Vermont Maple Pecan Cookies

Yesterday was definitely an adventure in my kitchen. It was a really busy day. I was hurrying to get these cookies made after a fun ladies who lunch and before dropping my sons off at football practice. I thought that it would be perfect timing because the recipe used melted butter, so there would be no waiting for butter to come to room temperature.

Everything was going along smoothly, I had the dry ingredients mixed and was heating the butter/maple syrup mixture on the stove. The pecans were nicely toasted and I took them of out of the oven and spread them on a clean towel so they would cool quickly. The next step was to dissolve baking soda in boiling water and add it to the maple syrup mixture. I was careful to make sure the soda was completely dissolve before I added it to the maple syrup mixture.

What I wasn’t careful about was reading the directions that said to remove the maple syrup from the stove before adding the baking soda. As soon as I added the baking soda water to the syrup, the syrup began to foam and expand. It grew taller and taller and I knew it was going to spill over the top of the saucepan.

Since I didn’t want to lose any of the syrup and ruin the cookies I decided to move the pan from the stove to the rimmed baking sheet I used to toast the pecans. It seemed like a good idea at the time, of course the cookies would be my first priority – right. Unfortunately, some of the syrup/foam spilled onto the controls of my cook top and must have caused some kind of I guess chemical reaction because one of the burners would not stop trying to light. It kept sending an electric spark trying to light the burner. The gas wasn’t on to that burner, so it just kept clicking and clicking and clicking and clicking.

I yelled for my 20-year-old son to come help me shut it off and he came up and unplugged the electricity which stop the clicking! But when we plugged it back in, the clicking started right back up. We decided we had better see if we could take the cook top apart and clean it and fix it.

While all that was going on I decided I should try and salvage the cookies. I took out a cup of the dry ingredients, added the syrup from the pan and the syrup that had overflowed on to the baking tray to the dry ingredients. Mixed it together, added back in 1/2 cup of the dry ingredients until it looked like the right consistency, scooped out one tray of cookies and popped them in the oven.

At this point I decided I didn’t have enough time to make cookies, clean/fix the kitchen and get the boys to football on time, so I decided to make bar cookies instead. I dumped the rest for the dough into a 7×11 baking dish and popped it in the oven. My son and I figured out how the cook top came apart and cleaned up the mess, but even after it was clean, the clicking would start again once we plugged it back in. Fortunately, a few hours later when my husband got home, checked it out and it had had time to dry, it was working normally again.

So now, after all that, the big question probably is. . . were the cookies worth all the trouble. Definitely! My husband likes the cookie version best, but I thought the bar cookies were best. The bar cookies tasted like a blondie with the dense, rich texture and taste you would expect from a brownie. The cookies were a bit more chewy with a crisp exterior. Each bite of both is loaded with coconut, pecans and oatmeal surrounded by sweet buttery maple brown sugar chewiness. I don’t normally like nuts in my cookies, but I loved them in these.

Vermont Maple Pecan Cookies

Ingredients:

  • 3 cups old-fashioned oats
  • 1 cup shredded unsweetened coconut
  • 2 2/3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 2 cups packed light brown sugar
  • 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter
  • 1/2 cup maple syrup
  • 2 tablespoons light corn syrup
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1/4 cup boiling water
  • 1 teaspoon maple or vanilla extract
  • 2 cups chopped toasted pecans

Directions:

Preheat oven to 300F and position racks in the upper and lower thirds of the oven. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.

Combine oats, coconut, flour, salt, cinnamon and brown sugar in a large bowl; whisk to blend.

Combine butter, maple syrup and corn syrup in a medium saucepan. Heat over medium heat until butter melts, stirring occasionally; remove from heat.

Combine baking soda and boiling water, stirring to dissolve. Add to maple syrup mixture, stirring well. Add maple extract. Stir into dry ingredients. Add pecans; stir well.

Place 1/4-cup size balls of dough on baking sheets, 3 inches apart. Flatten slightly.

Bake 18 to 20 minutes, until golden brown and set, rotating positions halfway through the baking process. Cool on the baking sheets 5 minutes; transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.

Recipe by Julie Hession – from Relish Magazine

I found this recipe in the Relish Magazine that came in my local paper. This is the 4th post in our 12 Weeks of Christmas Cookies posts. Be sure and check out all of the fabulous cookies the other 12 weeks of Christmas Cookies bakers baked up this week.