a.k.a. Crack Cookies.
Why? Because you can't stop after one or two, or three... four... five... eight... .
Trust me, if you're on any sort of diet, don't treat yourself with one of these, you'll be joining the dark side. I have turned hardcore chocolate chip cookie diehards into pecan caramel cookie loving pussycats. Purrrrr!
What makes them so good? I don't really know. It could be the way the pecans roast while baking. It could be the fudge turning into crispy toffee as it escapes out the sides. It could be the little flecks of salt that you bite into on occasion making the sweet even sweeter. It could be the chewy centre or crispy edges. Possibly the buttery goodness or hints of caramel from the sticky brown sugar. Maybe it's just the perfect combination of all these things coming together to make a biscuit you'll not soon forget, you may even lie awake at night thinking about them.
I'm not normally this theatrical about food, but seriously, the amount of people who came back with "Those were amazing!" "Can I get the recipe?" "Make me more NOW!" (the last being my hubby ;) ) I just felt the need to let you know what you're in for.
The recipe is actually an adaptation of the chocolate chip cookie recipe that took the foodie blogging world by storm a while back, the infamous CCC recipe from the New York Times.
The caramel part came about by accident. I'd decided to give the NYT choc chip cookie recipe a try, and seeing how many cookies it made, I thought I'd do half choc chip, half something else. Pecan something else.
While out shopping for supplies and perusing the baking aisle, I came across these fudge pieces from Dr Oetker. I grabbed a few packets and thought, yeah, pecan and fudge, that would be tasty.
Only after baking them did I realise that the fudge pieces weren't bake stable. No chunks of fudge inside the cookies like I had envisioned, instead they'd melted into the cookie, and in some places, tried to escape making crispy caramel feet out the sides of the cookies as the sugar in the fudge melted with heat. Oops!
Turns out, best cookie ever! The cookies had a lovely rich caramel flavour to them, and the best part was nibbling off the crispy crunchy caramel feet. Yay for mistakes!
Normally I try not to use what could be country/region specific ingredients, but I figure they're just little chunks of vanilla fudge so it shouldn't be too hard to replace. Just buy your favourite vanilla fudge and dice into little pieces about the size of chocolate chips. Hopefully this gives you the same result!
Get your glass of milk ready and make these biscuits! And if you've broken your diet with not just one or two... or three... four... five... eight of these and you're cursing me right now, you can't say I didn't warn you ;)
Makes +- 1 1/2 dozen cookies
3 2/3 cups Plain Flour
1 1/4 tsp Bicarb of Soda
1 1/2 tsp Baking Powder
1 1/2 tsp Salt Flakes / Fleur de Sel (crushed smaller if flakes are quite large)
280g Unsalted Butter (2 1/2 sticks)
1 1/4 cups Light Brown Sugar
1 cup Granulated White Sugar
2 large Eggs
2 tsp Vanilla Extract
300g Vanilla Fudge Pieces (diced to the size of choc chips)
300g (Raw) Pecan Nuts, roughly chopped
Sea salt for sprinkling
- Sift together flour, bicarb and baking soda and stir in salt flakes with a whisk
- In a large bowl or bowl of stand mixer cream butter and sugar together
- Beat in eggs one at a time until thoroughly mixed with butter and sugar
- Stir in vanilla
- Add dry ingredients and mix on low speed until just combined
- Add chopped pecans and fudge pieces, mix on low until evenly distributed
- Press plastic wrap against the surface of the dough and refrigerate overnight
- Once chilled and ready to bake, preheat oven to 180°C (160°C Fan Assisted) / 350°F
- Line baking trays with parchment
- Scoop mounds of dough just a bit smaller than a golf ball and arrange on baking sheets far apart to allow them to spread while baking (around 6 mounds per baking tray)
- Tip: I use a small ice-cream scoop which gives about the same amount of cookie dough each time
- Sprinkle each cookie very lightly with a small amount of sea salt
- Bake until golden brown, about 15 - 18mins (the edges will be set but the middle still soft if lightly pressed)
- Remove from oven and cool on baking trays for about 10 mins
- Remove cookies from baking tray and cool completely on wire racks
- Repeat with remaining dough or freeze dough as directed in "Other Tips" further down
Adapted from the New York Times Chocolate Chip Cookies which was adapted from Jacques Torres
Recipe can be halved
Alternatively you can freeze any leftover dough
- Scoop mounds as in the recipe
- Place dough balls on a freezer safe tray or dish, cover in clingfilm and freeze until firm
- Once firm, place dough balls in freezer safe sealable bag
- Return to freezer in the sealed bag laid flat
- Can be frozen for up to 3 months
- To bake, remove frozen dough balls from bag and arrange on a baking tray
- Leave to thaw at room temp while you preheat the oven
- Once oven is up to temp, bake as in recipe above
Store baked cookies in an airtight container at room temp
If you're looking for fudge chunks, here are a few different brands I found
Here's a pic of the Dr Oetker ones: http://goo.gl/qwbhH
A few other brands:
And this site delivers worldwide, it's the Waitrose Cooks Ingredients Fudge Chunks: http://goo.gl/7IBoM