January 29, 2013
My apologies for being in absentia from the world of cookie blogging for the past few weeks but the storage unit, garage, pantry, kitchen, and cupboards of cookie bling were threatening to implode if I didn’t put an end to my procrastinating ways and so now with every piping tip and bag of powdered sugar in it’s proper place it seems time to share another cookie flavor with my posse. How about some pie? Pecan pie to be exact.
I have no complaints about plain pecans but glazed with a candy coating of caramelized butter and sugar and we’ve just gone from 0 to 60 in 3 seconds. Crunchy sweet, salty soft. Basically the best of all worlds.
Which reminds me. By no means do I mean to second guess God’s handiwork but when creating the universe and all things in it why not just have pecans grow from the tree already glazed? How awesome would that have been! But then again there are probably enough other examples in creation like corn husks, coconut shells and that wooly fuzz around the heart of an artichoke to make a strong argument that human convenience was somewhere low on God’s priority list when it came to creation. Not that I’m complaining or anything since all and all God did a pretty darn amazing job on creating the world. Imagine. He did it without any advice from me or inspiration from Pinterest.
And since I’m here both to ponder the large theological questions as well as to educate I want to take this opportunity to inform you, in the event you don’t already know, that pecans aren’t technically nuts. They’re drupes, pronounced drupes. I must be tired because I just made myself laugh with that. Drupes, pronounced drupes. I slay myself but comedic genius aside drupes are a variety of fruit that consists of a single pod or seed surrounded by an outer flesh. Think olives, cherries, and peaches.
A pecan by any name still makes a great pie and an equally great cookie and so as soon as I saw this bag of glazed pecans in the store I knew they’d be coming home with me and making a short trip through my food processor before getting tossed into a batch of LilaLoa’s Vanilla Variation cookie dough. If you don’t see this particular bag in your store, don’t sound the alarm, because nearly every store carries at least one brand of candied nuts. I mean drupes. You know how to pronounce it. Again, I laugh.
I think I’ve said this before but when I’m trying out a new cookie flavor I consider three things:
- Eye appeal. Does the baked cookie dough look to the eye? Is the surface smooth? Are the edges clean? Do the flavor bites hold or do they melt away leaving dimples in the cookie surface? Do they bake and rise evenly? Does the cookie hold it’s overall shape without significant spread?
- Mouth feel. How does the cookie feel in the mouth? Is every bite chewy? Is every bite crunchy? Are there variations of texture in every bite?
- Overall flavor. Does the cookie live up to its name in taste? Is the cookie flavor notable or forgettable? Is the flavor consistent throughout or are there little bursts of flavor in every bite?
I know. It’s not exactly brain surgery but then again, we’re talking about cookies and with that in mind this not so highly scientific three-tiered evaluation for cookie yumminess rates these Glazed Pecan Pie cookies as a win-win-win. I like the look of the deep tan-colored cookie dough with spots of rich brown, and how every bite holds little bursts of candied pecan pie taste and crunch. Triple yum.
The pie flavor worked out perfectly for one of my cookie goals for the year which is attempting to take all my unused cookie cutters out for a test drive at least once. There are cookie cutters I’ve had for a couple years that have yet to see the light of day or feel the gentle embrace of cookie dough so 2013 is the year for those sweet little tin, copper and plastic cutters to shine, beginning with this two piece pie slice cookie cutter that you can see over at this post by Pam from CookieCrazie. I flooded the pie crust ivory glaze and when it was dry I brushed a fan-shaped painting brush dipped in brown coloring gel over the surface. The center of the pie was done by sprinkling some of the ground glazed pecans along with some ground milk chocolate (just because) over wet glaze. Easy-peasy lemon-squeezy.
Pecan Pie Roll and Cut Cookies
1 cup softened butter
3/4 cup brown sugar
3/4 cup white sugar
1 cup candied pecans, crushed
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
4 – 4 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 teaspoon salt
3/4 teaspoon baking powder
…..Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
1. Combine flour, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, and crushed candied pecans in a bowl. Set aside.
2. Cream the butter and sugars together.
3. Add in the eggs and vanilla extract beating until well-blended.
4. Add in the dry ingredients one cup at a time until the dough is fully incorporated.
5. Roll out the dough on a lightly-floured surface to the desired thickness. Place the cut cookies onto a parchment or silpat lined cookie sheet and bake on the center rack of the oven for 8-12 minutes. Baking time will be determined by the thickness and overall dimension of cookies.
6. Remove cookies from oven and allow to cool on baking sheet before moving to cooling rack.