Friday, November 9, 2012

Brown Sugar-Walnut Buttons

My grandma Stejer was a sewer.  She also was a saver.  I remember the big button box she had.  She would save buttons from old clothes before she made them into cleaning rags and she put all the buttons into her button box. The big buttons in one bag, the white buttons in a different bag, and the small colored buttons in yet another bag.  When she needed a button for something, she always had a large supply.  I loved to play with those buttons, sort them, make designs with them and scoop big handfuls of them, just to hear the little sound they made.  When my grandma moved out of her house and into my mom's, the button box went with her.  When grandma left us, I inherited the button box.
This is part of the quilt Donna made me.  My gradma's button is part of it.

I use the buttons for quilts.  One time my friend Donna asked for one of the big buttons, I was a good friend and shared.  Turns out, she put it on a quilt she made for me for my birthday.  It is that much more special.

These buttons aren't good for sewing with, but they are good!  The maple flavor with the walnut is delicious, and a nice addition to your morning tea, cookie plate (yes, I am getting ready for the boys at Christmas) ((I know, you think this is bad, imagine having to live or work with me, I've been announcing the days at morning workouts for almost a month now and we have 43 days left before the curly haired boy and his chick show up!))

Brown Sugar-Walnut Buttons
adapted from Perfect Cookies, 2008

1 cup walnuts, plus about 36 halves for decorating
3/4 cup golden brown sugar, firmly packed
1 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 1/2 tsp. maple extract
1/4 tsp. salt
2 cups all-purpose flour

Preheat oven to 250°F.  Have ready 2 ungreased cookies sheets.

In a food processore, process the 1 cup walnuts until coarsely chopped; take care not to overprocess them.  Add 1/4 cup of the brown sugar and process until the nuts are finely chopped; set aside.

In a large bowl, combine the butter, the remaining 1/2 cup brown sugar, maple extract and salt.  Using an electric mixer on high speed, beat until light and fluffy.  Add the flour and the nut mixture to the butter mixture and mix on low speed until just incorporated.

Scoop up spoonfuls of the dough, then roll them into 1-inch balls.  Arrange the balls on the cookie sheets, spacing them 1 1/2 inches apart.  Press a walnut half into the center of each ball.

Bake until the cookies are brown around the edges, about 20 minutes.  Using a metal spatula, transfer the cookies to wire racks to cool.  Store in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 5 days.

November 9, 2012     Daylight 6 hours, 52 minutes, 29 seconds     Temp. 10°F

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