, a few at a time, in the bag with the powdered sugar mixture.  Coat completely. Store in an airtight container sprinkled with a bit more powdered sugar.

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