Now before I get to these addictive little treats, I have some good news and some bad news--well not really bad news, just that my good news will leave things a little unsettled around here. First off, for those of you who might not know, cooking and writing about my kitchen escapades, is something I do on the side for fun. What I do for a living (if you can call it that) is write the book and lyrics for new musicals. I know, kinda crazy, right? Anyway, the good news is that my new musical drama, Wallenberg, is getting workshopped this September, which means that it is finally moving forward after many years of blood, sweat and tears (mostly mine!) You can take a look at it if you like at www.wallenbergthemusical.com. It's all very exciting! The bad news is that I'll be very busy with rehearsals and rewrites and out of the house a lot for the next month or so, which means my cooking new recipes and blogging about them may be a little spotty, but I promise to try my best and keep things going as much as possible. Just wanted to give all of you loyal readers, a little heads up. Ok, enough with the excuses today (geez, I'm really full of them). On to the cookies!!
These come together in a matter of minutes, get rolled into a log and then chilled before you cut and bake them, which means you can make them in advance and then cook only as many as you want at any given time. Translated into cookie-speak that means you can have fresh cookies whenever you want!! Dangerous but amazing!!
And though pecan sandies are nothing new, the crunchy Demerara sugar coating the edges of the cookies, takes these from good to extraordinary!! That and the crazy amount of pecans running throughout the cookies!! These crumble in your mouth with the satisfying sugary, pecan crunch. Yum!!
Thank god, the lengthy cookie hiatus is over!! Get yourself into the kitchen and bake up a batch of these today! You've been deprived for too long!!!
Makes about 2 dozen cookies
Prep Time: 15 minutes, plus at least 1 hour of freezing time or an overnight chill in the refrigerator; Bake Time: 12-14 minutes
- 1/2 pound (2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
- 1/3 cup granlated sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 2 cups unbleached, all-purpose flour
- 1 cup pecans, roughly chopped
- 1 cup demerara sugar
- 1 egg white, beaten (for egg wash)
1. Use an electric mixer to cream together the butter and granulated sugar together, salt and vanilla together for about 3-5 minutes, until light and fluffy. In three separate additions, add the flour, beating only until combined. Remove the bowl from the mixer and use a rubber spatula to fold in the pecans.
2. Divide the dough in half and roll each half into a 2-inch log. Wrap each half separately in plastic wrap and freeze for 1 hour or chill overnight in the fridge.
3. Position rack in the center of the oven and preheat to 350ºF. Line two large cookie sheets with parchment paper and set aside.
4. Rip off another length of parchment paper and sprinkle the demerara sugar over it. Remove the logs from the plastic wrap and brush each with the egg white and then roll in the sugar, pressing a bit to help the sugar stick. Slice the logs into 1/2-inch slices and arrange them on the cookie sheets, at least 1 inch apart.
5. Bake one sheet at a time for about 12-14 minutes, rotating the pan at the halfway point, to ensure even cookies. Finished cookies should appear golden brown. Let cool on the pan on the rack. Serve immediately or store at room temperature in an airtight container for 3-4 days.
Note: Recipe adapted from Back in the Day Bakery Made with Love by Cheryl and Griffith Davis.