This sweet and delicious recipe is perfect to pair with hot cocoa for the holiday season.
- 2 cups finely chopped pecans
- 1 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
- 1/3 cup granulated sugar
- 1 tsp. vanilla extract
- 1/4 tsp. kosher salt
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- Powdered sugar, for coating
Prepare pecans: Preheat the oven to 350°F. Place chopped pecans in a 9-by-13-inch metal baking dish.
Toast pecans: Roast in the oven until the pecans have a nutty aroma and are lightly toasted, 6 to 8 minutes. Remove and set aside to cool.
Make cookie dough: Beat butter and sugar together until lightened and creamy. Scrape down sides of the bowl and add vanilla extract and salt; beat to combine. Add flour and cooled toasted pecans, and mix on low until incorporated, scraping down the sides of the bowl as needed.
Scoop cookies: Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper. Scoop and shape dough into 1 inch balls, pressing the dough in your hands. (Note: the dough will be very crumbly, so you will be pressing the dough balls into spheres instead of rolling them between your palms.) Place cookies 1/2 inch apart on baking sheets.
Bake cookies: Bake until lightly browned, about 15 minutes.
Roll cookies in powdered sugar: Allow cookies to cool until just cool enough to handle but still quite warm. Roll each cookie in powdered sugar, putting the cookie back on the baking sheet after it's coated in sugar.
Let cookies cool, and roll again: Allow cookies to cool completely, and roll them again in powdered sugar before serving or storing in an airtight container.
At nine years old, Ben Gaffney asked if he could work alongside his father, a chef, at Congress Rotisserie in New Haven. The elder Gaffney put the boy to work washing dishes for two years, in the hope that it would discourage his interest in the restaurant business.
But a calling is a calling. Ben Gaffney has spent his life since then pursuing the wonders of food, bringing Middlefield along for the ride as chef at Lyman Orchards since 2017.