I think it’s important to have pleasant family traditions. Or at least, memorable ones. So, we have these Assassin Cookies, so-named because they are double-dusted in powdered sugar, and that makes for a treat that will attempt to kill you, should you inhale at the precisely wrong moment while eating them. I like these bitty, and they freeze very well (without sugar-death-dust–that will get soggy when thawing!), and they’re beloved by all adventurous souls everywhere.
1 cup butter (1/2 pound, or two sticks). Do not substitute margarine. It is an abomination.
1/2 cup powdered (confectioner’s) sugar
1 heaping teaspoon vanilla extract (my Great-Grandma Fern’s designation. It means “if you spill a little, that’s fine.”)
2-1/4 cups flour
1/4 teaspoon salt (omit if you’ve used salted butter up there at the top.)
3/4 cup chopped and smashed walnuts (or pecans). Small bits make for more consistent assassination cookies.
About 1 to 2 cups additional powdered sugar for the Assassin Dust at the end.
Cream the butter and sugar until it’s getting quite light and fluffy; beat in the vanilla and nuts. Beat in the flour until it all comes together to a mass.
Form the dough into small balls (3/4″ max–about 1/2 teaspoon of dough) and arrange on a baking sheet. These won’t spread much, so they can be as close as 1/2″ apart. Smoosh them just slightly in the middle with your thumb or the back of a spoon.
Bake for 10-14 minutes at 400*. They need to be done, but not really browned, or the taste of browned butter will overwhelm the nuts. Remove to a rack to cool.
While still a bit warm, toss the cookies in the additional powdered sugar, a few at a time, and then let them cool completely on the rack. Or, get impatient and put them in the freezer for a few minutes.
When cool, toss them again in the powdered sugar, and store in an air-tight canister or re-used Schrodinger’s Cookie Tin (does it hold Danish butter cookies? Or sewing supplies? Until you open the lid, it could be either or BOTH.)
Do not inhale unwisely, or they will, in fact, assassinate you.