Nothing like getting a jump on December cooking making, right? I was sitting on the couch with some of my cookbooks last week when I stumbled upon a shortbread recipe in Gourmet Today. There wasn’t anything different about the recipe. In fact, it was pretty simple. Straightforward and to the point is how I like my recipes.
What really got me hooked on the idea of making this shortbread was the idea that it could be a blank canvas for almost any holiday flavor my heart desired. So instead of leaving it plain, as the recipe suggested, I tossed some chopped pecans with ground cinnamon and salt for a little play on the sweet and salty.
When this cookie first came out of the oven, before I cut it into wedges, Joey was quite skeptical. However, after serving one up with a glass of milk, he was a believer. Upon first bite, he demanded they make an appearance on the blog as well as at family Christmas.
Toasted Pecan Shortbread
Recipe adapted from Gourmet Today
*1/2 cup pecan halves, chopped
*1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
*1/4 teaspoon salt
*1 stick unsalted butter, softened
*1/3 cup sugar
*1 teaspoon vanilla extract
*1 cup all-purpose flour
*Preheat oven to 350°F. Line one baking sheet with parchment paper. Set aside.
*In a small bowl combine the pecans, cinnamon and salt. Toss together to coat. Spread nuts on an ungreased baking pan and toast in the oven for 5 to 10 minutes, until pecans are fragrant and lightly browned. Remove from oven to cool.
*Meanwhile, combine the butter, sugar and vanilla extract until smooth and creamy. Add in the flour and worth together with your hands until evenly incorporated. Mixture will be slightly crumbly. Transfer dough onto prepared baking sheet and press mixture into a disc about 6 to 8 inches in diameter. Spread the toasted nut mixture atop the dough and press lightly with your hands to get the nuts to adhere to the dough.
*Bake for 15 minutes or until edges are slightly browned and the dough is puffed up. Cool on wire rack. Cut cooled cookie into wedges to serve. Makes 6 to 8 servings
Is it just me, or has it been too long since I posted a new cookie recipe? Truth be told, most baking and elaborate cooking endeavors have taken a back seat to other, more pressing maters. Between filming and traveling for “Hey, Can You Cook?! All-Stars”, keeping up with work responsibilities, traveling to catch football games and meeting our new little nephew, and spending a little bit of time Joe, too, time has been short.
But I know that despite the craziness that has been the last month, there are a lot of wonderful things going on right now. I feel blessed to be where I am, surrounded by my amazing support system, and energized by the new experiences that are pushing me way out of my comfort zone.
As we enter into November, the month of thanks, I hope you will all consider taking time out of every day to reflect on something you are thankful for. If you’re on Twitter, take a cue from Tina’s post over at Carrots ‘N’ Cake and take part in Tweeting what you are thankful for with the hash tag #bethankfulchallenge. It’s a great way to see what others are thankful for and get you in the right frame of mind amid the craziness of the day-to-day.
Right now, I’m thankful to be home. And for these cookies. Because they are super tasty, chewy and perfect for keeping warm as the weather gets cooler.
Peanut Butter Toffee Cookies
*1 1/2 cups white whole wheat flour (or all-purpose flour)
*1/2 teaspoon baking soda
*4 ounces unsalted butter, softened
*1/2 cup sugar
*1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
*1/4 teaspoon salt
*1/2 cup creamy peanut butter
*1 large egg
*1 teaspoon vanilla extract
*1/2 cup peanut butter chips
*1/2 cup toffee bits (Heath Bar bits)
*Place racks in the middle and lower third of the oven and preheat the oven to 350°F. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.
I don’t like to over-promise on a recipe, and I’m not fond of people who exaggerate. This post title claims that this is the only chocolate chip cookie recipe you will ever need. And it’s neither an over-promise nor an exaggeration. This is the real-deal, the most amazing cookie I’ve ever made, and a big hit in our house.
I’ve owned a copy of Desserts By The Yard by Sherry Yard for almost a year now. It’s a beautiful book filled with tantalizing recipes. Unfortunately, I have an endless stack of cookbooks that I have yet to dig into, this being one of them. That is, until last week. I was in a major baking mood last week, so when the hankering for a chocolate chip cookie hit me I went ruffling through my cookbooks in search of a new recipe.
Desserts By The Yard did not disappoint, my friends. Sherry is a seasoned and acclaimed pastry chef, and after trying her recipe for chocolate chip cookies I do not doubt why. They were perfect. Like seriously divine. The perfect mix of soft, chewy and dense, chock-full of chocolate and ever so slightly crispy around the edges.
I know that I’ve shared recipes for chocolate chip cookies on this site before, all of them delicious in their own right, but I think I’m done searching for that perfect recipe. Because, you see, these cookies are it.
*1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
*1/2 cup whole wheat flour
*1 1/2 teaspoons ground ginger
*1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
*1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
*1/2 teaspoon baking powder
*1/2 teaspoon salt
*1 1/4 cups brown sugar
*1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened
*1 large egg
*Preheat oven to 350°F. Lightly grease a baking sheet with non-stick cooking spray.
*Combine the flour, whole wheat flour, ginger, cloves, cinnamon, baking powder and salt in a small bowl. Stir to combine.
*With an electric mixer, beat together sugar and butter until light and fluffy, about 1 to 2 minutes. Add in egg and beat until just combined.
*Add dry ingredients to wet ingredients and beat until just combined. Mixture may be crumbly but should hold together when pressed together with your fingers.
*Form dough into a disc and wrap in plastic wrap. Refrigerate for 30 minutes.
*Roll dough out into 1/4-inch thickness. Cut into circles with a round cookie cutter or the mouth of a large glass.
*Transfer cookies to a baking sheet and bake for 8 minutes per batch. Transfer to a wire rack to cool. Store cookies in an airtight container until ready to eat.