Baking For Others: Cupid Is a Sweet-Toothed Democrat
EVENT: Cupid Is A Democrat, Think Blue‘s Valentine’s Day Party
TYPE: Gift Bag Delicacy
GOODIE: Butterscotch Cookies with Toasted Pecans, aka Yes, Pecan! Cookies
ThinkBlue, a fund- and awareness-raising organization for young democrats, throws good parties. There was the rowdy one last Election Day and the celebratory one last Inauguration Day. Then, with midterm elections two years off and the organization’s leader gone off to Washington, we had to wait until now for the next fete. And, where before we were guests, at today’s event, we’re guests AND gift bag contributors.
Shamelessly, we ripped off Ben & Jerry’s name for our cookies–though the flavor combo is our very own. (Runners-up were “Al Gore’s Compost Cookie” and Elephant Animal Crackers.) If you attended the event, see below to recreate what you just tasted. Otherwise, you’ll have to take our word for their yumminess until you make these babies yourself.
From our kitchen, where Cupid is a sweet-toothed Democrat, to yours,
In honor of the big old day of love, we had a heart-shaped pan giveaway, and asked you to tell us what your ideal Valentine’s Day Meal would be–that is, what you’d most like to have cooked for you. We had such fun reading all of your responses, and you can be sure that many of your ideas won’t go untested in the weeks to come. Lucky Leaf was generous enough to offer not 5, but 10 pans for our commenters. The randomly selected winners are:
If your name is listed, please get in touch with us at biggirlssmallkitchen [at] gmail [dot] com and let us know the best address to send your pan to!!
For those of you not selected, please come back again–there will be plenty more giveaways on the horizon!
Yes, Pecan! Cookies
Makes 3 dozen cookies
If you can’t find butterscotch extract, add 1/2 cup butterscotch chips. If you do this, reduce the chopped pecans from 1 1/4 to 1 cup.
2 cups (8 oz) raw pecans
2 sticks butter
2/3 cup sugar
2/3 cup light brown sugar
3/4 teaspoon butterscotch extract
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1/8 teaspoon espresso powder (optional)
2 cups + 3 tablespoons flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
rounded 1/2 teaspoon salt
1/3 cup sugar
1 1/4 teaspoons salt
Preheat the oven to 375°F. Spread the pecan halves on a baking sheet and toast for about 10 minutes, checking every minute or so after 5 minutes have passed. You want the nuts to be fragrant and sweet but not burnt. Set aside to cool. You can do this step in advance.
Put 3/4 cup pecans into a food processor. Pulse on and off until the pecans are just ground–you don’t want to turn them into a paste. On a cutting board, chop the remaining nuts into small pieces. Put the nuts in a small bowl and add the flour, baking soda, and 1/2 teaspoon salt. Stir to combine and set aside.
In a larger bowl, cream the butter with the sugars until fluffy. Add the egg, beat until combined and even fluffier, then mix in the extracts and espresso powder.
Pour the dry ingredients into the butter mixture and mix just until all the flour is incorporated.
Mix together the additional sugar and salt on a shallow plate. Form the dough into balls the size of a 3-D silver dollar. Coat them with the sugar and salt by rolling them through it. Place the balls on a baking sheet a few inches apart.
Bake for 8-10 minutes until the bottoms are golden and the tops are just barely firm. Remove and let cool on the baking sheets for 10 minutes before gently removing to racks or plates to cool completely.