It's been almost a month since I reached the end of my 2017 route, and I had expected that by now I would have gotten all caught up on everything I couldn't do from the saddle and all those repairs and improvements that need done to my equipment before spring. Alas, this has not been the case. My holidays are just as crazy as usual. Of course it doesn't help that I've booked extra holiday activities like teaching wreath making workshops, making and selling stuff at craft fairs, and of course working at a normal job.
I'm not complaining, oh certainly not! I love the holidays and I love being busy. But sometimes (ok, a lot of the time) I do have the tendency to overstretch myself. I figure that if I can walk/ride half way across America in 10 months, of course I can achieve whatever fun thing I want to squeeze into my packed schedule!
So when it's time to whip up something sweet for a holiday party or what-have-you, I'm so glad that I have this recipe. I adapted it from another recipe I cut out of the local paper years ago, which was adapted from a recipe on cooks.com. I call them cookies, but what they really are are no-bake, no-fuss, flavor-packed little balls of holiday joy.
Orange Nut Balls
Combine in a large mixing bowl:
A full 11 oz box vanilla wafers, pulverized into small crumbs
1 cup finely ground pecans (presumably other nuts such as walnuts would work too)
1 cup confectioners sugar (aka powdered sugar)
Once it's all mixed into a uniform flour, add:
1/2 cup orange juice
3 Tbsp agave or corn syrup
1/8 tsp orange extract (or for you essential oils fans, 8-10 drops internal-use-friendly orange oil. Or, for a grown up treat, substitute orange liqueur)
Mix it all together until it forms a dough and no dry parts remain.
Pour some powdered sugar on a plate.
Make balls of dough approximately the diameter of a quarter. Bigger or smaller is fine, as you like. Just don't go crazy because these are very rich, plus they tend to crack and fall apart if you make them huge. At the size of a quarter, this recipe will yield about 3 dozen cookie balls.
Roll each ball in the powdered sugar to thoroughly coat. Arrange them on a plate, or better yet place each one in a mini cupcake/confectionary paper wrapper to prevent them sticking together.
If you will not be serving them immediately, you may want to wait to roll them until a few hours before serving, because otherwise the powdered sugar will absorb into the balls and they'll loose the snowball-look.
You can serve these immediately, or refrigerate for at least an hour to firm them up a bit.