My little wedding ticker thing says I'll be getting married in 5 days. Yikes.
I mean that in an "I am so very excited to finally do this" kind of way. I am not good at waiting. This last minute stuff is killing me. I saved up a bunch of mini projects just to take my mind off of the anticipation. I am very grateful that we have had a short engagement period.
To say I have a case of anxiety right now is a major understatement. Anxiety mixed with a sense of calm. Up and down. I'm even driving myself crazy! Ugh... Saturday, just get here already.
When I get this way I need to do things to keep busy. Lately I've been filling my time with some pretty intense 'last chance' workouts. Ever since I brought The Dress home last week and it is hanging on my door I have been feeling it taunting me. Come on... one more work out... you can do it...
Well, these crazy workouts are resulting in an injured knee, unexplainable lower back pain and now a weird throbbing pain in my left hip. I have to cut back a bit and find another diversion to keep me occupied or I risk finding myself limping down the aisle. Luckily, I love to cook and moving myself back into the kitchen is a welcome reprieve (although I realize counterproductive in terms of The Dress, but that's besides the point).
I vowed that October would be the launch of wedding month here on Vita Nostra. Then I realized I probably should not write too much about it or I'll give all the good stuff away in advance of the wedding. So I will be keeping it a little intentionally vague for now, filling this space with little hints of what is to come.
Today I give you Italian Wedding Cookies. We had these every Christmas when I was growing up. Batches stacked up in containers kept cool in the frigid garage (winter in New Hampshire = lots of free refrigeration in unexpected spots) throughout the month of December.
Powdery simple sweetness in a buttery shortbready (not too sweet) way. (Warning: Addictive)
I tried to get my dad to find my mother's recipe, but no luck. This one, on AllRecipes.com was perfect in a pinch. The only thing I changed was a slight reduction in salt. I will definitely be using this recipe again. As far as baking goes, this is really simple and they are fun to make. You could easily go a little haywire with the powdered sugar though, so be careful or you'll be finding it in some very unexpected locations around your kitchen. Not that this happened to me or anything ...
Italian Wedding Cookies
1 and a 1/2 cups unsalted butter
3/4 cup powered sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 and 1/2 cups finely ground almonds
4 and 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
3 cups all purpose flour
Lots of extra powdered sugar for rolling
1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees.
2. Add butter and powdered sugar to large bowl. Cream together. Add salt. Beat everything with a hand mixer (if available) until light and fluffy.
3. Add almonds and vanilla extract. Mix. (Note - if you are not able to purchase ground almonds, just do it yourself. Buy the slivered ones and run them through your blender for a minute or two.)
4. Gradually blend in flour until well mixed.
5. Use one teaspoon of dough for each cookie. Shape with your hand into a round ball, crescent, or any other shape that you find appealing. Place on ungreased cookie sheet. You can place these fairly close together as they do not spread.
6. Bake for 15 to 20 minutes. Remove before browning. The color of the cookie should remain light, but should be firm to the touch. I did mine for 16 minutes per batch.
7. Remove from sheet and let cool for 2 to 3 minutes. Roll each cookie in powdered sugar until fully coated. Set aside for further cooling.
And that's my little hint for today of things to come...