Today is National Pecan Cookie Day. If you’re like me, you like to know a health benefit or two before popping something into your mouth. So, here you go. Pecans are a good source of protein and are rich in omega-6 fatty acids. The antioxidants and plant sterols found in pecans can reduce high cholesterol by reducing the "bad" LDL cholesterol levels. Pecans also contain over 19 vitamins and minerals, including vitamin A, vitamin E, folic acid, calcium, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium, several B vitamins, and zinc.
If you have dietary restrictions due to medical conditions or allergies, these health benefits will not outweigh the risks of making and eating pecan cookies. Look for alternative ways to enjoy the flavor of pecans today, such as no fat frozen yogurt. Be sure to check with your doctor or nutritionist first.
Many cookie recipes call for pecans, most famously, Butter Pecan Cookies. A Google search will bring up more butter pecan cookie recipes than you can bake in a month. Being a chocolate fanatic, my favorite way to use pecans in cookies is Chocolate Chip Cookies with Pecan Pieces. My Nana Walsh loved to bake. She taught me how to make these mouth-watering morsels before I hit double digits.
Nana’s Chocolate Chip Cookies with Pecan Pieces
· 1/4 tsp butter (or butter wrapper)
· 1 C all-purpose flour
· 1 tsp salt
· 1/2 tsp baking soda
· 1/2 C butter, softened at room temperature
· 1/2 C granulated sugar
· 1/4 C brown sugar
· 1 egg
· 1/2 tsp vanilla
· 1 C chocolate chips
· 1/2 C pecan pieces
· cookie sheet
· large and medium mixing bowls
· measuring cups and spoons
· electric mixer
· rubber spatula
· cooking spoon
· flipping spatula
· Preheat oven to 375°.
· Grease cookie sheet with 1/4 tsp butter, or use the empty butter wrapper.
· Sift flour, salt, and baking soda together in medium mixing bowl.
· Place butter and sugars into large mixing bowl.
· Use electric mixer to cream butter and sugars.
· Blend 1 minute, and scrape bottom and sides of bowl with spatula.
· Then add egg and vanilla, and blend 1 minute more. Use spatula to scrape bowl again.
· Add dry ingredients and blend well, stopping halfway through to scrape bowl.
· Stir in chocolate chips and pecan pieces.
· Drop teaspoon-sized amounts of cookie dough onto cookie sheet.
· Place in oven and bake 11 minutes, or until lightly browned.
· Remove cookie sheet, and use flipping spatula to remove cookies from sheet.
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Happy National Pecan Cookie Day!
This recipe is pretty quick to make, but readers who are especially pressed for time can enjoy the aroma of fresh baked cookies with even greater ease. Just swing through your local supermarket refrigerator section. You’ll find a variety of cookie dough packages, including store brand kinds which tend to go easy on the budget. If you can’t find one of the sorts with pecan pieces, simply press a pecan halve into the tops of these premade slices and pop them in the oven, according to package directions. Then, celebrate the day!