This is a busy week for my family--yesterday was my birthday and today is my mom's!! Yes, I was her birthday present! Happy Birthday, MM!! Tonight she'll be getting one of her favorite cakes, this NY Times Plum Torte, which is one of the first things I've ever shared with all of you here (please excuse the pictures) with whipped cream, of course. But since I've already posted that, I thought I'd share with you her favorite cookie, these amazingly light, crunchy and nutty, Maple Pecan Thins, heretofore to be known forever as Susie's Maple Pecan Thins!
Once you try these, you will make them part of your regular repertoire--they're so easy and so amazingly addictive. You don't even need a mixer!! And because they're see-through, how many calories could they possibly have?! There's got to be some leakage!!
You start by toasting a generous amount of pecans--
Then you mix together melted butter and maple syrup--
And stir in the dry ingredients to make a batter that easily drops onto a parchment-lined cookie sheet.
These bake quickly and when they're done, you're left with a crisp, crunchy, buttery, lace-like wafer with the wonderful tastes of maple and pecans. It's no wonder they're my mom's favorite. Try them and you'll know what I mean!
Happy Birthday to the bestest!!
Susie's Maple Pecan Thins
Makes about 2 dozen cookies
Prep Time: 15 minutes (including toasting the nuts); Bake Time: 10 minutes
- 3 1/2 ounces (1 cup) pecans (I always buy them in pieces since they're much less expensive)
- 1/2 cup sifted unbleached, all-purpose flour
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/8 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/8 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 stick (4 tablespoons) unsalted butter
- 1/2 cup pure maple syrup
1. Make sure rack is in the center of the oven and preheat to 350ºF. Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper--you can really only bake one sheet at a time. Set aside.
2. Place the nuts on a rimmed baking sheet and toast for about 10 minutes, or until they have a strong nutty smell when you open the oven door. Don't let them burn. Let cool and break them up into small pieces. Set aside.
3. Into a small bowl, sift together the flour, salt, baking powder and soda. Set aside.
4. Melt the butter in a small saucepan. While it's melting, pour the maple syrup into a small bowl and then pour the melted butter into that. Stir well to mix. Add the nuts and the sifted ingredients and stir with a rubber spatula, just to mix.
5. Use a teaspoon measuring spoon and scoop out the cookies and place them on the prepared baking sheet at least 3 inches apart because they spread a lot as they cook. At first the mixture will be very liquid, but it will firm up as you go. That's ok.
6. Bake the sheet for 10 minutes, reversing the sheet front to back at the five minute mark. Check early--all ovens differ. You want these to be golden but not dark brown, as they continue to cook a bit as they cool on the hot baking sheet, but if you remove them too early they won't be crunchy. Sometimes they look a bit less dark in the centers. That's ok--it's probably time to take them out.
7. Let cool on the sheet on a rack until you are able to easily peel the cookies away from the parchment paper. Repeat the entire process with the rest of the batter.
8. These must be stored airtight of they'll lose their crunch. Transfer cooled cookies to a tin and store at room temperature. These last several days and the recipe doubles well too.
Note: Recipe adapted from Maida Heatter's Brand-New Book of Great Cookies by Maida Heatter.