During F&W Cookie Week, some of our favorite digital contributors are sharing their best holiday cookie recipes in a virtual swap. Post your favorite baking experiments on Instagram using #FWCookie. Here, a nutty coffee pairing by Erin Alderson of Naturally Ella.
Holidays around my house are extremely cookie filled. My mother and grandmothers have what can only be called an arsenal of cookie recipes. Every year, my mother and I would spend time baking recipe after recipe—one of my favorite parts of the holiday season (next to our post-Thanksgiving tradition of going to the Christmas tree farm to cut down our tree).
Our repertoire includes the usual: sugar cookies, thumbprints and gingerbread men with a few extras thrown in for good measure like oatmeal Carmelites and these Melt-in-Your-Mouth cookies. These cookies became my grandmother’s specialty and the entire family started fighting over them. They are fairly simple, ingredient-wise, but they’re the perfect, crisp cookies to pair with a steaming cup of coffee or hot cocoa. I love to use these cookies when I need a dessert in a pinch, as I almost always have all of the ingredients on hand.
A couple of notes about making these cookies:
• Older cookie sheets work better, as the newer, insulated ones don’t crisp the cookies as well.
• I’ve chosen to bake with parchment paper, but these cookies can also be baked on an ungreased cookie sheet.
• Grind unroasted, unsalted pecans into meal if desired.
• 1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened
• 1 cup packed dark brown sugar
• 1 large egg
• 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
• 3/4 cup unbleached all-purpose flour
• 1 teaspoon baking powder
• 1/2 teaspoon salt
• 1/2 cup pecan meal
1. Preheat oven to 400˚; line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
2. In the bowl of an electric stand mixer, combine the softened butter with the brown sugar and beat on low until combined. Add the egg and vanilla, and beat on medium speed until the mixture has lightened in color and is fluffy. Turn the mixer back to low and add the flour, baking powder and salt. Once the mixture is well combined, add pecan meal and beat until just mixed.
3. Place 2 teaspoon-size scoops of the dough onto the sheet, spaced 2 inches apart (roughly 12 per tray). Bake for 7 minutes, until the cookies are a golden and have spread out. Remove from oven, let cool for 10 minutes, then transfer to a rack to finish cooling. Store in an airtight container for 4 to 5 days or freeze for up to 2 months.