We are heaven-sent. We will make all your problems disappear. The answers to all of life’s questions lie in this cookie jar. Yes, we are talking cookies, and yes, we are now controlling your miiiiiiind.
Do you guys ever get the feeling that your food is…you know…talking to you?
Okay, well, maybe it’s just me. But man, I could’ve sworn those delicious little cookies sitting on the counter were, well, beseeching me to do their bidding. No? You’ve never felt like that?
About a week ago, the Boy’s sister (the Girl) came into town to stay with us and attend a ridiculous, poorly-organized corporate conference and spend some good times catching up. And eating. She is a Chicago-born expat living in St. Paul, after all. So while the week certainly didn’t lack for good beer, great Italian beefs, and phenomenal pizza, I felt we needed a little something extra. Like, something with a lot of butter in it. And sugar. That’s also rolled in more sugar. Enter the pecan sandies.
Yum, yum, yum–if there was ever a recipe that made me wanna find out how to turn everything I make into a slice-and-bake deal, it’s this one. I mean, what could be easier than six ingredients thrown together, rolled into a log, chilled, and then sliced up anytime you need a cookie fix? Of course, I didn’t wait for the fix, opting to bake mine all at once instead. But wouldn’t it be great to just keep a few short rolls of these cookies in the freezer for, you know, like, a cookie emergency? As an added bonus, it’s practically effortless to make all these cookies the exact same size and shape, and the dough is incredibly forgiving and resists burning. I wonder what the cookies have to say about that?
Man, you can never count on a cookie to stay on-topic.
Mind Control Pecan Sandies
1 cup butter, softened (the best non-local, grocery brand you can get is Kerrygold–it’s imported from Ireland, where they know how to treat their dairy cows)
3/4 cup powdered sugar, plus more for rolling
1 tsp. vanilla
1/2 tsp. salt
2 cups flour
1 1/4 cups chopped pecans
Beat the butter mercilessly with 3/4 cup powdered sugar and the vanilla. Really go at it until it’s nice and fluffy. I don’t have a hand mixer (I know–shocker! I really find beating the shit out of something with a wooden spoon to be therapeutic. If you’re not up to merciless, it would probably only take you two minutes with an electric mixer.) In a separate bowl, mix the salt, flour, and nuts. Add this dry mixture into the wet mixture in thirds, beating well between each addition. Take the dough out of the bowl and work it with your hands until you can roll it into two thin logs, maybe about an inch and a half in diameter. Roll the logs in waxed paper and stick ’em in the fridge for at least an hour. (OR, at this point you can stick the logs in the freezer for future use).
When you’re ready to start baking, preheat the oven to 350. Unwrap the dough logs and use a sharp, heavy knife to cut 1/4 inch thick slices of dough, placing them maybe half an inch apart on parchment-lined cookie sheets. Bake for 15 to 20 minutes (until the cookie tops start to get golden on the edges). Take them out and pour some powdered sugar into a decent-sized bowl. Drop the hot cookies, a few at a time, into the powdered sugar, and roll them around until they’re nicely coated. Then place them on cooling racks. Repeat until you’re done rolling all the cookies, working quickly so as to prevent the hot cookies from cooling off before they’re rolled (the heat helps the sugar to bond to the cookies). Once you’re sure they’re all cool as cucumbers, feel free to pack them into cookie tins or mason jars, as I did, and let the mind control begin!