Three cookie keepers

Posted on December 23rd, 2008 – 8:13 PM
By Rick Nelson

These are a family favorite for the Svitaks. We’ve made them so long no one remembers why they are called “Million Dollar Cookies,” but suffice it to say they taste like a treasured recipe. These are much like sugar cookies, but with some indefinable extra flavor boost. That would be the coconut, which isn’t distinguishable in the recipe. No one realizes it is there.
LEE SVITAK DEAN, Taste editor

MILLION DOLLAR COOKIES
Makes about 3 dozen cookies.
Note: From recipes of Lee Svitak Dean

1 c. shortening
1/2 c. granulated sugar, plus more to roll cookies in
1/2 c. brown sugar
1 egg, slightly beaten
1 tsp. vanilla extract
2 c. flour
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. baking soda
3/4 c. finely chopped walnuts, if desired
1/2 c. flaked or shredded coconut

Directions
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line baking sheets with parchment paper. In a large bowl, using an electric mixer on medium-high speed, beat shortening, granulated sugar and brown sugar until light and creamy. Add egg and vanilla extract and mix until well-combined. In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, salt and baking soda. Reduce speed to low and gradually add to the sugar mixture. Stir in nuts and coconut. Roll dough into balls about 1 1/2 inches in diameter, then in granulated sugar. Flatten with the bottom of a glass that has been dipped into granulated sugar (to prevent sticking). Bake for 10 to 12 minutes until set and edges are barely browned. Remove from oven, cool for 2 minutes then transfer cookies to a wire rack to cool completely.

For years, my father worked for Pearson Candy Co. in St. Paul, from where the Salted Peanut Roll originates. Long before the days when he brought home those nutty delights, my mother was baking these Salted Peanut cookies for our lunch boxes. They still are a favorite treat that I’m happy to see in the cookie jar when I’m visiting my folks.
LEE SVITAK DEAN, Taste editor

SALTED PEANUT COOKIES
Makes about 3 dozen cookies.
Note: From recipes of Lee Svitak Dean.

1 c. shortening
1 c. brown sugar
1 c. granulated sugar
2 eggs, slightly beaten
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1 1/2 c. flour
1 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. baking powder
3 c. rolled oats
2 c. salted shelled peanuts

Directions
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line baking sheets in parchment paper. In a large bowl, using an electric mixer on medium-high speed, beat shortening, granulated sugar and brown sugar until light and creamy. Beat in eggs and vanilla vanilla until well-combined. In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking soda and baking powder. Reduce speed to low and add flour mixture to the sugar mixture. Stir in rolled oats and peanuts.
Drop by teaspoons onto prepared baking sheets, with dough about 2 inches apart. Bake for about 10 minutes, or until lightly brown and set. Remove from oven, cool for 2 minutes then transfer cookies to a wire rack to cool completely.

I originally developed this recipe for an Asian-inspired picnic menu. It has since become a favorite cookie of mine.
LEE SVITAK DEAN, Taste editor

ALMOND SHORTBREAD
Makes 40 to 45 bars.
Note: From “Come One, Come All/ Easy Entertaining with Seasonal Menus,” by Lee Svitak Dean.

2/3 c. sliced blanched almonds, chopped
1 c. (2 sticks) butter, at room temperature
1/2 c. sugar
2 1/2 c. flour
1 tsp. almond extract
Zest from 1 lemon (about 1 tbsp.)

Directions
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a saucepan over low heat, toast almonds until they are lightly browned, stirring often to prevent burning. Remove from heat.
In a large bowl, using an electric mixer on medium-high speed, beat butter and sugar until smooth and creamy. Reduce speed to low and dd flour, almond extract and lemon zest; mix thoroughly. Stir in toasted almonds by hand.
Grease a 9- by 13-inch baking pan. Using your fingers, pat dough firmly into pan. Bake for 30 minutes, or until lightly brown. Remove from oven and immediately cut into bars. (If you wait until the bars are completely cool to cut them, they will crumble.)
For a slightly different shape, try cutting them into diamonds. (To do so, make 5 cuts lengthwise down the long edge. Make 8 or 9 other cuts on the diagonal.)
Cool bars completely in pan; then remove. Store in airtight container.

Chocolate and espresso, always a crowd-pleaser

Posted on December 23rd, 2008 – 5:37 AM
By Rick Nelson

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These simple bars are a combination of chocolate and espresso flavors. They are from my new cookbook, “Come One, Come All/ Easy Entertaining with Seasonal Menus,” which is a collection of 32 menus and more than 150 recipes, most from the Taste section. Note that you need to use instant espresso powder – not simply ground espresso beans – because the espresso powder must easily dissolve into the filling. You could also substitute an extra-strong portion of instant coffee powder.
LEE SVITAK DEAN, Taste editor

CHOCOLATE-ESPRESSO BARS
Makes 18 to 24 bars
Note: From “Come One, Come All/ Easy Entertaining with Seasonal Menus,” by Lee Svitak Dean.

