Monday, December 13, 2010

A tale of two cookies...

Yesterday I set out to make a couple batches of cookies to give to some people who were kind enough to invite us to dinner.  I was inspired by these Molasses Ginger Cookies and intrigued by these Pecan Crunch Cookies.  Chewy molasses cookies are one of my favorites and the pecan cookies boasted a low fat content.  I was looking forward to an afternoon in the kitchen.  So the story begins...

The molasses cookies came together very easily and baked perfectly.  They are spicy, chewy, and take me back to the first time my Mom made my Great-Grandmother's chewy molasses cookies.  Into the cookie tin they went, I was quite pleased.  This is a definite addition to your holiday baking list!

Now onto the pecan cookies... oh dear the pecan cookies.

This recipe had quite a few more steps.  So, I cleaned up from the first batch and started to make the filling.  No problem.  I sifted together my dry ingredients, simple.  It was now time to start the dough.

I thought it odd that I was to cream 1 TBS of butter with 1 cup of sugar.

Can you cream such little butter into that much sugar?

I read through the comments of the post and no one else seems bothered by this.

I searched for a similar recipe to verify the measurements to no avail.

I decided this was a low risk chance so I proceeded as instructed by the recipe.  Low and behold, the sugar did cream into the butter, I added the eggs and the vanilla...looked good.  Switched my paddle attachment for the dough hook and the flour incorporated very well into the wet ingredients.  Then I tried to form the "log" on my silpat.  Have you ever started something knowing that it wasn't right?

As soon as the dough hit the silpat I knew it wasn't coming off without a fight.  A fight it was.  I tried to cut slices from the log, envisioning the pictures, from Fresh.  I finally gave up.  Mixed everything together, formed small balls, and baked them as drop cookies.

They taste fantastic.  They are soft, not crunchy.  The combination of pecan and orange is wonderful.  However, they in no way resemble the cookies I had planned on making.  Even as I write this I am unsure of what happened.

So, I learned to improvise.  How to make the most of what you have.  The entire time I was just laughing, wishing I could have captured the escapades of trying to get that dough off the silpat for you all.  My husband enjoyed it, I'm sure you all would have too!

I included my improvised recipe below.  I would love to hear if anyone else made the pecan crunch cookies and how they came out.

Pecan Cookies
adapted from Fresh

2 TBS of butter
1 1/2 cups of pecans, chopped
1 TBS of brown sugar, packed
1 TBS of orange zest
1 TBS of butter
2 1/4 cups of flour
 1 tsp of baking soda
1/8 tsp of salt
1 tsp of cinnamon
1/8 tsp of nutmeg
1/8 tsp of cloves
1 cup of sugar
1 TBS of butter
2 eggs
2 egg yolks
1 tsp of vanilla

In a medium pan, melt the butter.  Add the pecans and heat throughly.  Add the brown sugar and cook until it caramelizes.  Spread out over a silpat to cool.  In the meantime, add the orange zest and 1 TBS of butter to the mini food processor.  Add the pecans to the food processor and pulse until you get a coarse uniform mixture.  Sift together the dry ingredients and spices.  In the bowl of a mixer, cream together the butter and sugar.  Once light and fluffy, add in the eggs/egg yolks one at a time.  Scraping down the sides of the bowl as needed.  Add in the vanilla.  Switch to a dough hook and slowly add in the flour and pecan mixture.  Mix just until the dough is incorporated.  Using well-floured hands, roll into 1 inch diameter balls.  Bake at 350degrees for 12-14 minutes or until lightly browned.  Cool on a wire rack and sprinkle with confectioner's sugar.  Enjoy!


  1. it's nice when things work out, even when it's not exactly what you expected. they both look SO delicious!

  2. That does seem like a very small amt of butter, but they sure do look good as drop cookies! And as long as they taste good, that's what really matters!!

  3. I'm sorry you had trouble forming the log! Hmm..I'm not sure why. Maybe you could dust with flour? Rolled too thin? Too many pecans? Whatever the case, you did an amazing job...they turned out beautifully.

    Just as an aside, a little amount of butter is not unusual in an Italian style cookie. They often have no butter and are made with egg whites alone. A tiny bit of butter allows for some give when you bite into the cookie. The more butter you add the softer and more American style the cookie become. If you want them very crunchy, eliminate the butter and keep them in the oven for a longer period of time.

    Glad they tasted good. I may try making them into balls myself next time. It's a great idea!

  4. I'm dying laughing reading this! Isn't a Silpat supposed to be stick free! Haha.


I love reading your comments, especially if you tried any of the recipes. Thanks for stopping by and sharing your insight!