Friday, May 16, 2008

Tidbits of joy: a sweet

I was embarrassed to find our cookie jar empty when my parents were here - so I quickly whipped up an 'oldie but goodie'. I originally fiddled with this recipe many years ago in my search of a cookie that would travel well - as in, through the post! My dear friend loved Keebler Pecan Sandies, but couldn't tolerate some of the ingredients - so I made her some that she could enjoy! I had to send them in the mail, and they always arrived in tact - which is really something considering how much handling they went through.
I changed the name to Pecan Senders. They are not overly sweet, crisp on the outside and tender on the inside. They don't spread out much during baking, so you can crowd them on the pan!

Pecan Senders

1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened
1/2 brown sugar
1/2 white sugar
1/2 tsp. salt
1 1/2 tsp. pure vanilla extract
1 large fresh egg
1 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
2 cup chopped pecans
powdered ( 10x or confectioners) sugar to dust

Lightly toast the pecans and set aside to cool. I like to toast before I chop, but whatever works for you is just fine here! Fairly finely chopped is nice, but no pecan 'dust' - you want to know there is a nut in there! Make sure they are cool before you add them to the batter or you will have 'pecan hockey pucks' - which might travel well, but not be overly appreciated by the recipient!

Cream butter, sugars, and salt until light and fluffy. Add egg and beat well. Add vanilla and beat well to combine. Stir in flour. Stir in pecans until they are well combined with batter. Easy right? Now, I like to use my large cookie scoop and that makes about a 1 1/4" ball. I use parchment lined cookie sheets for these and place the cookies about 2 " apart. Use a floured fork or the floured bottom of a small juice glass to flatten the cookies slightly. Bake at 375 F for 12-14 minutes. They will look dry and have nice brown edges. Take them out and dust liberally with powdered sugar - the children love this job! Cool on rack. Store in an air-tight container.
Often a double batch is absolutely necessary!
Yield: 24 rich and delicious cookies


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