For crust:
8 tbsp. (1 stick) butter, melted
1/2 c. sugar
2 c. flour
For filling:
8 tbsp. (1 stick) butter
1/2 c. sugar
1/4 c. unsweetened cocoa powder
2 c. heavy cream
2 tsp. instant espresso powder
1 tsp. vanilla
2 eggs

Directions
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
To prepare crust: Mix melted butter with 1/2 cup sugar and flour. Press into bottom and 1/4 inch up the sides of an ungreased 9×13-inch pan. Bake for 15 to 20 minutes, or until crust is lightly brown. Remove from oven and cool slightly.
To prepare filling: Melt 1/2 cup butter in a medium saucepan over low heat. Add 1/2 cup sugar, cocoa powder and cream. Increase heat to medium and cook, stirring frequently, until small bubbles appear at the edge of the pan. Remove from heat and add espresso powder and vanilla extract.
In a small bowl, lightly whisk eggs. Pour a little of the hot cream mixture into the eggs, whisking continuously. Add a little more cream mixture, whisking again. Then pour egg mixture into the remaining cream mixture in the saucepan. (This back-and-forth process prevents the eggs from starting to cook in the hot cream mixture.) Pour filling onto baked crust. Bake for another 10 minutes or until the filling is barely set. Cool. Cover and store in the refrigerator.

Here’s what I’ll be baking this weekend

Posted on December 19th, 2008 – 8:32 AM
By Rick Nelson

Maida Heatter’s recipes are foolproof and fabulous.

ITALIAN PINE-NUT MACAROONS
Makes about 4 dozen cookies.
Note: From “Maida Heatter’s Book of Great Desserts” by Maida Heatter (Random House, $25).

2 c. sugar, divided
10 oz. (2 c.) blanched almonds, finely ground
Pinch of salt
4 egg whites
1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
1/4 tsp. almond extract
1 1/2 lbs. (4 to 5 c.) pine nuts

Directions
Adjust oven rack one-third from top of oven. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Line baking sheets with parchment paper. In a large bowl, mix 1 cup sugar and ground almonds and reserve. In a large bowl, using an electric mixer on high speed, beat salt and egg whites until whites increase in volume and hold a soft shape. While beating, gradually add remaining 1 cup sugar. Continue to beat until whites hold a firm shape, very stiff but not dry. Carefully vanilla extract and almond extract, then carefully fold meringue into sugar-almond mixture. Spread out pine nuts in a shallow tray or baking pan. Use 2 teaspoons to form cookies, one to pick up dough and one to push it off, using 1 heaping teaspoonful of dough for each cookie. Drop cookies, a few at a time, into pine nuts. Using fingers of both hands, gently turn and toss cookies to coat them thoroughly with nuts, pressing gently so nuts are firmly imbedded into dough. Place cookies 2 inches apart on prepared baking sheets. Bake about 15 minutes, reversing position of pan during baking, until nuts are toasted golden brown and cookies are lightly colored. Remove from oven and transfer cookies to a wire rack to cool completely.

Test-drive this one this weekend

Posted on December 19th, 2008 – 8:16 AM
By Rick Nelson

This one sounds as if it has some major potential.

WHITE CHOCOLATE COCONUT MACADAMIA COOKIES
Makes about 3 dozen cookies.
Note: From “The Magnolia Bakery Cookbook” by Jennifer Appel and Allysa Torey (Simon & Schuster, $25). “All the exotic tastes of a tropical island wrapped up in one yummy cookie,” writes the authors.

2 1/2 c. flour
1 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
1 c. (2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
2/3 c. sugar
2/3 c. firmly packed light brown sugar
1 egg, at room temperature
2 tbsp. milk
1 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
6 oz. white chocolate, coarsely chopped
1 c. sweetened shredded coconut
1 c. coarsely chopped macadamia nuts

Directions
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line baking sheets with parchment paper. In a large bowl, whisk together flour, baking soda and salt and reserve. In a large bowl, using an electric mixer on medium-high speed, beat butter, sugar and brown sugar until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Add egg, milk and vanilla extract and beat well. Reduce speed to low, add flour mixture and beat until combined. Stir in white chocolate, coconut and macadamia nuts. Drop by rounded teaspoons at least 2 inches apart onto prepared baking sheets. Bake until lightly golden brown, about 10 to 12 minutes. Remove from oven and cool for 1 minute before transferring cookies to a wire rack to cool completely.

