I recently saw a quote that said “Sometimes the people who are thousands of miles away from you, can make you feel better than the people right beside you.”. I think that quote describes exactly how I feel about a lot of friends I have in my life. That is to say I miss the ones who don’t live close and have a greater appreciation for the time we spend together.
That brings me to my friend Debra who was in town for a conference with her husband last weekend. I was so excited! Debra is someone I’ve known for quite a few years but maybe only see once or twice a year (if I’m lucky). Like me, she’s a runner, Disney aficionado and a film buff. I love that she’s someone that I can talk to about anything and everything. She gets why things make me snarky and is great at cheering me up when I’m down. And when I’m wrong, she’ll set me straight.
And that’s where the cookies come in. You see, Debra’s birthday is tomorrow and I was thinking of what I could surprise her with. I really wanted to bake something, I just wasn’t sure what to make because it had to survive a plane ride and be relatively mess free. Then it dawned on me: cookies of course!
These are my favourite non-chocolate cookies! They’re loaded with toasted pecans, melted toffee chips and they’re rolled in a sugar and salt mixture to give them that extra crunch and depth of flavor. These cookies are the perfect balance of chewy, crispy, salty and sweet. They are out of this world when they’re eaten warm but they’re also perfect for dunking in your coffee. And they’re my way of wishing a happy birthday to a very special friend of mine! Enjoy!
PS – Stop by Kungaloosh and wish Debra a happy birthday, and give her page a like while you’re there.
Salty-Sweet Butter Pecan Cookies
Yield: about 4 dozen 3″ cookies
- 1 1/3 cups toasted pecan halves
- 2/3 cup light brown sugar, firmly packed
- 2/3 cup granulated sugar
- 1/2 cup butter
- 1/2 cup vegetable shortening
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon espresso powder
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 3/4 teaspoon butter-rum flavor
- 1 teaspoon white vinegar
- 1 large egg
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1/3 cups butterscotch chips
- 1 cup toffee bits
- 1/3 cup granulated sugar
- 1 teaspoon salt
- In a mixing bowl, add the brown sugar, granulated sugar, butter, shortening, salt, espresso powder, baking soda, vanilla, butter-rum flavoring and vinegar, beating the ingredients until the mixture is smooth and creamy.
- Scrape down the sides of the bowl and add in the egg. Continue beating until the egg is combined.
- Add in the flour, then the butterscotch chips and toffee bits and finally the toasted pecans.
- Cover the bowl and refrigerate the dough approximately 4 to 5 hours or overnight.
- Once you’re ready to bake the cookies, line a baking tray with parchment paper and pre-heat the oven to 375F.
- For the topping, mix 1/3 cup of sugar with the salt in a bowl. Using a tablespoon, scoop out balls of dough and roll in the sugar/salt mixture to coat and then place the dough onto the prepared baking sheets. Leave approximately 2″ of space between the dough as the cookies will spread once they begin to bake.
- Place the cookies into the oven for approximately 12 minutes. Keep an eye on the cookies, the edges will brown once they’re closer to done. Remove the baking tray from the oven and cool for several minutes before removing them from the trays. Repeat with the remaining dough.
(Source: King Arthur Flour)
Recipe notes: You can bake the cookies without refrigerating the dough, however the cookies will be flatter and crispier. Refrigerating the cookie helps to prevent spread which results in a puffier and chewier cookie. For those who enjoy the salty-sweet experience, the amount of salt in the topping can be increased to 1 1/4 teaspoons of salt.