Day 52 – National Pecan Cookie Day

It’s been a while since I celebrated a straight up cookie.  I don’t think I’ve ever made a pecan cookie before but I knew the internet would have some recipes.  The only pecan cookie I could think of was the Pecan Sandie, the handiwork of those Keebler elves.  I thought that maybe I would just go out and but a box of them to celebrate, but there’s something about homemade that makes this quest a bit more special.  After a very bad detour on Urban Dictionary which gave me a whole new definition of pecans and pecan sandies (don’t ask or look), I found a recipe that looked pretty tasty and easy.  Even better, I had all the ingredients in house.

The recipe came from Sally’s Baking Addiction which is an interesting blog for recipes.  I never realized it until I started this quest, but the internet has upped the game for recipes out there and the blog format along with the accessibility of high quality photos and videos from your phone really brings everything to the next level.  The blog format allows the writer to talk about the recipe in detail and give you pointers along the way.  It allows for step by step instructions along with pictures to show you the progress without confining you to the one or two pages of a recipe book.  It’s really a great evolution for the home cook and for technology.  It makes even the most difficult recipes seem possible (I think I can make that Puffer Fish sushi now).

Sally called these cookies buttery and bursting with pecan and brown sugar flavor.  That drew me in.  I made the batter in the morning because Sally was very specific that the batter needed to chill for at least three hours before making the actual cookies.  I was a little worried that her instructions called for using a stand mixer (something I don’t have (unless Kitchen Aid wants to send me one in exchange for advertising …wink, wink).  However, I just used the ol’ hand mixer and it worked out fine.  That thing has been getting quite a work out lately.  The batter came together quickly and without incident, so I wrapped it up and left in the fridge to chill.

My vision was to have the cookies fresh from the oven while Lola and I watched the season premiere of Survivor.  That meant that I had to start popping the trays of cookies in the oven around 7:30.  I got everything ready.  The oven was preheated and the dough was cooled to room temperature.  You rolled these cookies into little balls and then dragged them through some sugar before lining them up on baking sheets.  After they were all rolled up, I started the rotation: Cookies in, rotate tray in oven, remove cookies, new cookies in, place cookies that were done on cooling rack, rotate tray in oven, remove cookies. It keeps you on your toes throughout the cooking process, but all worked out well.  I had fresh cookies all ready and cooling before we got the first glimpse of Jeff Probst’s knees.

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These cookies are good.  Damn good, and buttery is the perfect description.  Our only critique would be that they needed more pecans (and Sally even said that she thought they needed more pecans).  I think the key to them is they are still doughy in the center (intentionally, not undercooked).  So you get a soft crunch from the outside and then bite into the soft inside dotted with bits of pecans and it’s a great combo.  Maybe I chopped the pecans too small?  After her first bite, Lola turned to me and said that they were the best cookies she ever ate.  I think she may have been exaggerating but they were good.  Keep this recipe in mind for the holidays.  I bet they taste even better with a chill in the air, a hot cocoa in your hand and a fire in the fireplace.

The pecan cookie was celebrated, as was the return of Survivor.  Now we are ready for autumn!

Next up: National Ice Cream Cone Day 

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