Around my house Christmas is all about food, and while Mrs. Claus doesn’t spend all her time baking cookies that doesn’t mean she doesn’t know her way around a kitchen. Over the next few days I’d like to share some of Mrs. Claus’ favourite recipes with you! Each one of these recipes is written in the voice of one of the incarnations of Mrs. Claus from my latest anthology, Mrs. Claus: Not the Fairy Tale They Say.
Myra’s Beastly Christmas Butter Balls
A recipe by Myra of “Red to Hide the Blood” by Hayley Stone
“Not sure what you want me to say here, they’re butter balls. Small sugary cookies covered in powdered sugar. They taste best with fudge.”
- 1 cup butter (the good stuff—you know, from a cow, none of that low-fat, goat milk nonsense; stop by if you need to borrow some proper butter)
- ½ cup powdered sugar
- 2 ½ cups flour*
- ¼ tsp. salt (that’s teaspoon, Olli)
- 1 tsp. vanilla
- ¾ nuts (if you like that kind of thing)
- Preheat oven to 345 degrees.
- Cream butter and sugar. If your arm’s not hurting by the end, you haven’t done a good enough job. Crank that spoon a couple more times. Won’t hurt to work that arm a bit, especially if you plan on helping Nick with his sleigh repairs later.
- Add remaining ingredients. (Except the nuts. You should just skip those. Yes, I know Nick likes them. I don’t hold it against him. Might if he ever makes me eat them though.)
- Roll into balls and arrange on a baking sheet an inch apart. Bake 10-12 minutes.**
- Remove from oven and let sit a moment. We’re making balls, after all, not thumbprints.
- Using a sifter, sprinkle the powdered sugar over the warm cookies.
That’s it. You said you wanted simple. It’s not hunting a waheela, so you shouldn’t have much trouble. And like I said, the best way to improve the recipe is by serving the cookies alongside fudge. You need a recipe for some proper fudge, you know where to find me.
Oh, and make sure you have some milk at hand. Nick gets so fussy about dry cookies.
* If you want the dough to hold together better, reduce the flour. If you like your dough crumbly as all get-out, then by all means, do it the hard way.
** These puppies can be a bit dry. I like to bake mine for 8-9 minutes to keep them more moist.
Excerpt from “Red to Hide the Blood” by Hayley Stone:
When I finally got up the courage to peer inside the cave, the beasts saw me before I saw them. Large, hulking shadows flexed within the dark—coming toward me fast. I barely managed to sight my rifle before the first monster charged, and my shot went painfully, embarrassingly wide.
So much for getting the drop on them.
The waheela knocked me back into the failing light, pinning me to the icy ground. Wind rippled the fur over its massive shoulders, while the last remnants of the sun sloped down its enormous snout and its nose glistened with blood. Beast must’ve been the size of a small pick-up truck. Damn near felt like it, too.
I wheezed, struggling to dislodge the waheela.
Its lips pulled back from its teeth in an angry wrinkle, spit hanging to its canines from its lower lips like webbing. I waited for it to growl or snarl.
Instead, the bear-dog spoke.