Grammy Award winning singer-songwriter Michelle Branch has carved out her niche in the alternative rock market with her collaboration with the group Santana on the song "The Game of Love". She has also scored two commercially successful CDs. So how does she get into the holiday spirit? Well, it isn't with eggnog or fruit cake.
Michelle confesses that she and her sister Nicole prepare what are called Cinnamon and Chocolate Spiced Mexican Wedding Cookies as their holiday treat. The confection makes use of a cup of toasted hazel nuts, one stick of unsalted butter, 1/2 cup of confectioners’ sugar for rolling the cookie dough, 1 1/2 tsps of Dutch-process cocoa powder, 1 tsp of vanilla extract, 1/4 tsp of ground cinnamon, 1 cup of all-purpose flour, and a pinch of salt.
After grinding the hazel nuts and creaming the butter, beat the butter while adding the cocoa powder, cinnamon, and vanilla extract for 1-2 minutes. Next, add the nuts and flour while beating for 4 minutes. Roll the dough into 1-inch balls on an ungreased baking pan or cookie sheet and bake for 10 minutes at 350F. Turn over the cookies and bake for another ten minutes.
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Michelle Branch's Cinnamon and Chocolate Spiced Mexican Wedding Cookies