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Friday, November 19, 2010

Butter Pecan Sandies - Week Seven

Ron isn't always a man of many words.  He can talk about sports for hours.  And, he can talk about his technology job for hours.  And, he can talk about his favorite movies or shows for hours.  But, when it comes to daily chit-chat, he pretty much just doesn't do it.  Sometimes our conversations remind me of an episode of The Wonder Years where Kevin's mom is asking his father about his day.  "How was work?"  "Work was work."  "How was traffic?"  "Traffic was traffic."  You get the gist.

I've inherited this annoying trait from my mom that I like to refer to as the question game.  The question game consists of one person, namely me, asking as many questions that can possibly be on my mind to the listening party.  I've developed a bad habit.  Any time that Ron is in a talkative mood, I subconsciously start thinking about all of the questions that I've had building up to ask him.  They are always something mundane like "what do you want for dinner?"  or "do you want to do this tonight?"  But, somehow it turns into an overload of questions and I can't help myself.

For week seven, I wasn't sure what cookie to make.  Having annoyed Ron with cookie questions for the prior six weeks, I didn't ask him what kind he wanted.  Imagine my excitement as we walked through the aisle at Lunds and Ron asked, "What kind of cookie were you planning this week?"  I had to tread around these waters carefully.  If I sounded like I was too overzealous about such an inquiry, Ron might back off and resort to cranky grocery shopping Ron.  I replied calmly, as if I hadn't been pouring over recipes for the past five days, "Umm, I'm not sure.  Do you have something you want?"  He looked at all of the nuts that were right in front of us and said, "How about some type of nutty cookie?"  SCORE!  A nutty cookie!  A request from Ron himself.  My brain started flooding with thoughts but we still had several aisles to go and I didn't want to ruin the trip; cranky grocery shopping Ron always ends disastrous.

But the next morning, all hell broke loose.  The "nutty" cookie recipes on the internet and in my saved "to make" que were inundating.  I couldn't handle it!  What kind of "nutty" cookie did Ron want?  What exactly did he have in mind when he requested a nutty cookie?  Did he want something soft?  Did he want some type of shortbread?  Did he want a specific nut in the cookie?  Did he want multiple types of nuts in the cookie?  Did he want some type of nutty thumbprint cookie with some type of frosting in the center? If so, what kind of frosting did he want in the center?  Did he want a nutty drop cookie or a nutty roll out cookie?  Was he craving chocolate or vanilla?  Did he want baking chips mixed into his cookie with the nuts?

Needless to say, Ron woke up and... well... too many questions were involved for a Sunday morning.  Ron will not be requesting a specific cookie again for 12 Weeks of Holiday Cookies.  But, the good news is that these butter pecan sandies turned out beautifully and they were a delicious choice for week seven.  They were reminiscent of a shortbread cookie and absolutely delectable.
Butter Pecan Cookies
Martha Stewart
Yield:  12 cookies
  • 3/4 cup pecans
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1/3 cup sugar, plus more for coating
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1/8 tsp salt
  • 1 cup AP flour
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.  On a baking sheet, toast pecan until fragrant, about 6 minutes, stirring once.  Let cool completely; finely chop.
  2. With an electric mixer, cream butter and 1/3 cup sugar until light, about 1 minute.  Beat in vanilla, salt, and flour, scraping down sides of bowl, just until dough comes together.  Fold in pecans.
  3. Separate dough into 12 pieces; squeeze dough to shape into balls.  Roll in sugar.  Place 3" apart on a baking sheet.  Gently flatten with the bottom of a glass. Sprinkle with sugar.
  4. Bake until golden brown, rotating sheet halfway through, about 15 minutes.  Sprinkle with sugar.  Cool cookies on a wire rack.

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