Chef Wednesday: Lucia Watson and Swedish Gingersnaps

Posted on December 17th, 2008 – 11:56 AM
By Rick Nelson

A reader called and asked if we could get Lucia Watson, owner of Lucia’s Restaurant in Minneapolis, to share the recipe for the fabulous double chocolate-sea salt cookies sold at her adjacent bakery and cafe. Unfortunately, the answer was “No” (a nice one, though; this is Minnesota), and I can see why: it’s the kind of cookie can draw legions of regulars (Watson’s chocolate-chip cookie lands squarely in the “amazing” department as well). But she did point me in the direction of a favorite cookie recipe of hers, from the 1994 cookbook she co-authored with Minneapolis writer Beth Dooley.

It’s called “Savoring the Seasons of the Northern Heartland” (University of Minnesota Press, $19.95), and not only would it make a well-received gift for any Minnesota cook on your gift list, but it belongs in your kitchen as well, with 200 recipes that utilize Midwestern ingredients and celebrate the region’s food traditions.

One of those beloved traditions is Pepparkakor, or Swedish Gingersnaps. “The name Pepparkakor is derived from a medieval term that refers to the spices – pepper and ginger – often used in holiday baking,” wrote Watson and Dooley. “Pepparkakor are so popular that the American Swedish Institute’s ‘Var Sa God’ cookbook gives twelve recipes for making them, each just a little different.”

SWEDISH GINGERSNAPS
Makes about 3 dozen cookies.
Note: This recipe must be prepared in advance. From “Seasons of the Northern Heartland.”

12 tbsp. (1 1/2 sticks) butter, at room temperature
1 c. brown sugar, light or dark
2 tbsp. plus 1 tsp. molasses
1 tbsp. boiling water or strong, hot coffee
2 3/4 to 3 c. flour, plus extra for rolling dough
1 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. ground cloves
1 tsp. ground cardamom
2 tsp. ground ginger
1/4 tsp. freshly ground black pepper

Directions
In a large bowl, using an electric mixer on medium-high speed, beat butter and sugar until light and fluffy, about 2 to 3 minutes. Add molasses and water and mix until thoroughly combined. In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking soda, cloves, cardamom, ginger and black pepper. Reduce speed to low and add flour mixture, mixing to form a soft, smooth dough (add a little more flour if dough is gooey). On a lightly floured work surface, knead dough three times. If you are planning to roll dough out flat and cut with cookie cutters, form dough into a disk, wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 1 hour. (Or, shape dough into 3 logs – each about 8 inches long – wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate at least 1 hour or overnight.
When ready to bake, preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line baking sheets with parchment paper. On a lightly floured work surface, using a lightly floured rolling pin, roll dough into 1/8 inch thickness and cut into shapes. Transfer cut dough to prepared baking sheets, spacing cookies 2 inches apart. (Or, slice logs into thin circles – about 1/8 inch thick – and transfer to prepared baking sheets, spacing cookies 2 inches apart). Bake for 8 to 10 minutes; be careful not to overbake. Remove cookies from oven and cool 2 minutes before transferring cookies to a wire rack to cool completely.

For lemon gingersnaps: Omit boiling water and add 1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice and 1 tablespoon finely grated lemon rind to wet ingredients. Omit cloves and cardamom.

For orange gingersnaps: Omit boiling water and add 1 tablespoon freshly squeezed orange juice and 1 tablespoon finely grated orange rind to wet ingredients. Omit cardamom and add 2 teaspoons cinnamon to dry ingredients.

For ginger-ginger gingersnaps: Add 1 tablespoon finely grated fresh ginger and 2 tablespoons finely chopped crystallized ginger to wet ingredients. Omit cardamom and cloves and increase ground ginger by 1/4 teaspoon.

From our archives: Kossuth Kifli

Posted on December 16th, 2008 – 9:10 AM
By Rick Nelson

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One of the most unusual cookies to come out of our annual holiday cookie contest was a first-timer, in 2003. It’s from Linda Paul of Minneapolis, and it’s called Kossuth Kifli.

Here’s what we wrote at the time:

Linda Paul’s lemon-kissed, walnut-topped, crescent-shaped Kossuth Kifli may be the only cookie bearing a general’s name. Honoring historical figures with a cookie christening is a time-honored Hungarian tradition, and these cutouts (kifli is Hungarian for crescent) honor General Louis Kossuth, a 19th-century Hungarian revolutionary hero.

Paul’s entry originated with her mother’s Hungarian church social group in Detroit. “She started giving me a variety of Hungarian recipes, and most of them were the kind that listed the ingredients but offered no instructions,” Paul said with a laugh. But that culinary roadblock didn’t stop this avid Minneapolis baker, and Kossuth Kifli have been at the heart of Paul’s holiday baking repertoire for more than 20 years. Now it can be a part of yours, too.

“People love them,” Paul said. “Maybe it’s because they look a heck of a lot more difficult to make than they really are.”

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Linda Paul in Bachman’s enormous poinsettia greenhouse in Lakeville.

