Merry (Belated) Christmas and Happy New Year!
I hope everyone had a joyous Christmas and got all that they wished for. It was a very busy time of year for me with all the baking and cooking. I can’t believe that Christmas has already come and gone. I was very happy to pull off cooking Christmas dinner for 10 with a baby. It wasn’t an easy feat but I managed to pull it off with lots of planning and thankfully hubby helped with all the dishes – yes, ALL.
It has become a tradition of mine to create cookie platters to give out to friends during Christmas and this was no exception. I managed to make 6 different cookies this year (had planned on doing more but ran out of time). I decided to avoid making anything that needed to be rolled out or seemed overly fussy. My 8 month old needed my constant attention and he was not going to sit still while I took my time rolling, cutting and decorating cookies. He would much rather crawl into the kitchen, open the cupboards and play with every piece of tupperware we own.
My favorite cookie were the pecan sandies. I’ve never had pecan sandies before but after reading the description for this recipe I knew I had to make them. This is definitely a grown up cookie – not overly sweet and oh so buttery. Toasting the pecans until they are very dark brings out a subtle maple flavor to them. At one point I thought I had burnt them but they turned out perfect. They also keep incredibly well. I still had some left a week after I baked them and they still tasted as good as when they came out of the oven the first day.
- 1 cup pecans
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 cup unsalted butter, softened
- 2/3 cup confectioners’ sugar
- 2 tsps vanilla
- 1 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp baking powder
- 2 tbsps raw sugar
- Preheat the oven to 350F.
- Spread the nuts out in one layer on a baking sheet and bake until they are very well browned, stirring occasionally. This will take about 10-13 minutes and they will smell very nutty. Transfer to a wire rack and allow to cool.
- In a food processor, grind the nuts with 1/4 cup of flour and set aside.
- Using an electric mixer, beat the butter and sugar until very smooth, about 2 minutes.
- Add the vanilla and beat until well combined.
- Sift together the remaining flour, salt and baking powder. Add to the dough and mix until it is just combined.
- Stir in the nut mixture.
- Roll the dough into two logs and wrap in plastic wrap. I find that storing the logs in paper towel rolls helps to maintains it’s shape. Chill the dough for at least 3 hours to overnight.
- When you’re ready to bake, preheat the oven to 325F. Line your baking sheets with parchment paper.
- Remove the dough from the plastic wrap and roll it in the raw sugar so the outside is well coated.
- Using a sharp knife slice the cookies into 1/2″ slices and place on the baking sheet 1″ apart. Using a skewer poke a few holes in each cookie.
- Bake for 10-12 minutes until pale golden brown all over.
- Allow to cool on wire rack. Cookies keep up to a week in an airtight container.