I’ve got another treat today. I’d like to say it was a treat for you, but its really, honestly its just a treat for me. But I’m sharing it with you to pretend its a treat for you. Okay?
Jen, my sweet and pregnant blogging bud, is taking over the mic today to share the most ridiculously good-sounding cookie I’ve ever heard of. If Jen makes it, its good. It’s really good. I’ll be making this bad boy soon. Take it away, Jen!
Do you like parties? Do you like cookies? Do you like Christmas cheer?
Of course you do.
These are all of the reasons I love cookies exchanges.
Cookies + hen party + wine + samples = Christmas heaven.
Some ladies are better at baking than others, but you get all these different sorts of treats, without baking for days upon days.
I usually participate in at least one cookie exchange, this year I have two because at 30 weeks pregnant, clearly I’ve lost my mind. But I always make the same thing. Actually, I tried to make something different this year and the cookie exchange hostess told me I wasn’t allowed.
These cookies are award winning people.
Caramel pecan cookies. A butter cookie base, covered in homemade caramel, chock full of pecans and butter, baked to an ooey, gooey goodness. You will be invited back, year after year if you make these. Guaranteed.
They are great to make for cookie exchanges because they are a bar cookie, so you can cut it into pieces as big, or small as you need. Also, they are crazy simple to make. Don’t be scared of the homemade caramel, it doesn’t require a candy thermometer, just a good stirring arm.
Caramel Pecan Cookies
[ from epicurious ]
2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup unsalted butter, softened
1 cup sugar
1 large egg
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 1/2 cups sugar
1 cup heavy cream
6 tablespoon unsalted butter, cut into bits
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 cups roughly chopped pecan pieces
Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Line a 9×13-inch baking dish with foil, leaving a 2-inch overhang on each end. Grease the foil with butter or non-stick spray, set aside.
To make the cookie base, whisk together the flour, being powder, and salt in a medium bowl, set aside. In a large bowl, using a hand mixer or a stand mixer, beat together the butter and sugar on medium speed for 3 minutes, or until light and fluffy. Turn mixer down to low and add the egg and vanilla, beat well. Slowly add the flour mixture and beat until combined. Press the dough evenly into the bottom of the prepared baking dish. Bake for 30 minutes or until cookie base is golden brown. Remove from oven, let cool for 20 minutes. Leave oven on.
While the cook base cools, make the topping. In a large, heavy bottomed saucepan heat the sugar over medium heat until it starts to melt. Do not stir!
Once it begins to melt, stir occasionally with a fork, until no large chunks of sugar remain and it looks deeply golden. Being very careful, tilt the pan to the side and slowly pour in the heavy cream. It will bubble vigorously and be quite a danger, make sure there are no children around. Cook and continuously stir over medium-low heat, until there are no large chunks of caramel remaining and it has all been dissolved. Remove from heat, stir in the butter until completely melted. Add the vanilla, salt, and finally the pecans.
Carefully pour the topping over the cookie base, spread out to distribute evenly. Place back into the oven and bake for another 20 minutes or until the topping is bubbling.
Remove from oven and let cool at least for 3 hours before slicing. I typically like to wait overnight, but after 3 hours you should be good. Store in an airtight container, separated by sheets of parchment between the layers.
Wow. Just wow. Doesn’t that just sound ridiculous? Jen’s got an awesome blog where she shares more of her ‘wow’ recipes. Seriously check her out. You won’t be disappointed. Thanks so much for sharing, Jen!
P.S. Can I round up a few friends to do a cookie exchange next year?!? I’ve never even heard of that, but how much fun does that sound??!? Seriously, would anyone be interested? We could share the cookie AND the recipe. I’m getting excited.
Have a blessed Tuesday 🙂