Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Pecan Lace Cookies

The next treat I made was a mango frozen yogurt and I felt it needs something to go with it.  Something crunchy to contrast with the creamy and smooth texture of the frozen yogurt.  I decided to make these pecan lace cookies.  Lace cookie is a type of cookies that are delicate, very thin and can be rolled or shaped into various forms.  Frankly, I've never attempted to make lace cookies before but I'm alway game to try something new.

Lace cookies are usually made with some kind of ground or finely chopped nuts.  The batter is quite thin and the cookie will spread when baking.  A variety of shapes can be made; when it's round and one side of the cookie is dipped in chocolate, you might know it as florentine cookie.  In this case, my choice of nuts was pecans and since I have quite a bit of palm sugar brought from Indonesia, I thought using it would make an interesting flavor combination.   Palm sugar has a distinct taste, a slightly burnt sugar-caramely aftertaste, and the color of the cookie is very dark.  The edges are brittle while the middle is a bit chewy, this could be another addiction (already thinking of making different kinds).  Overall, these are pretty successful and I played around with the shapes--some resulting in a kind of wavy configuration :)  And these don't last long at my house!

The recipe for mango frozen yogurt will be written soon...

Pecan Lace Cookies

Makes 16 to 20 4-inch cookies

3 tablespoons unsalted butter

3/4 cup packed palm sugar--alternately, use regular brown sugar or light muscovado sugar

1 tablespoon dark rum

1 large egg

1/8 teaspoon salt

2 tablespoons unbleached all-purpose flour

1/2 cup finely chopped pecans

Preheat oven to 350 degree F.  Position a rack in the center of the oven.  Plan to bake only one sheet at a time.  Use of silicone mats is highly recommended, it makes baking these cookies so much easier.

In a medium saucepan, melt the butter.  Stir in the sugar and remove from the heat.  Add the rum, egg, and salt and beat until smooth.  Stir in the flour and nuts.  Let the batter rest for 5 minutes.  Drop tablespoons of batter about 3 inches apart on one of the lined pans.

Spread the batter very thin (about 1/16 inch) into rounds, oval, or long tongue shapes.

Bake until the cookies are browned all over, 8 to 10 minutes, rotating the cookie sheet from front to back halfway through the baking time.  Remove the pan from the oven.  For flat cookies, let cookies cool for 30 seconds before transferring them to a rack to cool.  If the cookies are to be shaped, let rest for 30 seconds, then slide an offset spatula under each and shape as desired by draping the cookies over a rolling pin, nestling them into a cup, rolling them into cornets, or pinching or twisting them into any desired shape before they cool.  Cool completely before storing.  May be kept in an airtight container for at least 1 week.

Source:  adapted from Chewy, Gooey, Crispy, Crunchy, Melt-In-Your-Mouth Cookies by Alice Medrich

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