Sunday, December 23, 2012

Buttery Pecan cookies - Save one for Santa

Holidays have started (finally), I signed off yesterday evening and have shut down my laptop and kept it away for another week :-), it feels wonderful since we were able to wrap up stuff nicely and not carry any work related guilt into the Holidays. DD came back home after a hectic week of tests filled school and is looking forward to relaxing for the next 2 weeks. We have family coming over tomorrow and looking forward to meeting the cousins.

Although DD and the visiting cousins are long past the stage of expecting St Nicholas down the chimney and reward them with presents for being the good girls they are, they do enjoy some good cookies, if it home baked it is all the more fun :-). They know very well where the presents come from too. And it is not Christmas unless you baked some sinfully buttery, delicious cookies right? The aroma from the kitchen confirms that it is the season to be jolly. So here I am baking a few cookies to enjoy at home and share with friends. These pecan cookies are very easy to bake, slightly heavy in calories (aren't all cookies?) and extremely delicious. I baked a batch of these buttery pecan cookies on Thursday night for DD to take to school and she came back with compliments from her friends, as the cookie jar was empty and I had absolutely no pictures from the last batch, I baked another batch just now.

I found these cookie recipes in a $1 recipe book I got on one of those strolls in Michaels (this is an arts & crafts store and has loads of raw materials for creative people). Though I am a much limited person in this department, I love to just walk through the isles in this store and sometimes I find unexpected surprises. Many of my friends attended the Wilton's cake decoration classes in this store and bake dream like cakes. This being the holiday season, they had some small recipe books about cakes, chocolates, cookies and other holiday recipes. Honestly I had no intention of shopping for cook books but when they are right by you on a stand while you are waiting at the checkout counter and are priced at $1 a piece, I couldn't pass up the offer. I got one of each :-)). The books have loads of classic, traditional holiday recipes but many are very rich from my perspective. While I have nothing against eggs, I feel (may be just my prejudiced mind) that the smell of the egg lingers on in the baked goodie and I prefer avoiding eggs if possible and it is one less ingredient that I need to shop for and preserve. So I did find some no egg cookies in there and have book marked it.

I love nuts, all kinds of them and pecans have a very nice, nutty flavor especially when toasted slightly. When the recipe called for a generous amount of pecans, I liked it even before baking it. These cookies are slightly crumbly yet soft and have a definite pecan flavor in them.
What do you need to make Pecan cookies? 
Makes about 24
1/2 cup butter softened (1 stick in US measurements)
1/3 cup packed brown sugar
1/2 Tsp vanilla extract
1 cup All purpose flour
1/2 cup pecans
1/4 Tsp salt
How do you make Pecan cookies?
  • Toast pecans on stove top or microwave* until they are fragrant. 
  • Coarse powder the toasted pecans. 
  • Mix softened butter, vanilla extract and brown sugar in a bowl and cream them until the mixture is light & fluffy, I used my electric hand mixer for 3 minutes to get the right consistency. 
  • Mix flour, pecan powder, salt in another bowl and add it to the creamed butter mixture. 
  • Bring them all together until a soft dough forms. 
  • Knead for a minute, break into 2 pieces and roll them into logs of about 6 inches long. 
  • Wrap the logs in cling wrap or thin plastic sheet and chill it in the refrigerator for about an hour. 
  • Take out the chilled logs, cut them into discs of 1/2 inch thickness, arrange them on a baking sheet with atleast 3/4 inch space in between. 
  • Preheat oven to 350F, bake the cookies for 10-12 minutes or until they turn light brown on top. 
  • Take them out (holding the edges as the center will still be a little soft) and let them cool on wire racks. 
  • Enjoy the buttery, pecan flavored cookies with a glass of cold milk. 
  • I toasted the pecans on stove top in a heavy bottom pan, takes about 4 minutes with frequent stirring to avoid burning the nuts. You can microwave the nuts - arrange them in a single layer in a microwave safe plate and let it cook for 1 minute on high and give rest for 30 secs, repeat the process 3 or 4 times or until the pecans start to smell heavenly.
  • Keep the butter on the counter top for a couple of hours for it to soften. 
  • The cookies are soft to touch when you take them out of the oven but they will become harder as they cool. 
Enjoy the Holiday Season and I will see you shortly with more recipes. 


NamsVeni Pothas said...

nice cookies and beautifull pictures.

Priya said...

Oh those cookies looks absolutely stunning and very attractive, since pecans are quite expensive here, i rarely make bakes with them.

Regarding the cabbage kootu, its a semi dry curry Nagashree.

kitchen queen said...

cute delicious and crunchy cookies.

LG said...

Ahaaa... Box full of cookies look so tempting, slurrp!

Kannada Cuisine said...

They look like our old bakery style biscattu!! so good so delicious:)