Sunday, October 24, 2010

The Move, the New and the Tried & True

It's been a week since we moved in. The move went pretty smoothly, thankfully. And now, a week in, the house is coming together very nicely. A few highlights of our new digs:

  • After some initial confusion, we have come to love our high-efficiency heating system. Let's just hope those utility bills reflect all those savings we've been told we'll have!
  • We have lots of kitchen cabinet space! I think everything has finally found a place (even if it's not its permanent place) AND we still have a few drawers to spare.
  • I love our new washer and dryer (thank you Grandma Jackie!). They aren't the fanciest on the market, but I am so enjoying not having a random ring-shaped stain appear on our clothes from the old washer's agitator -- gotta love the front loading washer!
  • We have a party tub. Seriously, we have a party tub. It comes fully equipped with programmable air jets AND color-changing lights. As Jay says, it's like living in a house on MTV Cribs. And yes, after taking my first soak the other night, I can report that it is as fun as it sounds
  • Verizon FiOS. No words. LOVE IT. Highly recommend it.

As we settle into our new life here, the craziness of the week or two before the move are starting to resurface in my consciousness. Between my job and packing, I completely forgot that I had done some baking. Not that I would have had time to blog about them, of course. But now I have a few moments, so I wanted to share one of my favorites -- my Nana Sara's Butter Balls.

Butter Balls -- The Fall Collection
These nuggets of buttery goodness are the hallmark of my matriarchal line. My maternal great grandmother, Sara, was known as Sara Lee because everything she baked was impeccably yummy. Nana Sara was a big part of my life until she passed just shy of my 18th birthday. We spent many a Sunday visiting her at the nursing home. Sadly, by the time my memories begin, Nana was already under the grip of Alzheimer's Disease. So, it's through recipes like these that I can connect with Nana in her prime.

Of course, I'm far from the first woman in our family line to pick up Nana Sara's talents. My grandmother and my mother are both quite talented in the kitchen. When it comes to Butter Balls, though, well, that's been my mom's territory for years. She can make these things in her sleep. And she makes them for every occasion (except Passover, of course). Every family member and friend has come to expect these little babies at any gathering, from holiday dinners for nearly 30 to Sunday night BBQs for 6.

So, it's been so important to me to master the famous Butter Ball. It's taken me a few tries, but I think I've got it down. I'm almost reticent to post the recipe here, for fear I might be bested at my own genetically-thrown gauntlet. But, I have faith that with a cookie this simple -- and this simply delicious -- the secret is the baker's own flair. :)

Nana Sara's Butter Balls

1/2 lb. butter (I always use salted here)
2 egg yolks
1/2 cup sugar
2 1/4 cups flour

Combine butter and egg yolks and sugar. Beat well. Add flour.

Form into balls (you may need to keep your hands moist to prevent dough from sticking) and place on nonstick cookie sheet. Make a thumbprint on the top of each ball.

Pre-frosting cookies
Bake at 350ยบ for approximately 15 minutes or slightly golden on bottoms. Cool for 5-10 minutes on sheet before moving to cooling rack. Freeze before frosting for best results.

1 stick butter (again, salted)
Confectioner's sugar (about 3 cups, but just use what you need to get the consistency you want)

Beat butter until smooth; add confectioner's sugar a small bit at a time until you get a thick frosting. Add a little milk to thin out. Add more confectioner's sugar to balance if you add to much milk.

Once you have a semi-thick frosting, separate and color as desired. Use spoon to frost frozen cookies (dump and swirl method).


1 comment:

  1. I got the recipe from your mom years ago and have made them too! I love them!!