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Wednesday, August 31, 2011

A Starting Point

A full cookie jar is a happy cookie jar.

It's back to school for Kate so I feel like it's a  good time for me to embark on a new project.  I know, I know.  I'm always talking about new projects but this time I actually have one I think I can follow through on.

I have a lot of cookbooks and many of them are baking books.  When I first started out in the kitchen, I was a cookie baker so many of these books date back to my earliest triumphs (and disasters) as a baker.  My new project is to revisit some of my old favorite cookie recipes as well as some new ones.  Sounds simple.  That's the beauty of this project.  It is simple.

Make sure to get all your ingredients together before you start.  
If only I always followed my own advice.

I try not to buy too many bags of cookies at the grocery store because  I can usually make something much better at home.  Save for the occasional Double Stuffed Oreo, which are Kate's favorites, I try to bake most of the cookies we eat around here.  But sometimes I get lazy or disorganized, or both, and I fall into buying cookies.  This may not sound like a bad thing, but for me it's like opening Pandora's Box.  Before I know it, we have all manner of mass produced cookies -- from Oreos to Milanos to Chips Ahoy -- and they are not all equally good.

So, my new project is to bake something different every week.  True, there's nothing quite like a chocolate chip cookie so I'll try some interesting versions instead of the standard recipe.  My cookie project doesn't sound ambitious I know, but I'm starting small.  Hey, you have to start somewhere.

Recipe:  Toffee Pecan Drop Cookies
(The Complete Magnolia Bakery Cookbook, 2009)

Note:  I love this cookbook.


2 cups all-purpose flour

1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup butter, softened
3/4 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
1/4 cup sugar
1 large egg, at room temperature
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups coarsely chopped toasted pecans
1 cup toffee pieces


Preheat oven to 350°.

In a bowl, combine the first 3 ingredients; set aside.  In a large bowl, cream the butter with the sugars for 2 minutes or until smooth.  Add in the egg and vanilla; beat well.  Add in the dry ingredients and mix thoroughly.  Stir in the pecans and toffee.

Drop by rounded teaspoonsful onto an ungreased cookie sheet (leave room for expansion).  Bake 10-12 minutes or until lightly golden.  Let cookies cool in pan for 5 minutes; then transfer cookies to a wire rack to cool completely.

1 comment:

  1. Kudos to you Nadine. Starting small is certainly better than not at all. I know this because, I best start small when I begin my winter bread baking project. It's a new attempt and very scary:)

    Did you see the cookie jar poem I posted a few days of go. It goes perfectly with your Toffee Pecan Drop Cookies. Here's the link.

    Thanks for sharing...