Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Nutty Balls: An unassuming champion

In the foodie feast that was New Year's Eve 2012 ... On a side note, it feels wrong to write 2012 when it was actually the eve of 2013, though my figuring is that it was New Year's Eve in 2012 and I shall stick with that until Google tells me differently ... but back to our gluttonous celebrations ...

Despite the effusive praise heaped upon the those marvellous meringues and luscious lemon possets there was a small little sweet treat that made its appearance after everything had been cleared away, after we all insisted that we never wanted to look at food ever again, that seems to have been the dark horse.

My New Year crush (Please note those awfully healthy apples in the background)
Small melting mouthfuls that are suitable for eating at any time of the day (honest) these 'Cashew Butter Balls', now affectionately known as 'Nutty Balls' - variations of which are called Russian Tea Cakes, Mexican Wedding Cakes, Polvorones - came to my attention the weekend before Christmas and my life has been the better for it.

Perhaps as I write more, and more frequently, my utter devotion to Smitten Kitchen will become a wee bit obvious. I love Deb's style of writing, I love the way she photographs her food, I love her somewhat obsessive nature, I love that we have quite different tastes. 

I also love cashews. When – in her post about these mouthfuls of melting yumminess – Deb wrote "...I’ve never made them or absolutely anything else with cashews because I don’t much care for cashews", I was mildly appalled, before figuring that if these had converted her, even momentarily, it was rather likely that I would not be averse to their charms.

I made these as Christmas gifts, I took them with me on Christmas Day, and at last, triumphantly they made their full public debut as 2013 dawned. 

My advice: take the cashews out of the oven before they're done and/or take them off the hot tray immediately; I prefer to roll the biscuits by hand; the sugaring is fiddly but worth spending the time; and never, ever, think that you've made too many - there is no such thing.

I don’t think I can improve on Deb’s recipe – not yet at least -  though I thoroughly intend to try her many variations as soon as humanely possible.

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