SMiLes by Meg

Maple Pecan Cookies

This week was a lesson in I-should-have-listened-to-my-five-years-of-baking-blog-experience-gut. I made the batter. I knew it looked too runny to be cookie dough. I triple checked the recipe. I tried to bake it anyway thinking “maybe it won’t spread.” It did spread. And I ended up with cookie pie rather than cookies, and not even good cookie pie at that.

Come with me on this journey.

First, melt the butter over low heat in a small saucepan, swirling occasionally. Pour into a large mixing bowl and set aside to cool.

In a medium mixing bowl, combine the flour, baking soda, and salt. Set aside.

Use a wooden spoon to mix the maple syrup into the cooled butter.

Add in the eggs, orange juice, vanilla extract, and maple extract and continue to mix together.

With a whisk, whisk in the sugar, brown sugar, and molasses, beating until smooth and not-lumpy.

Add the flour mixture in three additions, mixing after each addition.

This is the stage at which I should have realized something was wrong. This looks like cake batter, not cookie dough. But the cookbook (Milk & Cookies) hadn’t failed me in the past, so I thought “maybe when I add the pecans the dough will somehow stick together better.”

I added the pecans, and the dough still didn’t look like dough:

Then I thought “well maybe it’s just a runny cookie dough. That’s a thing, right?” So I dropped the dough on a cookie sheet, and put it in the oven at 350°F for 8 minutes. And this happened:

Not what you want to see. I looked at the recipe again. I had done everything exactly the way it said. Baking is supposed to be a science, not an art! Follow a recipe, get a result!

So I thought, “maybe I’ll just put the dough a little further apart.” That ended up with this result:

Crisp at the edges. Distinct “cookies.” But still very wrong. At this point, you can imagine how frustrated I was. Here I am, with plenty of time to cook some cookies on a Sunday, and they are FAILING me.

So I decided to just pour enough flour into the batter for it to look like cookie dough, and ended up with the following result:

Decidedly more “cookie,” but still very cakey. This recipe made me think I was going to have crisp little pecan cookies. The end result was cakey, sort-of-maple-flavored, blobs.

Not my best, I will readily admit.

Moral of the story: when you’re making cookies, and the batter in front of you feels more suited to a quickbread, something is wrong, and you should listen to yourself. I really think you could end up with the cakey style I have if you double the flour, but I’ll give you the recipe below as it appears in the book.

Even though these didn’t turn out awesome, I hope you had fun reading about how sometimes I make mistakes in the kitchen, too!

Enjoy!

Maple Pecan Cookies

Ingredients:

  • 3/4 cup butter, melted and cooled
  • 2 cups (9 ounces) flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2/3 cup maple syrup
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 tablespoons orange juice
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon maple extract
  • 3/4 cup (5 ounces) granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup (3 1/2 ounces) light brown sugar, packed
  • 1 tablespoon molasses
  • 1 1/2 cups pecans, toasted and chopped

Directions:

  1. Melt the butter in a small saucepan over low heat. Set aside to cool in a large mixing bowl.
  2. In a medium mixing bowl, whisk together flour, baking soda and salt. Set aside.
  3. With a wooden spoon, mix the maple syrup into the butter to combine.
  4. Mix in the eggs, orange juice, vanilla extract and maple extract.
  5. With a whisk, beat in the sugar, light brown sugar, and molasses until smooth.
  6. Add the flour in 3 additions, mixing with a wooden spoon.
  7. Fold in the pecans.
  8. Drop dough by the rounded tablespoon about 2 inches apart on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.
  9. Bake at 350°F for 8 minutes, until golden brown at the edges. Cool on wire rack.

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