Wednesday, September 14, 2011

The Perfect Last Bite



My mom's birthday was on September 1st. I wanted to make something really special and I had bookmarked this cake nearly a year ago. My mom loves lemon and you know I have blueberries. But this year the time didn't work out, I got called in to work on the day I was supposed to make her cake. So I had to find something to whip up fast for our family dinner/birthday dinner.
I had just made the Mexican Wedding Cookies (also known as Russian Tea Cookies). This is maybe the 3 or 4th time I have made these divine cookies in the last 6 months. They are so easy and so hard to keep on hand. I had made them for my work holiday party and they were  gone in minutes.  I had also just stumbled upon a new blog,  The Cutting Edge of Ordinary. And there I found this easy awesome dessert, the Stuffed Strawberry. So my mom got a great dinner of Greek orzo shrimp salad with feta cheese and my summer/fall balsamic vegetable salad, Mexican Wedding Cookies and these lovely stuffed strawberries.  The strawberries are sweet and creamy and just the perfect bite at the end of a very fun meal.

Cheers and Happy Birthday Mom!



Mexican Wedding Cookies
adapted from Martha Stewart
Makes 24 cookies

1 cup pecan halves
1 cup all-purpose flour, spooned and leveled
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 pinch nutmeg or mace
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature

1 cup confectioners' sugar

In a food processor, pulse pecans, flour, granulated sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg or mace, and salt until mixture resembles coarse meal; add butter and pulse until a dough forms. Shape dough into a disk, and wrap tightly in plastic; refrigerate until firm, 30 to 60 minutes.

Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Pinch off and roll dough into balls, each equal to 1 level tablespoon. Space 1 1/2 inches apart on two large baking sheets. Bake, switching sheets from top to bottom halfway through, until cookies are just golden around edges, 20 to 25 minutes. Cool 5 minutes on sheets; transfer to a rack to cool completely. Place confectioners' sugar in a bowl or 1 gallon plastic bag. Roll each cookie in the confectioners' sugar to coat. I like to divide the cookies in half and only roll 1/2 in the confectioners' sugar. These cookies freeze well without the powdered sugar.

4 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature
3 -4 teaspoons confectioner’s sugar
1/4 teaspoon almond extract
1 pint fresh 
Large strawberries, washed and dried

Place the strawberry leaf side down on a cutting board. Using an apple corer, I cut the center out of each berry. I cut away about 3/4 of the strawberries, but don't cut them all the way through, save the leaves and a small bit of strawberry core and the bottom.

Whip the cream cheese, sugar and almond extract in a small bowl. Spoon the creamy mixture in a piping bag or plastic sandwich bag and cut a small hole in the corner.  Since I didn't have the recommended Wilton 6B tip with me, I just cut a small hole at the bottom of a sandwich baggie and piped the creamy mixture into the strawberry.

Chill until ready to serve. Crumble 1 or 2 Mexican Almond Cookies over the stuffed strawberries and serve with the remaining cookies.
Look for these recipes on Wednesday september 21st:
Greek orzo shrimp salad with feta cheese and my summer/fall balsamic vegetable salad

4 comments:

  1. Love, love, LOVE the stuffed strawberries. And I adore almond extract. Yummy!!!!

    Roberta
    More Thyme Than Dough

    ReplyDelete
  2. Yummy! Strawberries are one (of my many) downfalls. ~ Courtney

    ReplyDelete
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