Thursday, December 20, 2012

Grandma Stella’s Cream Cheese Nut Horns




Grandma Stella’s Cream Cheese Nut Horns
by Allison Donel
 
This recipe originally came from Uncle Butch’s mother back in 1946 or ’47. Uncle Butch was my grandma’s brother-in-law. However, I associate them most with my Grandma Stella, and have thus given her the credit.   
 
For the dough:
1 pound sweet cream butter (using anything less would be a desecration)
1 pound cream cheese
4 cups flour
 
Mix all ingredients using a pastry blender or stand mixer. If you’re using a stand mixer, you may want to do this in two batches. Finish with your hands if necessary. Roll into small balls about the size of a marble or small cherry. Resist the temptation to make larger balls and thus hasten completion of the job. Place all the balls in a bowl, cover, and refrigerate overnight. I've refrigerated them for several hours and it worked well enough.
 
For the filling:
3 cups or about 1.5 pound ground walnuts (it’s very important to grind them as finely as you can, otherwise they tear the dough when you spread the filling)
¾ cup  sugar
¾ cup milk
1 teaspoon vanilla
 
Mix all ingredients to make a paste. Add a bit more milk if it’s too thick. You can make this a day ahead as well, but to facilitate spreading, it should be room temperature when you actually make the cookies.
 
The next day, working with a friend if possible, remove about six balls of dough at a time from the fridge. Roll each ball in powdered sugar and flatten with the palm of your hand. Roll them out very, very thinly on a powdered sugar-covered board. Spread out a very thin, almost transparent, layer of the nut filling and roll them into a log. Bend to form a crescent shape. This works best if one person rolls out the dough and another spreads the filling.
 
Place the cookies on an ungreased cookie sheet and bake at 350 degrees for about 15-20 minutes, until golden brown. Sprinkle with sifted powdered sugar before serving.
 
These cookies ship and freeze beautifully. The recipe does make a LOT of cookies (upwards of 12-14 dozen), so beware. Feel free to cut the recipe in half, or in quarters, or just plan on making a night of it. We've never cut the recipe in half though. They're just that good!  

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