Pecan Shortnin’ Bread

I’ve been told that the difference between shortnin’ bread and shortbread is the sugar. Typical shortbread uses fine, white sugar. Shortnin’ bread uses brown sugar. I decided to make my shortnin’ bread with pecans. Sort of like pecan sandies but richer.

And, if you’re anything like me, you are now humming, “Mama’s little baby loves shortnin’, shortnin’ Mama’s little baby loves shortnin’ bread.”

1 cup packed brown sugar
4 cup sifted flour
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1 cup pecans, minced
1 lb unsalted butter, softened

Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. Cover a sheet pan with parchment paper or a light spray of oil.

Place the brown sugar in the bowl of the mixer and break up any lumps with your fingers. Blend into the sugar the flour and salt. Add in the minced pecans. Add the softened butter to the flour sugar mix and blend until you have a smooth dough.

On a pieces of parchment paper on a worksurface, turn out the dough. Press with your hands create a rectangle 1/2 inch thick. If dough is too soft, place in the refrigerator for about 30 minutes.

Cut into shapes and lay each piece on the cookie sheet about 1 inch apart. Or, press directly onto the prepared pan and using a sharp knife, score the dough into squares.

Bake for 25-30 minutes or until lightly brown. Let cool on racks for 5 minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely.

Store in an airtight container.

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Chocolate Oatmeal Bar Cookies

I needed to clear out some room in my pantry to fit some can goods I had gotten on sale and the big container of oats (that was only a third full) had to go. I went to my bar cookie recipes as I didn’t want to stand around making my usual oatmeal cookies after having to deal with contractors for most of the afternoon. This recipe is an old favorite and not just because it has lots of chocolate. The topping is quite reminiscent of It’s-it ice cream sandwiches and that makes me happy.

I used semi-sweet morsels but you can use bittersweet or even milk chocolate, depending on your taste. You can also stir in a cup of butterscotch morsels into the melted chocolate right before spreading it on the bottom layer.

Chocolate Oatmeal Bar Cookies

2 cups semi-sweet chocolate chips
1 can sweetened condensed milk
1 1/4 teaspoon salt, divided
2 sticks unsalted butter, melted plus 2 tablespoons
3 cups rolled oats
2 cups all purpose flour
1 1/2 cups packed brown sugar
1 cup pecans, chopped
1 teaspoon baking soda
2 eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Butter well a 9×13 baking pan.

In a double boiler, melt together the chocolate chips, sweetened condensed milk and 1/4 teaspoon salt and the 2 tablespoons butter. Stir well.

In a mixing bowl, combine oats, flour, brown sugar, pecans, baking soda and 1 teaspoon salt. In a separate bowl, whisk together the 2 sticks of melted butter, vanilla and eggs. On low speed, pour the liquid ingredients into the bowl with the oat mixture. Once combined, remove 1 1/2 cups of the mixture and press the rest into the bottom of the prepared pan.

Spread the chocolate mixture over the oat mixture.

Sprinkle the reserved portion of the oat mixture over the top of the chocolate layer. Try and co er as much as possible. Bake for 30 minutes or until the topping is a lovely brown. Let bars cool on a wire rack for a couple of hours or until set. Slice into bars and enjoy!

Cocoa Meringue Cookies

We made Bourbon Vanilla Ice Cream yesterday and it left us with 5 egg whites. Perfect number for make some meringue cookies.

If you want a smooth, uniform appearance, sift the cocoa. I don’t because I enjoy biting into tiny spots of intense chocolate.

Cocoa Meringue Cookies

5 egg whites, room temperature
1/4 teaspoon salt
3/4 teaspoon cream of tarter
1 cup granulated sugar
1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 teaspoon vanilla

Preheat oven to 220 degrees F. Place parchment paper on two large rimmed baking sheets.

Make sure the bowl and whisk are well cleaned and dry. Place egg whites, salt and cream of tarter in the bowl. Starting on low and slowing increasing the speed to high, mix well. Once soft peaks form, begin adding the sugar in 1/4 cup increments. Once the mixture is thick and shiny and stiff peaks have formed, fold in cocoa and vanilla.

Move mixture into a piping bag. I use a gallon plastic bag and cut off a little of one of the bottom corners. Pipe out drops or other shapes with the meringue mixture, twisting the bag as you go to keep pressure up.

Bake for one hour. Turn off oven but keep door closed and let cookies cool completely for 90 minutes to 2 hours, depending on how humid it is. Peel the cookies off the parchment paper and store in an airtight container.

Old School Lemon Poppy Seed Cookies

Over the holidays, a friend of mine posted about doing his traditional cookies from a recipe found in an old copy of Joy of Cooking. I went to my copy (inherited from my paternal grandmother and published in 1953) and couldn’t find it. I called my mom for her to check to hers (a wedding present, published in 1964) and it wasn’t there either.

Luckily, I was able to get Lee to send me a picture of the recipe from his copy (published in 1975). They are called Rich Roll Cookies and they are quite tasty.

