Butterscotch Pecan Cookies + In the Small Kitchen (BGSK) Giveaway!
I’m back!! Well, technically I’m not back home yet (8-hour drive tomorrow. Yippee.), but my wonderful string of guests posts is already over. I hope you enjoyed them as much as I did. I can’t wait to try them out!
Today I have another awesome cookbook to show you. (And give away to THREE of you! Details at the end of the post.) It’s called In the Small Kitchen by Cara Eisenpress and Phoebe Lapine. They’re also the authors of the blog Big Girls, Small Kitchen. I love the new trend of blogs turning into books. After getting to know bloggers through their blogs I get excited as if a close friend has just published a book!
These ladies are no exception. I learned so much about them through their cookbook, which is loaded with personal anecdotes about their transition from college students to “big girls” living on their own in NYC. If you’d like to read a more detailed review and summary of this delightful little cookbook, check out my review over at Reading for Sanity.
This book is loaded with fresh, easy recipes for all kinds of situations you may find yourself in as a quarter-life cook. Or any age for that matter. Although I’m married and a full-time mom, I found them easily adaptable for our table. We tried out the BBQ Lentils, which could be a great side dish at a BBQ (think sophisticated baked beans) or stand alone as a chili-type meal. While the rest of the country was frying eggs on their sidewalks a few weeks ago, we were huddle inside during a cold, wet, windy spell enjoying this bowl of warm, hearty goodness. With a side of some chewy baguette slices leftover from a catering gig.
I’ve got a shopping list full of recipes I marked including Spinach Pie Quesadilla, Green Goddess Soup, Goat Cheese and Tomato Skewers, and Garlic Soup. (It seems I’m still in chilly-weather mode.)
I wanted to share the recipe for these Butterscotch Pecan Cookies with you today. I have to be honest, though. The main reason why I wanted to try these cookies was because I was intrigued by sugar-salt combination the dough is rolled in before it’s cooked. I know, right? Adding more sugar and salt? I figured I was making cookies anyway, so by default they weren’t going to be healthy. It’s not a lot of salt, just a little. Enough to give the cookie a subtle salty-sweet bite.
I think the photo above is a great example of the effect climate and elevation have on baking. The photo in the book shows the cookies flatter, as if they didn’t have enough flour. And my version almost didn’t spread at all, as if they had a smidgen too much flour. That could be due to my high-elevation, dry climate vs. the low elevation, humid climate of NYC. Or how we measured our flour. Or the freshness of ingredients. Baking is a tricky beast sometimes.
Anyways. Loved the cookies. Kind of like a chocolate chip cookie meets pecan sandy. Then they kicked out the chocolate and invited butterscotch over to play.
If you’d like to win a copy of In the Small Kitchen, follow the directions at the end of this post. (It’s not hard. I never make you jump through hoops, remember?)
Butterscotch Pecan Cookies
2 cups (8-ounces) raw pecans
2 cups plus 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter
2/3 cup granulated sugar
2/3 cup packed light brown sugar
3/4 teaspoon butterscotch extract (see note)
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1/8 teaspoon espresso powder (optional)
for coating the cookies:
1/3 cup granulated sugar
1 1/4 teaspoons salt
Preheat the oven to 375°F. Line 2-3 baking sheets with parchment (or just bake in batches).
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 a while in advance.)
Put 3/4 cup cooled pecans in 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 1 ¼ cups pecans into small pieces. Put the ground and chopped nuts in a small bowl and add the flour, baking soda, and teaspoon salt. Stir to combine and set aside.
In a large mixing bowl with a handheld mixture, cream the butter with the sugars until light and fluffy. Add the egg, beat until combined, then mix in the extracts and espresso powder. Pour the dry ingredients into the butter mixture and mix just until the flour is incorporated.
Prepare the coating: mix together the additional sugar and salt on a shallow plate. Form the dough into 2-inch balls, and roll the balls in the sugar-salt mixture until coated. Place the balls on a baking sheet 3 inches apart.
Bake the cookies for 8-10 minutes, until the bottoms are golden and the tops are just barely firm. Remove and let cool on the baking sheet for 10 minutes before gently removing to racks or plates to cool completely.
Makes 24-30 cookies.
1. If you can’t find butterscotch extract, use 3/4 cup butterscotch chips and decrease the pecans to 1 ¼ cups.
from In the Small Kitchen by Cara Eisenpress & Phoebe Lapine
In the Small Kitchen Giveaway Info
UPDATE: The publisher has added two more copies for me to give to you. Three winners, yay!
Simply leave a comment on this post and answer the question:
A few little details…
1. Comments will close on Friday, June 17 2011 at 9PM PST. I’ll use a random number generator to choose THREE winners that I will contact and announce here on the 18th. If I don’t get a response from the winners after three days I’ll pick new ones.
3. Contest open to US residents only.
4. Leave a way for me to contact you. I shout this from the rooftops every time I do a giveaway, but every time over a quarter of the entries are those who I cannot reach. If your Blogger profile is private or you do not have an email address/active blog listed, please leave your email address or send me an email at perrysplate [at] gmail [dot] com after you leave a comment so I have your contact info.
William Morrow (HarperCollins) provided my copy of In the Small Kitchen as well as the review copies. As always, opinions shared are 100% mine.