Raiding the larder of ideas.

What one family eats, plans to eat, dreams of eating. Plus, other food and kitchen-related stuff from the home of steak-and-potatoes, pie and fresh green beans from the garden.

Monday, December 09, 2013

Pecan Shortbread Cookies (Pecan Sandies), or, How To Reward a Physicist for Retrieving a Wallet from Another Dimension


I lost my wallet the other day. 

Well, I misplaced it. 

I spent the better part of an hour retracing my few steps, and had no success. It didn't help that I'd just finished a lovely frat-house quality cocktail of vodka and the equivalent of Kool-Aid on an empty stomach moments before I realized my wallet was not in the pocket where it belongs. 

In other words, I was distressed and befuddled, and had no luck finding my plastic, my losing lottery tickets, and my aged ticket to my alma mater's stage production of The Trojans. I wasn't all that worried about those contents, but, dang it, I'd just bought the wallet a few months ago, after spending a year looking for the right one at the right price to suit my needs, and I was going to miss it. 

Besides, it had pics of my sister's kids, at their most adorable, in it.

So I had resigned myself to living with my losses, climbed morosely into my room, gotten into my pajamas, and turned on the tv to watch whatever show had the biggest pyrotechnic display, when Pop came to the door and asked if there might be a reward for the person who finds the wallet. 

It had been out in plain sight, in the room of rest. It was a clear case of hiding in plain sight. On the other side of a dimensional rift.

It took a nuclear physicist to find it. 

This is his payment:
Pop got 30 of these. Mom got two. Seems fair. In Pop's world.

Pecan Shortbread Cookies


1 cup (1/2 pound)  butter, at room temperature
1 cup light brown sugar, tightly packed
3 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 cups plus 3 Tablespoons all-purpose flour, divided
2 cups pecans, coarsely chopped, plus 1/2 cup finely chopped


Preheat oven to 350º F.

In large mixer bowl, at relatively high speed, cream butter and brown sugar until light and fluffy.  Beat in vanilla and salt. At low speed, gradually scoop in 2 cups flour until just mixed. Stir in coarsely chopped pecans.

Onto a parchment-covered cookie sheet, set  two inches (about 5 centimeters ) apart, shape dough into  1 1/2 inch (4 cm) balls and top with a sprinkling of finely-chopped pecans. Lightly butter the bottom of a flat-bottomed cup, then dip into bowl holding remaining 3 Tablespoons flour, use floured cup to lightly press cookie dough balls flat-ish.

Bake at 350º F for 15 minutes, or until golden-brown. Cool on rack.

Makes 32.

Let your father have as many as he wants.

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