Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Santa’s Salt and Pepper Butterscotch-Pine Nut Cookies

"I'M IN LOVE, I'M IN LOVE [with these cookies] AND I DON'T CARE WHO KNOWS IT!"

Yes, I have probably watched Elf six times this month.  And I am truly in love with these cookies.  Did you see Monday's The Chew?  Well, my cooking friend Catherine was on the show competing in a cookie bake-off.  And guess what?  She won.  With this recipe.  And I had to drop everything I was doing yesterday morning and whip up a batch.

Let me tell you about them.  They are different.  They are easy.  They are delicious.  I loved them.  In fact, I think I'll go eat another one right now for breakfast.  These flat, buttery, crispy-around-the-edges, chewy-in-the-center cookies have butterscotch chips in them, along with buttery, toasted pine nuts.  But the real pop comes from a good measure of sea salt and--get this--coarsely ground black pepper.  Now, don't look at me like that.  The pepper is just enough to give each bite a little, well, bite.  It blends perfectly and sets these cookies apart from you average chocolate chipper or sugar cookie. It's like the salt and pepper linger in your mouth as an after-note, but I'm telling you, it's crazy good.

You can find the recipe HERE.  And just to vent a little, people truly amaze me (but not in a good way) by the negative comments that they post in public forums.  Would it kill you [person who leaves negative comments] to be happy for someone or at the very least keep your negativity to yourself?  Maybe you need to read my article on being happy when others are happy.  It might really help you with your attitude.  Just sayin'. 

Yeah, just a little bit of holiday venting, folks.

I did have to make the slightest adaptions because I didn't have unsalted butter or flaky sea salt, but here are my notes:

-Okay, like I just said,  I did not have unsalted butter.  And because of that fact, I decreased the tablespoon of sea salt to 3 teaspoons.  I did leave the 1/4 teaspoon of regular salt in the dough.  The cookie was great to me.  Just the right amount of salt in my book.

-I also did not have flaky sea salt, but I did have fleur de sel.  So I used that.

-These are flat cookies, but you know what?  Flat is good.  Flat is beautiful.  Just ask Keira Knightley.  I suppose if you chilled the dough, they wouldn't spread so much, but the flat worked well for them.

-And because they did spread, I only put 9 to a pan.  And I did use the parchment paper.

Can you see the specks of pepper?  Huh?  Can you?

-I used a coarsely ground black pepper.

-Do watch those pine nuts, just like she notes in the recipe.  Once mine started turning golden brown, they all browned quickly after that.  You really need to focus.  Don't be a cotton headed ninny muggins.

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  1. So beautiful--I really have to try these. I didn't realize Catherine won, so congrats to her! Incredibly creative flavors.

  2. Congratulations! I will try these as the ingredients intrique me.
    Merry Xmas

  3. I did watch The Chew, and the minute I saw her cookies I knew she was the winner. They were simple yet had a level of sophistication. As far as the criticism, don’t take it so personal. I know it is hard to read when it is your friend, but try to focus on all of those that were happy for her, and not let one or two negative comments spoil the moment. Everyday someone says fire Daphne, then the next someone says fire Carla. However, if that does not help, try to remember she did run away with the dough, $$$$$ - 5 of them. Love the photos, love the cookies, and very happy for your friend.

  4. How interesting... I bet these are so tasty. I love sweet and savory together. I pinned these on pinterest and will file them away to make sure sure! I just purchased someone a chocolate bar with pinenuts in them - I rarely see pinenuts used in sweet applications like this. Thanks for posting, and for the amazing photography!
    -Annakate @