Southern Cooking with Andy Bedwell – Valentine’s sweets to fall in love with

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By Andy Bedwell

“Love me tender, love me sweet, never let me go, you have made my life complete, And I love you so.”

These recipes are “straight from the heart,” and have something that is guaranteed to have you falling in love all over again.

Strawberry Bon-Bons
3 (3-ounce) packages strawberry jello
1 can Eagle Brand milk
2 cups finely crushed pecans (I use the food processor)
1 (7-ounce) can flaked coconut

Combine 2 packages jello, milk, pecans and coconut. Mix well. Chill for at least two hours. Shape into small balls about the size of a quarter and roll into last package of jello.

Andy’s Note: You would not believe how many times that I have made these. Do you remember the candy that is shaped like a strawberry with a green stem? This is the recipe, but I make it a little different. I always roll mine into balls and then roll in the strawberry jello. Sometimes after I roll them into balls, I freeze them on a cookie sheet and dip them in white almond bark. These are so pretty; they are white on the outside and red in the middle. These freeze wonderfully!

Nut Butter Balls
1 cup butter, room temperature
½ cup powdered sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla or 1 teaspoon almond flavoring
2 tablespoons water
½ teaspoon salt
2 cups all-purpose flour
1-2 cups pecans, finely chopped
¼ cup powdered sugar

Cream real butter and sugar. Add remaining ingredients except the ¼ cup of powdered sugar. Mix well. Chill dough until easy to handle. Shape into balls or crescents. Place on ungreased cookie sheet and bake at 300 degrees for 30 minutes or until light brown. Roll balls in sugar while still warm. Roll again until sugar no longer sticks. Makes three to four dozen.

Andy’s Note: This is an old, old recipe. At Christmas, I color my dough red and green and then roll in powdered sugar. They are so festive with the white sugar on the outside and the red and green on the inside. These also freeze real well.

Easy Sugar Tea Cookies
One box white cake mix plus three tablespoons from another white cake mix (cake mixes are reduced)
One egg
¾ cup Crisco oil
1 teaspoon almond flavoring

Mix ingredients together and roll in small balls. Bake on parchment paper at 325 degrees for 12 minutes. You do not want these to get brown.

Andy’s Note: I have made tons of these for weddings, bridal teas and special events in Gadsden. I always think of Nancy Wood when I bake these easy little cookies. She always ordered a bunch for her children and grandchildren at Christmas. Nancy Wood is a very special friend to many people and a very dear friend to my family.

Save your calories, because the “sweets” will still be coming next week!

Happy Sweet Cooking!

“Southern Cooking with Andy Bedwell” may be purchased at The Messenger at 1957 Rainbow Drive.

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