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Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Salted Chocolate Chip Pecan Cookies

Baked unsalted cookies. 
If you follow me on either twitter or instagram (@foodiesmeow), you know that I received my Christmas gift a little early this year: a Kitchen Aid mixer in almond. Thank you, mom! Strictly for, uh, research purposes, I opened the box to ensure that the mixer works properly. This meant that I needed a recipe to christen it with.  Since my mother purchased it for me, I asked her what she wanted me to make; turns out she wanted cookies.  And not just any cookies, but the chocolate chip macadamia nut cookies that I perfected.
"Cool," I thought. "I'll just take out the butter and eggs to get them to room temperature."  Then I sat down with the Sunday paper, turned on In the Kitchen with David and relaxed... ok I went to sleep.
Fast forward a few hours later and I'm ready to bake. As I gathered my ingredients,  I realized that I did not have enough brown sugar to pull off the original recipe.  Halving the recipe wasn't an option either: how does one divide an egg and egg yolk in half?
Almond the mixer's maiden voyage!  Yes, I've named my mixer Almond.

Clearly I needed a plan B. So I went over to Joy The Baker's site and looked for her salted pistachio cookie recipe.  I knew I didn't have pistachios, but I had pecans. Then I realized that I might not have enough chocolate chips, but I thought, "Erins, you have coffee. Add that to boost the chocolate flavor. No one will know..." So, I did.

I decided not to toast these pecans because I though the salt would interact better with a raw nut. I also, wanted a super nutty cookie because I wasn't sure that I had enough chocolate chips. You can cut back on the nuts, if you like; just increase the chocolate chips.

Below, you will find an adaptation to a classic: Pecan Chocolate Chip Cookies. Salting these cookies adds a crunch that highlights the pecans.  Baking a pan, without salt, yields a softer, chewier cookie. I suggest you bake a pan with the salt and one without salt; you'll be glad that you did and BONUS (!!) this recipe is a "twofer" getting two cookies out one recipe. Enjoy!

This recipe is adapted from Joy the Baker's Dark Chocolate, Pistachio & Smoked Sea Salt Cookies, which you can find here.


Yield 18-22 medium to large cookies

1/2 stick of softened butter
1/2 cup each of brown sugar and white sugar
1 large egg
1 generous tsp vanilla extract
1 1/4 c all purpose flour
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 tsp coffee
1 1/4 c milk chocolate morsels
1 c coarsely chopped pecans, un-toasted
kosher salt for sprinkling on top

Parchment lined cookie sheet
Cooling Racks

Preheat the oven to 300 degrees. Line 2-3 cookie sheets with parchment paper and set aside.

In the bowl that you will use the electric mixer in, cream butter and sugars until light and fluffy. Be sure that the mixture is pale, which means no clumps of brown sugar. Next, beat in an egg, for about 1 minute. Add the vanilla extract and mix well.

In another bowl, whisk the flour, salt, baking powder, and coffee. At once, add the flour mixture to the butter mixture and beat on low until fully incorporated. Stir in nuts and chocolate. Dole out rounded spoonfuls onto prepared pans and space cookies apart by at least 2 inches. Sprinkle salt on cookies, where desired.

Bake the cookies for 18 minutes, checking at 9 minutes to flatten the dough and to rotate the pans. Bake to your desired doneness; 18-20 minutes for chewier cookies and 22-25 minutes for crispier cookies. Remember that every oven is different!

Cool on pan for 5 minutes and then move to racks and cool completely. Store in an airtight container for as long as they last or up to 5 days.

I suggest you designate a pan for the salted and a pan for the unsalted cookies. The dough is soft and will spread, so give the cookies enough space to get crisp and delicious! 

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