Sunday, February 22, 2009

Just a Cookie

Sometimes all you want is just a cookie. A simple cookie, not something that is too complicated or has too many ingredients. It does have to have some good flavor, and maybe some texture. It helps it you don't have to go to the store for more ingredients, too.

I found just such a cookie today. A friend was coming over for tea. It was raining out, so not only did I not want to go to the store, I had a chilly kitchen, too. That meant that it might take some time for butter to soften, so I was also looking for a recipe that didn't need soft butter. The ingredients were all in the pantry and fridge. I warmed the eggs in a bowl of warm water and they were in the oven in a jiffy.

These cookies are called Pecan Chews. I found them in the Bar Cookie section of Maida Heatter's Book of Great Cookies. She describes them as "soft, tender, chewy squares". They are flavored with a quantity of pecans, with some coffee and some brown sugar. They go together quickly.

Once they were baked and had cooled a little on the counter, I cooled them in the fridge until they were cool enough to cut.

They were just right with a cup of tea and great with a cup of coffee. The house also had a nice welcoming scent of freshly baked cookies. Sweetie was appreciative of them as well.

Use fresh pecans for these. The nuts are a big part of the flavor and appeal.

Pecan Chews
16 squares

1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon double-acting baking powder
2 eggs
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon instant coffee
1 cup dark brown sugar, firmly packed
6 oz. (generous 1 2/3 cups) pecans, cut into medium-sized pieces

(abbreviated directions - for full directions, go to the book itself). Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
Turn a 9-inch square (although I used an 8 -inch square pan and it worked fine)baking pan over. Cover with aluminum foil. Take the foil off and turn the pan over. Using a pot holder, push the foil down into the inside of the pan to fit. Grease and flour the pan. Knock out excess flour.

Sift together the flour and baking powder and set aside.

Beat the eggs lightly just to mix. Add the vanilla, instant coffee, and sugar and beat only to mix; don't overmix. On low speed beat in the sifted dry ingredients only to mix. Mix in 1 cup nuts.

Turn dough into prepared pan. Spread to level. Sprinkle with remaining 2/3 cup pecans.

Bake for about 25 minutes until cake starts pulling away from sides of pan just a bit.

Remove from the oven. Cool in pan 20 minutes.

Turn out onto board, peel off foil, carefully turn back over. Cool in fridge about half hour.

Cut into 16 squares. A serrated knife works well.


  1. Very true, sometimes I just need a cookie.

  2. Yes, sometimes I just want a cookie...or 8 cookies. ;)
    These look right up my alley with all the pecans.

  3. These sound great and I love how nutty they are. I like the sound of adding the coffee for depth of flavour.

  4. Oh, those look yummy; I'll have to try them soon. Very soon.

    Do you have a microwave? You can always soften butter in the microwave (use the low/defrost/30% power setting). Remember, that's why Dad bought a microwave in the first place - so he could spread the butter on his fabulous bread.

  5. My yes I'd love one ... ok two with my cup of tea please! Gosh those look good.

  6. I agree - sometimes you just need a cookie - and these would fill that craving!