Happy New Year! I hope everyone had an enjoyable holiday season! :)
These didn't quite make it up in time for all those festive holiday recipe posts, but they're still worth your while. Toasted pecans and maple syrup help give them a wintry, warm taste that is a great companion to your morning/afternoon/evening tea or coffee. Best of all, they're TINY. Which means you can eat a few without feeling like you've ruined the age-old new year's resolution of not eating junk food. Although, if you ask me, things made from scratch with real, pronounceable ingredients are hardly junk food. Besides, didn't somebody somewhere sometime once say that if you don't treat yourself once in a while, you're twice as likely to "cheat" on any diet/exercise plan? Treat yo self.
In other news, it hasn't stopped snowing in three days. Oh, and on Monday, the expected HIGH for the day is -8. Yeah.
Maple Pecan Sandies
recipe adapted from Smitten Kitchen
Makes just shy of 12 dozen, one-inch square cookies
1 cup (about 110 grams) pecans
2 cups (250 grams) all-purpose flour
1 cup (225 grams or 2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
2/3 cup (80 grams) confectioners’ sugar
1 tsp (10 ml) vanilla extract
1 TB grade-B maple syrup
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp baking powder
2 TB (25 grams) turbinado (raw) sugar
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
- Spread the nuts out in one layer on a baking sheet and bake them, stirring occasionally, until they are well browned, 10 to 13 minutes (they will smell toasted and nutty). Transfer the pan to a wire rack to cool.
- In a food processor, grind the nuts with 1/4 cup of the flour. Set aside.
- Using an electric mixer, beat the butter and sugar until creamy and smooth, about 2-3 minutes. Add the vanilla and maple syrup and beat well.
- Sift together the remaining 1 3/4 cups of flour, the salt, and the baking powder, and add it to the dough, mixing until just combined. Stir in the nut mixture.
- Form the dough into a disk, wrap in plastic wrap, and chill for at least 3 hours.
- Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F. Roll the dough between two sheets of wax or parchment paper to 3/16 inch thick (a rectangle approximately 10 x 14 inches).
- Using a sharp knife or a pizza cutter, cut the dough into 1-inch squares. If your dough starts getting to soft or sticky to work with, stick it in the fridge or freezer for a few minutes to firm it up.
- Place cookies 1 inch apart on cookie sheets lined with parchment.
- Poke each cookie a couple of times with the back end of a wooden skewer (don't stab all the way through the cookie, though) and then sprinkle the cookies with the turbinado sugar.
- Bake until pale golden all over, about 10 to 12 minutes. Cool on a wire rack.
- Makes about 125 one-square-inch cookies.