The second reason is just the nostalgia. Every Christmas growing up, we would get together for brunch with our close family friends, the Joneses. Although we see each other all of the time now, our hectic family schedules pretty much allotted for holiday brunch, and a summer barbecue every year in the early days. The highlight of this holiday brunch for each and every one of us was the Pittsburgh Field Club's signature pecan balls. Serve it with pie, serve it with chocolate sauce/caramel/butterscotch - or all three combined - they are AMAZING.
Finally, we just took a stab at it on our own at home! The two ingredients are extremely simple, but the process is important - and finally tried and true after a few failed attempts!
Ingredients for 8 Pecan Balls:
2 pints good quality vanilla bean ice cream (we use haagen dazs)
1 lb chopped raw pecans
Yep.... That's it.
Start by placing a cake or brownie pan lined with wax or parchment paper in the freezer for 30 minutes. I used the pan shown!
In another cake pan, empty the bag of chopped pecans in order to make rolling the ice cream balls as easy as possible.
Once ready, remove the frozen pan from the freezer - and start scooping! As quickly as you can, scoop "mounds" of ice cream into the pan that ultimately will be the size of tennis balls. I say mounds because at this point, they do NOT have to resemble a perfect ice cream scoop. Once you roll them in the pecans and pack together with your hands, they will shape into perfect little spheres. So really, this step will be messy and not pretty, but don't be discouraged!
Once the desired amount of ice cream mounds are in the pan - put back in the freezer for 15 minutes.
Now it's time to roll! One by one, take the ice cream mounds and roll in the chopped pecans, packing them in so that there is two layers of pecans deep. Shape into perfect circles, and place back in the pan, and back into the freezer as quickly as you can manage!
(I'm sure you now understand why we had a few failed attempts - but I PROMISE they are worth it!!)
Keep in the freezer until you are ready to eat! Serve them with a warm slice of pie, or warm butterscotch, caramel, or hot fudge sauce. Enjoy!!