I wouldn’t ask you to make a cookie unless I were serious about it. Cookies are personal. I really get irritated with marginal cookies, because, frankly, at 40 when I sit down and enjoy a moment of crumby child-like pleasure I want it to be really good. Or, said another way, if a cookie is going to be marginal, I’d just as soon be eating mashed potatoes or pie. I don’t want to waste an indulgence, if you know what I mean.
That is one of the reasons I haven’t done a lot of cookies on PIE. I’ve made a million and posted, what, three cookie recipes, perhaps four?
But this one is very good. If you made the granola I posted a bit back, you probably still have most of the ingredients handy. The only out-of-the-ordinary ingredients are unsweetened organic coconut flakes, pecan meal, and maple sugar.
I spoke of maple sugar when I posted a maple shortbread recipe last year. Hopefully you bought some. But if not, let me say that I am very conscious of the costs of ingredients. This one is not cheap. The container I bought was about $10 at Whole Foods. But this is one of the best ingredients I have used in the last year. It adds several dimensions anywhere that you use it. It is crisp, sweet, and imparts a very nice maple flavor. But the maple doesn’t take over…it is a thought, a hint. This cookie will still be great without it, but the maple sugar really puts this cookie over the top. It is worth buying just to have to sprinkle on your morning oatmeal.
The pecan meal can be made by chopping pecan pieces in a food processor or by purchasing pecan meal prepared. I used pecan meal from Valley Pecans, which is a great pecan resource, as is The Pecan Shed. This recipe makes approximately 36 cookies.
½ cup brown sugar
½ cup granulated sugar
½ cup butter
1 cup all purpose flour
½ teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon baking powder
½ teaspoon salt
1-¼ cups Old Fashioned Oats (not quick cooking)
1-½ teaspoons vanilla extract
½ cup unsweetened organic coconut flakes
½ cup pecan meal
3 Tablespoons maple sugar for topping only (approximately)
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
In a small bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt. In the bowl of an electric mixer, cream together the butter and the granulated and brown sugars (not the maple sugar). This should take at least 2 to 3 minutes. Add the egg and vanilla and beat until smooth. Add the flour mixture and mix on slow until combined. Add the oats, the pecans and the coconut and mix until combined.
Form balls using spoons or a small scooper (highly recommended). My scooper is 1.5″ in diameter. Dip each ball into a small bowl which contains the maple sugar. The maple sugar will stick to the dough ball. Set the cookie on a baking sheet or silicone baking mat (also recommended), maple sugar facing up.
Bake for approximately 10-½ minutes. Remove from the oven and allow the cookies to rest on the baking sheet for 2 minutes before transferring them to a wire baking rack to cool.
This is actually a very easy cookie. It is hard not to eat all of the dough before it makes it into the oven. The recipe was inspired by a recipe called “Prize Cookies” which I ran across in the Junior League of El Paso Cookbook, named Seasoned with Sun (1974). I have altered the recipe a great deal, but the cookie recipe as printed was great, too. It is a stellar community cookbook. It is jammed with really interesting Southwestern and Mexican food recipes. If you have one, get it out again. If you don’t, and you also are addicted to community cookbooks, try to find it.
I shouldn’t tell you this because I fear the bin will be empty the next time I go, but Half Price Books has a section on community and fund-raising cookbooks that is more fun than a barrel of monkeys. On the trip during which I bought the El Paso book, I also scored the Junior League of Abilene The Best Little Cookbook in Texas (1981), and the lovely Junior League of Austin THE COLLECTION a Cookbook (1976). Isn’t it curious how I fill them with sticky notes as though I will EVER get to all of them…as I keep acquiring more.
Why do I like these books? I guess it has something to do with the way that they reflect the communities from which they come. The covers, the recipe selections, the introductions, and the names are a record of the times. Did they use lard, or had they moved on to Crisco? Do they use lots of fresh vegetables or is everything coming from cans? Are the recipes high falootin’ or down home? I think about all of these things as I leaf through the pages. I also wonder if the people who owned the book before me actually used it, or if it sat on the shelf collecting dust but giving the impression of a kitchen often used. Was this the only cookbook the person had? Don’t even get me started on how much I love margin notes. I think this is the reason that I joined Foodways Texas. I like the notion of looking back into time and thinking about history through the context of the dinner table.