Toasted Pecan Crescents
2 cups unsalted butter, softened
3½ cups unsifted powdered sugar, divided
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
½ teaspoon salt
3½ cups all-purpose flour, unsifted
2 cups pecans, toasted and finely chopped
For dough: In large bowl with mixer on high speed, whip butter and 1 cup powdered sugar until very light and fluffy. Add vanilla and salt, mixing until combined. Stir in flour and toasted nuts, just until incorporated and dough is smooth. Do not overmix. Scrape bottom of bowl well. Separate dough into 2 balls and flatten to form 6-inch disks; cover with plastic wrap and chill for at least 24 hours. This cookie dough can be made 5 days ahead of baking time.
To shape and bake: Heat oven to 350 degrees. Lightly grease cookie sheets or use parchment paper.
Using small scoop, shape dough into 1-inch balls and roll between your hands to create the curved crescent shape. Alternatively, keep in ball form and bake for pecan snowballs. Place 1 inch apart and bake for 20-25 minutes, until light golden brown.
Immediately after baking, roll cookies in remaining powdered sugar, completing coating. Cool on racks for 1 hour, and roll again in powdered sugar. Store in a tightly covered container.
Makes 7 dozen cookies.
Baker's hint: The first powdered sugar coating will become tacky. This is OK and will dry when cool. The second coating sticks to the cookie, creating that snowy effect. Redust with powdered sugar, if necessary after storage.
Nutrition values per serving: 89 calories, 6 g fat, 10 g carbohydrates, 0 g fiber, 1 g protein, 13 mg cholesterol, 13 mg sodium.