Sunday, December 22, 2013

Nibby Pecan Cookies

Take a look at the cookies above.  They may not look like much but they are life altering.  They are Nibby Pecan Cookies, a recipe created by Alice Medrich.  First of all, Alice Medrich is known for her brilliance with chocolate, which pretty much, in my opinion, guarantees that her recipes will be great.  But this one seriously goes beyond great.  It is DIVINE.

I found this recipe because another blog that I follow, Loaves and Stitches, is doing a cookie countdown right now and this recipe was on that blog.  As soon as I saw them, I was hooked.  First of all, they use an ingredient I have never used before - cocoa nibs!  Cocoa nibs are tiny pieces of the roasted cocoa bean, raw, when the beans are READY to be made into chocolate but it hasn't yet happened.  So they have a great cocoa flavor but do not have extra sugar, butter, etc in them.  And they have a fabulous CRUNCH.  How come I never knew about these amazing things?  I have been enlightened!

This recipe is essentially a pecan sandie that has really been taken to a higher supreme level.  Angels will sing when you make these cookies.  I heard them.  Honestly.

The batter is delicious.  I know, there are those out there that scoff at tasting cookie batter but this one doesn't even have eggs in it so how can you really complain??  And truly, you need to try this batter.  YUM.  Did I mention yet that there is bourbon in the batter?  Yes, indeedy, bourbon.  Now will you taste the batter??  I could have eaten the entire bowl, but I am so glad I didn't.  (For many reasons, really.)

The cookies right out of the oven are yummy.  But WAIT.  Package those cookies up for a night and eat them the next day.  Holy moley, they have gone from yummy to INCREDIBLE.  Cue angels singing again.  I need to hide them from myself because I could eat the entire batch.  Happily, the batch makes about 48 cookies.  Sadly, this is still not enough.  Somehow over time, the flavors in these cookies get more complex.  They get more nutty, more roasted, more buttery, more flat-out incredible.  This is no regular pecan sandie.  This is a pecan sandie that has reached nirvana.

Nibby Pecan Cookies
adapted from Alice Medrich’s book Bittersweet.
makes about 48 cookies

1 cup pecan halves, toasted lightly in a 350 degree oven for 10 minutes and chopped coarsely.
1/2 pound (2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
3/4 cup sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
4 teaspoons bourbon, optional but trust me, worth it!
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1/3 cup cocoa nibs
2 cups all purpose flour

Combine butter, sugar, salt, bourbon, and vanilla in a medium bowl and cream until smooth and creamy but not fluffy. Stir in the pecans and cocoa nibs.  Turn off the mixer and add the flour at once.  Mix on low (so your kitchen does not get covered with flour) until just combined.

Turn out the dough onto a big piece of parchment and form into a log that is about 2 inches in diameter, approximately 12 inches long (give or take).  Wrap in the parchment and refrigerate until solid.  You can also freeze them for up to a few months. To continue, just thaw overnight in the refrigerator.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Slice the log into 1/4 inch pieces and arrange on a parchment-lined cookie sheet about 2 inches apart.  If you bake more than one sheet at a time, make sure your oven racks are spaced evenly and rotate the pans in the middle of baking.  Bake for 12-14 minutes or until golden brown at the edges.

For best flavor, store in an airtight container for at least a day.  They will keep for about a month in an airtight container (if you somehow don't eat them faster than that!).
Printable Recipe

You need to make these cookies.  Truly.  And then you need to call me so I can come over and help you devour them.


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