Sunday 14 September 2014

Chocolate Chip Pecan Cookies

I feel like I'm living in the midst of a storm at the moment, with excitement, nerves and stress blustering around. I move house and leave Oxford in a few days, and I start my four years soon after. The majority of my kitchen and all of my books are in boxes. I keep reaching for my stress-reducing activities - plums in the fruit bowl, crumble! Oh wait... - without success. It's odd and disjointing.

Thankfully, I stashed some logs of cookie dough in the freezer and kept a baking tray out. I have some Peanut Butter Biscuits (I rolled the dough into a log instead of individual balls), some Chocolate Cardamon Cookies and these chocolate chip pecan cookies. They're crispy and chewy, nutty and sweet and generally comforting.

Wish me luck - I'll be back when I've unpacked my kitchen in Cambridge...

Chocolate Chip Pecan Cookies
(adapted from David Lebovitz's Ready for Dessert)

115g pecans
200g dark chocolate (I use 70%)
115g unsalted butter
150g light brown sugar
75g white caster sugar
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
175g plain flour
1/4 tsp bicarbonate of soda
1/4 tsp fine sea salt
1 large egg

Toast the pecans in a dry pan then leave to cool down. Chop the chocolate into small chunks (bigger than normal chips but not huge). Beat the butter, both sugars and vanilla extract together until uniformly smooth (if you're not using a mixer, room temperature butter is easier to combine). Sieve in the flour, bicarbonate and salt then add the egg. Beat together on low until the mixture comes together. Roughly chop the pecans then add them along with the chocolate and mix until combined. Scrape out onto a big square of parchment lined foil, baking parchment or clingfilm (or two sheets if you'd prefer two smaller logs of dough) and arrange into a log. Roll it up and twizzle the ends. Place into the freezer.

After at least an hour or up to a month later, preheat the oven to 170C/340F. Unwrap the end of the log (and if you've used clingfilm, take it all off and place the remaining log into a plastic bag) and cut off however many 1 cm slices you want to bake. Place on a parchment lined tray and bake for 11-13 minutes until the cookies are browning around the edges. Leave to cool on the tray for a few minutes then transfer to a wire rack. Best eaten while they're still warm from the oven.

(Makes about 24 cookies)

Two other biscuit doughs that I've frozen before:
Milk Chocolate and Hazelnut (in a log)
Triple Chocolate Pecan (in spoonfuls on a tray, then transferred to a bag when frozen)

...and one dough I haven't:
Roasted Hazelnut Butter