The other week, my boyfriend confessed that he felt like I didn't bake anything "just for him" anymore. By the way he timidly broached the topic, you'd think he was accusing me of falling out of love with him. In a relationship nurtured by baked goods, he might as well have...to be completely honest, it kind of grazed a nerve.
This Valentine's Day will be our 5th together. [Pause. Momentary freak out.] So no matter how tempted I am to make something fancy (like a brownie/Oreo/cookie cake tower), I will probably be baking up a pan of plain ole brownies or a batch classic chocolate chip cookies. [Ahem, it'll probably be both.] We'll eat some fresh out of the oven, topped with vanilla ice cream and chocolate syrup--because that's how he prefers desserts to be served.
That being said, if you
If you've ever tried a pudding cookie, you are familiar with their irresistible chewy-softness. If not, just be warned: they're awe-some. The *required* bourbon-glazed pecans are enough to swoon at, so sticky and sweet; and when they are baked into the cookies, they caramelize.
The bourbon, also in the dough, adds just a subtle flavor that any man is sure to detect and rejoice in. And, much like banana bread, the flavor intensifies over time, so these are even better the day after you make them!
While a glass of milk would be a great companion for these cookies, why not use some more bourbon while you're at it? This milk punch from Smitten Kitchen seems like great cookie-dunking material. Or, you could just sip on the remainder of the airplane bottle with a festive red & white straw. Because, really, that's as cutesy as it's going to get around here this Valentine's Day ;-)
Spiked kisses & wishes,
Bourbon Pecan Pudding Cookies
Slightly Adapted from The Cackling Cookie
3 cups pecans, roughly chopped
2/3 cup butter
1 cup light brown sugar
3/4 teaspoon salt
3/4 teaspoon cinnamon
2 tablespoons bourbon
1 cup unsalted butter
1/4 cup granulated sugar
3/4 cup brown sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 (3 ounce) packet of instant vanilla pudding mix
2 1/4 cup flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
3 tablespoons bourbon
3 cups bourbon pecans
- Roast pecans in oven preheated to 350 degrees for 5-7 minutes or until flagrant. Melt butter in a large skillet over medium heat. Add nuts, sugar, salt, and cinnamon to skillet and stir well. Continue to cook and stir for 8-10 minutes, until mixture begins to thicken and become glaze-like. While cooking, prepare a baking sheet by lining it with a silpat or tin foil.
- Add in bourbon to skillet and cook for another 2 minutes. Pour mixture onto the prepared baking sheet; allow to cool for about 30 minutes and then break apart pecans into chunks.
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees and prepare a baking sheet with a silpat or non-stick spray (necessity). In a medium bowl, combine flour and baking soda; set aside. In the bowl of a standing mixer, cream together butter and sugars. Next, beat in pudding mix, followed by the eggs, vanilla, and bourbon. Stir in flour mixture until just combined. Lastly, stir in bourbon pecans.
- Drop dough on prepared sheet (I used my medium cookie dough scoop) and bake for 10-12 minutes, or until edges are brown and center looks only slightly underdone. Allow to cook on baking sheet for ~5 minutes and then transfer to a cooling rack. Store in an air-tight container at room temperature.