We don’t eat a ton of sweets, but when we do, we lean toward cookies more often than not. Building these always begins with a discussion of a main theme, and then branches out into what we’ve got that would go well with such. Last nights foray lead to an exquisite bite, a Brown Butter Oatmeal Cranberry Pecan Cookie.
Oatmeal is always a winner, far as I’m concerned – it makes a cookie chewier and a bit more wholesome than flour alone – That was our opening bid for this creation.
Next came dried cranberries hiding in the pantry, and finally, some incredible Texas pecans gifted to us by dear friends Bob and Margot Wieneke.
The finishing touches included browned butter, which goes so well in my go-to cornbread, and Mexican cane sugar – that stuff retains a delightful hint of the stuff it’s made of – something plain old white sugar can’t do.
There’s a bit more egg than usual, to stand up to the oatmeal and bind everything nicely. Good quality vanilla bean paste makes a nice touch as well.
We used pastry flour, which is lower in gluten than All Purpose, and yields a chewier cookie – you could sure use AP if you prefer that.
You can and should tweak this thing to your liking, based on a favorite nut and/or dried fruit – and when you do, show us your work!
This recipe will make about 36 cookies, because if you’re gonna do something, do it right, (awww you can halve it if you want to).
Urban’s Brown Butter Oatmeal, Cranberry & Pecan Cookies
2 2/3 Cups Pastry Flour
1 1/2 Cups Unsalted Butter
1 1/2 Cups Mexican Cane Sugar
1/2 Cup Dark Brown Sugar
1 1/2 Cups Old Fashioned Oats
1 Cup dried Cranberries
1 Cup Pecans
2 teaspoon Vanilla Paste
1 teaspoon Sea Salt
1 teaspoon Baking Soda
Bring all ingredients to room temperature before starting construction.
If your dried fruit and nuts are whole, chop them into a rough dice.
Measure and sift flour, salt, and baking powder into a large mixing bowl.
In a second bowl, combine the Mexican and brown sugars and whisk to incorporate.
In a heavy sauce pan over medium heat, add the butter, and allow to melt and heat through.
The butter will foam – that’s the excess water boiling off – whisk gently and steadily until the butter is light golden in color and smells nutty.
Remove butter from heat and allow to cool for a minute or two.
Add butter to the sugar blend and whisk briskly – even melted butter will cream when mixed with sugar, adding tiny air bubbles to the blend which helps make a lighter cookie.
Crack two whole eggs and two egg yolks into the butter and sugar blend – (freeze extra egg whites in an airtight container for future projects).
Add the vanilla paste to the wet mix and whisk to incorporate thoroughly.
Add the flour mix and oatmeal to the wet mix and stir well with a wooden spoon to incorporate.
Add cranberries and pecans and stir well to incorporate.
Cover the dough and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes, (up to overnight if you can wait that long).
Preheat oven to 350° F and set a rack in the middle slot.
Line a cookie sheet with parchment.
We use a 2 tablespoon measure for the size you see herein. Scoop a ball of dough and plop them down a couple of inches apart.
Bake for 12-14 minutes, until the edges are lightly browned and the centers have risen notably.
Remove from oven and let cool for a couple minutes before transferring to a cooling rack.