Wednesday, December 29, 2010

What is an NF?

When we were newly married my husband made a request for his favorite Christmas cookie. He didn't know what they were called but described little round shortbread cookies rolled in powdered sugar, light as air and melt in your mouth.

Ah! I know what those are! My mom and sister have made those every year for as long as I can remember. They are called NF's.

NF's? he asked. Why do they call them NF's?

I have no idea, I said, but my family makes them all the time. They are definitely called NF's.

A few weeks later I was thumbing through a cookie magazine and saw the little cookies. They were labeled Pecan Snowball Cookies.

I called my mom up and asked her why we had always called these snowball cookies NF's.

She giggled a little bit and said that it was a name she and her sisters had made up when she was a kid.

NF stands for...

Nun's Farts.

How appropriate.

I will now question the name of every dish my family has passed down, but I will teach my children to call them NF's, and I will not tell them what it means until they ask.

To make your own batch of NF's you only need a few things.

  • 1 cup unsalted butter, softened (2 sticks)
  • 1/2 cup powdered sugar (plus more for rolling)
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla (yes, a whole tablespoon)
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 2 1/4 cup flour
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped pecans or walnuts 
  1. Preheat oven to 250 
  2. Mix butter and powdered sugar until just combined.
  3. Add vanilla.
  4. Combine salt and flour in separate bowl and beat into butter mixture until just combined (do not overmix)
  5. Add chopped nuts
  6. Roll dough by teaspoonful into balls and place on cookie sheet. They do not spread so you can put quite a few on one sheet. 

   7. Bake at 250 for 35 minutes. Cookies should be somewhat firm but not brown.

   8. Immediately roll in powdered sugar and place on cooling rack. 

I put a piece of waxed paper or paper towels under the cooling rack to catch the falling sugar. 

9. When cookies have cooled completely, roll them in powdered sugar a second time. Do not be chintzy with the sugar, your mouth will thank you. 

Fantastic with an icy glass of milk, these cookies are perfectly bitesized... like donut holes. 

And just as dangerous. 

If you're not all cookied out, give NF's a try. 


  1. I am in love with your cute little recipe cards! LOVE, LOVE, LOVE. Going to have to download a few for myself! Cute story by the way, very funny! They are also called Russian Tea Cakes and I made a few dozen this year myself! I just love the excuse to roll around in that much butter!

  2. That is just too funny with the name and all. We call them Pecan Sandies. They are always a treat around here for the holidays as they were my Dad's most favorite cookie ever. During the holidays you would always catch him a few times sitting with a big glass of milk and the huge cookie tin full of these cookies just eating away.

  3. How funny that everyone calls them different names. I like that Russian Tea Cake one. It sounds very elegant and makes me want to stick a pinky out and maybe don some lacy gloves. I'm pretty sure that my family is the only one in the world who thought Nun's Farts would be a good name for a cookie.

  4. That is so funny that everyone calls them by a different name. Of corse finding out the name comes from a very unpleasant body function doesn't make them quite as appitizing! I love the pictures! Now what did you do on the google reader format! Change it back. I want to read the whole thing off it!

  5. My husband is lame and only likes fudge and chocolate chip cookies.
    I don't know if he would like nun's farts. Probably not.
    We live south of town in a town that has a casino in the vicinity. But keep it on the down low. The blog has to be sneaky-sneaky. ;)


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