Sunday, March 31, 2019

Butter Pecan Cookies

Overcast and gloomy today, but it is getting warmer. Here I am in the middle of this baking project and the electricity went out. Since the dough in these cookies have to chill for four hours due to the butter content, the lack of electricity was a little irritating. However, it was fixed in a few hours. 

When you think of pecan cookies, pecan sandies and mexican wedding cookies come to mind. There is not much out there in a pecan variety of cookie. However, this recipe offers something distinctly different in the pecan cookie category. Instead of a soft shortbread type of cookie, these are thick, chewy and packed with pecans. Also, since the dough is scooped out into 1/3 cup size, they are big and shareable. This recipe makes 16 large cookies

Butter Pecan Cookies
adapted from Baker By Nature 

Ingredients/Butter Pecans
1 1/2 cups finely chopped pecans
1 tbs plus 1 1/2 tsp unsalted butter

1 cup or 2 sticks butter
1 cup dark brown sugar
1/2 cup granulated sugar
2 tsp vanilla extract
2 eggs (room temp)
2 1/2 cups flour
2 tbs plus 1 1/2 tsp cornstarch
1 tsp salt
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp baking soda
16 pecan halves for topping

For the butter pecans, fill a skillet with the butter and pecans and place over medium heat. The butter will start to melt. Once completely melted, stir occasionally, mixing butter with pecans so they are completely coated. Pecans with start to toast and become fragrant. Let toast for 3-4 minutes then remove from heat and set aside.

For the cookies, sift the dry ingredients together (the 6th thru 10th items on ingredient list) and set aside.

Fill a saucepan with the butter and place over medium high heat. After melting, the butter will start to cook and change colors. Cook and stir at intervals until butter turns a golden brown color. This should take about 4-5 minutes. Butter will boil during this time, but watch the color. Remove from heat and let cool 15 minutes.

Transfer butter to the bowl of a stand mixer. Add granulated sugar and dark brown sugar and mix on medium speed until blended. Then add one egg and vanilla. Beat for 30 seconds until mixed. Repeat with the second egg.

Using a wooden spoon, mix in dry, sifted ingredients into batter until no dry streaks remain. Then mix in butter pecans until evenly distributed. Cover and chill dough for a minimum of 4 hours.

About 30 minutes prior to the end of the chilling time, preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper. Scoop dough out measuring 1/3 of a cup. Place each scoop of parchment paper and space about 2 inches apart. Press 1 pecan into center of mound.

Bake in oven about 9-11 minutes or until edges are set. Center will still be soft. Once removed from oven, let cool on baking sheet. Place on rack to cool for 15 minutes, then transfer to rack to completely cool.
                          **LAST YEAR: Raspberry Almond Ice Cream Sandwiches**