Day 2: Nibby Pecan
Posted by loavesandstitches
Oh, I love a good refrigerator cookie. They are really the backbone of a Christmas cookie tin. The dough is easy to make. You usually form it into a nice log, and then stick them in the refrigerator or freezer. There, they wait until you are ready.
Today’s cookie is one I have been making every year for many years. Many people think that it is a chocolate chip cookie, and they are not totally wrong, but not quite right either. These cookies have cocoa nibs in them instead of bits of chocolate. Nibs are basically tiny little bits of the roasted cocoa bean. It’s really just raw chocolate; no added sugar, milk or other flavorings. It tastes like chocolate, sort of. They are a little crunchy, but have a wonderful flavor that is difficult to describe.
This is a recipe that I got many years ago, just when Scharffenberger was becoming popular and artisan chocolates had not yet taken over the chocolate market. On a whim, I bought a box of cocoa nibs and the recipe for this cookie was included in the box. Now, I don’t know about you, but I don’t often pay attention to recipes that come on boxes and bags of ingredients, but this one caught my eye because it was from Alice Medrich, a very well known chocolatier. This lady knows her chocolate, so I decided to give the recipe a try and I have never looked back.
These cookies are part shortbread, part chocolate chip cookie, and part pecan sandie. Together, they are divine. The best part about these cookies is that they get better with age. The fragrance of the cocoa nibs becomes more intense as the cookies sit and they really make the cookie much more than their plain looks suggest. Try them and see for yourself.
Don’t forget to leave a comment to increase your chances of winning the cookie tin. See yesterday’s post for more details. Tell me, what is your “must have” Christmas cookie?
Adapted from Alice Medrich’s book BIttersweet.
makes about 48 cookies
1 cup pecan halves, toasted lightly in a 350 degree oven for 10 minutes and chopped coarsely.
8 ounces unsalted butter (2 Sticks) at room temperature
5.25 ounces (3/4 cup) granulated sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
4 teaspoons bourbon (optional, but oh so yummy!)
1.5 teaspoons vanilla extract
1/3 cup cocoa nibs
10 ounces (2 cups) all purpose flour
Combine butter, sugar, salt, bourbon, and vanilla in a bowl and cream together using an electric mixer or large wooden spoon. It should be smooth and creamy but not fluffy. Stir in the pecans and cocoa nibs. Add all the flour at once and mix until just combined.
Turn out the dough onto a big piece of parchment and form into a 12 long, 2 inch diameter log. Wrap in the parchment and refrigerate until solid. At this point, you can also freeze them for up to a few months. To continue, just thaw overnight in the refrigerator.
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Slice the log into 1/4 inch pieces and arrange two inches apart on a baking sheet lined with parchment. To bake more than one pan at a time, make sure your oven racks are spaced evenly and rotate the pans in the middle of baking. Bake for 12-14 minutes or until golden brown at the edges.
For best flavor, store in an airtight container for at least a day. These keep well for at least a month. Perfect for a Christmas tin!