We made a couple of minor changes but the recipe is essentially unchanged.

Lemon Poppy Seed Roll Cookies

2 sticks (1 cup) unsalted butter
2/3 cup granulated sugar
1 egg
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 1/2 teaspoons lemon zest
2 tablespoons poppy seeds
Granulated sugar for rolling

Whisk together flour and salt. Cream butter and sugar. Add the egg and beat. Pour in the vanilla. Slowly add the flour and salt.

Chill dough at least 2 hours before rolling and baking.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

Cut into cookies and sprinkle with granulated sugar. Bake on a greased baking sheet for 8 minutes for room temperature dough or 10 minutes for chilled dough. They will only be slightly golden.

Peanut Butter Chocolate Chocolate Chip Cookies

I woke up this morning craving chocolate chip cookies. When I went into the kitchen I saw the jar of peanut butter that I hadn’t but back in the cabinet after a snack of peanut butter and crackers last night and decided to alter my plans to include some peanut butter.

Just adding peanut butter to an existing chocolate chip cookie recipe would make cookies without enough chocolate for my craving. However, adding melted chocolate would give me the hit I wanted needed. I also switched the semi-sweet chocolate for bittersweet. Feel free to change it back when making the recipe for yourself, if you don’t want such darkly chocolate cookies.

Peanut Butter Chocolate Chocolate Chip Cookies

4 ounce bar bittersweet chocolate, broken into bits
2 cups all purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 sticks (1 cup) unsalted butter, softened
3/4 cups granulated sugar
3/4 cups packed brown sugar
1 cup peanut butter
2 eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
10 ounce package bittersweet morsels

Preheat oven to 300 degrees F

Melt the bittersweet chocolate bar in the microwave or on top of a double boiler.

Mix together in a medium bowl the flour, baking soda and salt. Set aside.

Cream together the butter and sugars. Mix in the peanut butter. Add the eggs one at a time. Mix in the vanilla extract. Scrape down the bowl and then slowly add the flour mixture. Pour in the melted chocolate. Scrape down the bowl and then stir in the bittersweet chocolate chips.

Make 2 tablespoon balls of the mixture in your hands (if necessary, chill the dough for about 10 minutes first) and then place the balls on an ungreased baking sheet, spaced about 2 inches apart. Bake for 23 minutes or until set but still soft. Cool on cookie sheet for a minute before transferring to a wire rack and cooling completely.

Remembrance Cookies

It is All Hallows Day. While we remember loved ones who have transitioned, we might as well enjoy a cookie or three, too. Even though we made them in the shape of skulls, the recipe below isn’t for the traditional Mexican sugar skull cookies for Day of the Dead.

Instead, we made Rosemary Remembrance Cookies. Rosemary is an herb that has long been associated with memory and fidelity and is a symbol for both weddings and funerals. As Ophelia recites:

“There’s rosemary, that’s for remembrance. Pray you, love, remember.”
William Shakespeare, Hamlet, Act 4, Scene 5

The original recipe is by Callie Watts with the addition of more rosemary as regular readers know I’m mad about the rosemary!

We had fun finger painting them after they cooled

Remembrance Cookies

1 1/2 cups powdered sugar
1 cup unsalted butter, softened
1 egg
2 teaspoons vanilla
1 teaspoon almond extract
2 tablespoons chopped rosemary
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon cream of tartar
1 teaspoon salt

Heat oven to 375 degrees F.

In a large bowl, beat sugar, butter, egg, vanilla, almond extract, and rosemary until creamy. In a separate bowl, sift flour, baking soda, cream of tartar, and salt.

Fold flour mixture into sugar mixture, a 1/2 cup at a time until combined.

Beat until dough forms, refrigerate for an hour. After the rest, remove from the fridge and divide in three pieces.

Roll out one portion to 3/16 of an inch on a floured surface. Use biscuit or cookie cutters to cut out shapes and place on an ungreased cookie sheet. Repeat rolling and cutting until all the dough is used.

Bake for 7 minutes. Cool on wire racks before eating as is or using decorator icing to make designs. Store in an airtight container.

 

Chocolate Chip Brownie Cookies

It is that time of the month and I’m craving chocolate. I just had to make these dense and rich cookies. They totally hit the spot!

Chocolate Chip Brownie Cookies


2 1/4 cup all purpose flour
3/4 cup cocoa
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup (2 sticks) butter, softened
1 cup granulated sugar
3/4 cups brown sugar, packed
2 eggs
1 tablespoon vanilla
3 tablespoons milk
1 cup pecans, chopped
1 1/2 cup semi-sweet or bittersweet morsels

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

Sift together flour, cocoa, baking soda and salt.

Cream butter and sugars. Add eggs, one at a time. Pour in vanilla. Slowly combine flour mixture alternately with milk. Stir in pecans and morsels.

Drop by rounded tablespoons onto ungreased cookie sheet. Bake for 9 minutes, rotating cookie sheet midway through baking. Cookies will still look soft. Cool for 2 minutes on pan before moving to a wire rack to cool completely.