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Nibby Pecan Cookies (first posted by Josh)

Veteran Member
2411 posts
Joined: Dec 10, 2005


Posted to Thread #30 at 11:18 pm on Mar 4, 2006

Nibby Pecan Cookies
Makes about 48 2-inch cookies

“Bittersweet” – Alice Medrich

"The dough for these looks like a beautiful
piece of granite flecked with bits of russet
and burnt umber as you roll it out. The
cookies are exquisitely tender and crunchy.
The flavor of the cocoa beans develops and
infuses the cookies over time, so I strongly
recommend that you make the dough a day
before baking and bake the cookies at least
twenty-four hours before you serve them –
longer is even better."

1 Cup (3.5 ounces) pecan halves
1/2 pound (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
3/4 Cup sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt (slightly rounded if you like)
1 Tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon bourbon (optional)
1-1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
1/3 Cup cocoa nibs
2 Cups all-purpose flour

Preheat the oven to 325 degrees.

Spread the pecans on a cookie sheet. Toast
them in the oven for 7 to 8 minutes, or until
fragrant and lightly colored. Let cool, then

Combine the butter, the sugar, salt, bourbon
(if using), and vanilla in a medium bowl and,
using a large spoon or an electric mixer on
high speed, beat until smooth and creamy but
not fluffy (about 1 minute with a mixer).
Stir or beat in the pecans and cocoa nibs.
Turn off the mixer, if you are using one, and
add all the flour at once. Beat on low speed
to prevent the flour from flying out, just
until the flour is fully incorporated. Or
stir in the flour until incorporated. If
necessary, finish mixing with your hands.

For slice-and-bake cookies: Form the dough
into a 12-inch log about 2 inches thick. For
rolled and cut cookies: Divide it in half and
form into two flat patties. Wrap the dough
and refrigerate for at least 2 hours,
preferably overnight. (The dough can be
frozen for up to 3 months.)

Position the racks in the upper and lower
thirds of the oven and preheat the oven to
350 degrees F.

To slice and bake: Use a sharp knife to cut
the cold dough log into 1/4-inch-thick
slices. Place the cookies at least 1-1/2
inches apart on ungreased cookie sheets.

To roll and cut cookies: Remove one patty
from the refrigerator and let it sit at room
temperature until supple enough to roll but
still quite firm – it will continue to soften
as you work. Roll the dough out between two
pieces of wax paper or between heavy plastic
sheets (from a heavy-duty plastic bag) to a
thickness of 1/4-inch. Turn the dough over
once or twice while you are rolling it out to
check for deep wrinkles; if necessary, peel
off and smooth the paper or plastic over the
dough before continuing to roll it. Peel off
the top sheet of paper or plastic and place
it in front of you. Invert the dough onto the
paper and peel off the second sheet. Cut out
cookies as close together as possible to
minimize scraps, dipping the edges of cookie
cutters in flour as necessary to prevent
sticking. Use the point of a paring knife to
life and remove scraps as you transfer
cookies, using a narrow metal spatula, to
ungreased cookie sheets, placing the cookies
at least 1 ½ inches apart. (If the dough
gets too soft at any time while you are
working, slide a cookie sheet underneath the
paper or plastic and refrigerate the dough
for a few minutes until it firms up again.)
Repeat with the second piece of dough. Press
all of the dough scraps together gently
(don’t overwork them with too much kneading),
reroll, and cut out more cookies.

Bake for 12 to 14 minutes, or until the
cookies are light golden brown at the edges,
rotating the cookie sheets from top to bottom
and front to back halfway through the baking.
Let the cookies firm up on the pans for about
1 minute before transferring them to a rack
with a metal pancake turner. Let cool
completely. For best flavor and texture,
store the cookies in an airtight container
for at least 24 hours before serving. (They
can be stored airtight for at least 1 month.)


If you omit the nuts, increase the nibs, and
add cocoa, you get these tender, crunchy
cookies with even more complex but subtle
chocolate flavors.

Omit the pecans and bourbon. Decrease the
vanilla to 1 teaspoon. Whisk ¼ cup
unsweetened cocoa powder (natural or
Dutch-process) into the flour before adding
it to the dough. Increase the nibs to ½ cup.
Bake the cookies for 10 to 12 minutes, or
until they have puffed slightly, fallen, and
feel firm to the touch.


I like this recipe with walnuts, or with
toasted skinned hazelnuts instead of pecans,
or substitute 1/4 ground vanilla beans, which
you can do yourself or buy, for 1 teaspoon of
the vanilla extract. I also like to use sea
salt that is slightly coarser than table salt
– then I often use a tad more than 1/4
teaspoon, as this adds a little extra flavor

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