Christmas Cookie Collection – Pecan Butter Cookies

For several years, I hosted a cookie exchange.  It pretty much became a tradition of ladies and daughters gathering to share cookies, fellowship, games, and fun!  When I moved from my small hometown to a larger suburb, I was not able to find ladies who wanted to carry on the tradition.  We have moved, and I have hopes!!

Now that we have moved to a smaller town, I am hoping to get the tradition started once again, albeit not this year.  We are smack dab in the middle of renovation with bare studs on the walls.  If I think about it too much, it depresses me and I begin to have a pity party because I am “Miss Christmas Decoration and Party Hostess,” spreading that Christmas cheer and happy Spirit, celebrating the birth of our Savior.  Instead of despairing about what won’t be, I decided to turn it into a year long preparation for NEXT YEAR’S NEW BEGINNING COOKIE EXCHANGE!

I am going to share cookie recipes I find and make.  I am going to test them out, change the recipes, freeze the dough, bake and rebake, and find out the ones that hold up to my make ahead freezer cooking life style.  I want soft gooey cookies, nice crispy cookies, delicate cookies, chocolate cookies, all kinds of cookies, but they have to be rough and rugged enough to stand up to the test!!

As mentioned in my previous post, my food processor is no longer in business.  Hubby and I were shopping in Aldi and they had a 6 cup processor for $20, and our super frugal minds liked the price, so we decided to try it out.  We then went over to Costco, and as a cookbook collector, I was super excited that as we were leaving, they handed me a Costco Cookbook!!  Riding in the car, I began perusing the pages and in the desserts section a cookie caught my eye.  It was a Pecan Butter Cookie, and the first thing I thought of was one of my favorite childhood cookies, Keebler Pecan Sandies, and I decided right then and there, I was going to make this cookie.  The cookie in the cookbook is sponsored by Cuisinart, and I knew this little food processor would be helpful in making my first batch of Christmas cookies.  Now, this is where I should have been  thought this through… cheap food processor and thick cookie dough can be the makings for an adventure…a smelly one!!

Let’s see how this one turned out:

First of all, I took out my new food processor, washed all of the attachments, and started with the recipe.  I put 1 1/4 cup of pecans in the oven to toast lightly.

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First, I put 2 cups of all purpose flour in the work bowl.

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Then, I added 1 Teaspoon of salt and the lightly toasted nuts, and I pulsed it several times until I had a course mixture.  I reserved this mixture and set it aside, as directed….

And this is where the journey begins to become an adventure.  My number one rule is “read ALL of a recipe before beginning,”  and this time, I DID NOT!!  Next is says, “Process butter.”  No problem, right?  Wrong… as I reached into the fridge to get the 3 sticks of butter, I only have one!  The rest of my butter is frozen solid in the deep freeze!! I look back up at the ingredients and see written beside 3 stick of butter, “at room temperature.”  The oven was still warm from toasting the pecans, so I put the three sticks of butter in the oven… including the one from the fridge, and I went to relax a few minutes.  I came back to check on the three sticks and I had 2 soft sticks, still in the wrapper, and one half- empty wrapper… the stick that was in the fridge had melted down and leaked in the bottom of the pan.. but alas, the show must go on!!

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We will pretend I live in the tropics with no Air conditioning, and this is my 3 sticks of room temperature butter.

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Next, I added 1 1/8 cup powdered sugar and 1 TBSP pure vanilla and processed until smooth. So far, so good….

But then, it was time to add back in the flour/pecan mixture. I added a little at a time. The first addition of the mixture was fine. I stopped the processor and added a little more of the flour. This time, a strange, sweet, chemical smell came from the food processor and got stronger as it went. I was not going to give up now, maybe the smell is just because it is new…. I stopped it for the last addition of flour, put the top back on, and started that machine and as it incorporated the mixture, the smell was continuing and just as I turned the machine off, I could smell that chemical smell along with a burning smell, but the dough was ready!! I then began thinking, “Maybe this little machine just can’t hold up to cookie dough!” Hubby came into the kitchen to let me know something was burning… I pointed to the food processor. When I took the bowl off, the whole thing was warm. I figured I had just made the most expensive batch of cookies I have ever made, with the cost of pecans and a melted food processor motor, had the potential of breaking the bank!!

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This is the dough just out of the processor.

cookie7 My rolls aren’t perfect, and next time I will make sure to flatten the ends to prevent the little odd shaped heels, but into the fridge they went…

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I took the logs out and sliced the cookies.

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This is where I veered a bit from the recipe. These cookies can be placed on a cookie sheet to cook, 350 for about 8-10 minutes, depending on how soft you want it.  For those of us who do freezer cooking, they can be placed on a pan lined with parchment paper, as you see in this picture.  I then place these in the freezer for about 15 minutes.  Take them off the pan and put in a zip top bag labeled “Pecan Butter Cookies.”
This recipe made 3 dozen cookies.

When you want to enjoy one of the cookies, you can take out as many as you want to cook.  They do not have to be thawed, just keep them in the oven a couple of extra minutes.

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I couldn’t resist! I had to bake a few, make a nice warm cup of coffee, and enjoy!!
These cookies are awesome and share worthy!!

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