Hybrid Holidays

Posted By Astrid on Dec 16, 2014 in Blog, Broodin' & Bloggin', Cookies, Holidays, Sweeties | 2 comments

After moaning and groaning about various things, I figured I owed you an actual recipe for a change.

Since I owe no allegiance to any organized religion, my holiday seasons are always free to borrow from any sort of traditions I please. Usually this finds me turning on my favorite musical, Fiddler on the Roof, while spending a day baking Christmas cookies. Now that Bob has retired, my baking day has shortened significantly. I used to make about 5 types of cookies, usually doubling the recipes. These would be arranged nicely on a cheap aluminum platter for Bob to take to work the week before Christmas. Usually 95% of them would disappear that day (perhaps Bob consumed 20% of them…). Then I had other people who required end-of-year gifts—dance and music teachers, elderly parents, neighbors…

I guess I must apologize, for I now see this post also involves more moaning and groaning. The kids are grown; there are no more teachers to thank. All the elderly parents are gone. The neighbors have moved.

But what is the essence of the end-of-year time, if not to reflect on loss while also anticipating the rebirth of the coming year? And what better time is it to indulge in too many sweets and pack on a few extra pounds as insulation from the cold?

The conflation of well wishes into the phrase “Happy Holidays” doesn’t bother me, since I would prefer to think of the holiday season as being a universal phenomenon, rather than something that is limited to various discrete groups. So Happy Holidays to anyone who reads my blog occasionally! I really appreciate your choosing to spend time here.

These are an extra-fragrant variation on one of my favorite treats, Mexican Wedding Cookies, or Polvorones.

Skögul’s Spice Cookies

Skogul's Spice Cookies


  • 4 ounces pecan halves, toasted lightly and cooled
  • ½ cup all-purpose flour
  • ½ cup cake flour
  • ½ cup plus ¾ cup powdered sugar
  • ¼ teaspoon each:
    • salt
    • nutmeg
    • cinnamon
    • allspice
    • ground cloves
    • ground ginger
  • ½ cup soft salted butter
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 tablespoons heavy cream

Place the pecans in a large food processor and pulse until they are fully ground. Add the flours, ½ cup powdered sugar, and all the spices. Process until combined. Add the butter, vanilla, and cream and pulse thoroughly. Scrape into a 2-quart covered container. Refrigerate 1 hour.

Preheat oven to 400°. Coat two large baking sheets with cooking spray or grease lightly. Divide dough into 36 pieces then roll into balls, about 1¼” diameter. Place 1″ apart on sheets. Bake 8-10 minutes. Remove; let sit on pans 30 minutes.

Meanwhile, rinse out and dry the 2-quart container. Place ¾ cup powdered sugar in container. Put a quarter of the cookies in this; cover, and roll them around gently in the sugar. Place cookies carefully on a rack over a cookie sheet. Repeat with the remaining cookies, 9 at a time. You can sprinkle any remaining powdered sugar over the tops of the cookies, using a fine-mesh strainer. Store covered at room temperature. Makes 36.


  1. Happy holidays, Astrid. I always enjoy reading your blog posts.

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