KOSSUTH KIFLI
Makes 2 to 3 dozen.
Note: (Pronounced coo-SOOTH KEY-flee.) From Linda Paul of Minneapolis. “Part of the fun of making them is the method used to cut the crescents,” she wrote. “The edges and scraps are rewards for the cook.”

1 c. (2 sticks) unsalted butter, plus extra for pan
1 1/2 c. granulated sugar
8 eggs, separated
1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
Freshly grated peel and juice of 1 lemon
2 tsp. baking powder
1 2/3 c. flour, plus extra for pan
1 1/2 c. finely chopped walnuts
Powdered sugar for garnish

Directions
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Butter and flour bottom and sides of a 9- by 13-inch cake pan. In a large bowl, using an electric mixer on medium speed, cream together butter and granulated sugar. Add egg yolks, one at a time, and beat until fluffy. Add vanilla, lemon rind and lemon juice and beat to combine. Gradually add in baking powder and flour. In a medium bowl using electric mixer on high speed (with clean beaters), beat egg whites until stiff. Fold egg whites into batter. Gently spread batter into prepared pan. Evenly sprinkle top with finely chopped walnuts and bake 25 to 30 minutes. Remove pan from oven and transfer to a wire rack. Cool until cake shrinks away from sides of pan (about 15 minutes) and with a small round biscuit cutter periodically dipped in powdered sugar, cut one circle (don’t remove it), then cut another circle halfway down the first one, making two crescents and one oval scrap. Remove from pan and repeat. Cool crescents completely and dust with powdered sugar shaken through a wire-mesh screen. Store in a tightly covered container for up to 2 days.

From our archives: Chocolate-Dipped Triple-Coconut Haystacks

Posted on December 15th, 2008 – 6:56 AM
By Rick Nelson

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This great-looking (and crowd-pleasing) cookie was a finalist from our first Taste Holiday Cookie Contest, in 2003. It hails from Ron Traxinger of St. Louis Park. Here’s what we wrote at the time:

Ron Traxinger doesn’t like to follow recipes. “I’ll try it once, and then I’ll change it,” he said.

A few years ago he ran across a recipe for coconut haystacks in a magazine, and, true to form, immediately began to tinker with it. The result? An attention-grabbing contest finalist. “When you put them on a platter with other cookies, they’re the first ones to go,” he said. “They’re elegant and sexy. People want to touch them.” Another bonus: they’re wheat- and dairy-free, a cookie rarity, “Although you’re not sacrificing anything,” he said.

As always, Traxinger will make a few batches of his haystacks in his St. Louis Park kitchen. Most will end up as gifts. “But not for the office,” he said with a laugh. “They’re too good for the office.”

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Ron Traxinger at a Christmas tree lot in Richfield.

CHOCOLATE-DIPPED TRIPLE-COCONUT HAYSTACKS
Makes about 2 dozen.
Note: From Ron Traxinger of St. Louis Park. “They’re a better version of any macaroon you’ve tasted in the past,” he wrote. Traxinger also likes to add lightly roasted, rough-chopped macadamia nuts (about 3/4 cup) into the final coconut mixture, dropping cookies into mounds rather than forming pyramids.

1 c. (canned) coconut milk (not cream of coconut)
1/4 c. sugar
2 tbsp. light corn syrup
4 egg whites
2 tsp. vanilla extract
1/2 tsp. salt
3 c. unsweetened, shredded, desiccated (dried) coconut
3 c. sweetened flaked or shredded coconut
14 oz. semisweet chocolate

Directions
Preheat oven to 375 degrees and adjust rack to middle position. Line baking sheets with parchment paper. In a medium bowl, whisk together coconut milk, sugar, light corn syrup, egg whites, vanilla extract and salt. In a large bowl, combine unsweetened and sweetened coconut, breaking apart any lumps. Pour coconut milk mixture into coconut and mix until coconut is evenly moistened. Refrigerate for 15 minutes. Drop heaping tablespoons of batter onto prepared baking sheets. Form cookies into four-sided haystacks, moistening fingers with water if necessary. Bake until light-golden brown, about 15 minutes. Remove from oven, cool 3 minutes and, using a thin-bladed spatula, remove cookies to a wire rack to cool completely (cookies must be at room temperature or cooler for dipping). Using a double boiler, melt chocolate, stirring occasionally until smooth. Holding haystack by pointed top, dip bottom into chocolate, covering up to one-third of sides of cookie. Use chopsticks or a fork to remove cookie, draining off excess chocolate. Set on a wire rack and refrigerate until chocolate sets, about 15 minutes.

Two shopping tips

Posted on December 14th, 2008 – 1:12 PM
By Rick Nelson

I’ve stopped buying spices at the supermarket. Here’s why: I buy, say, a small-ish jar of ground cardamom or ground ginger because a recipe calls for it, and then it tends to languish in my cupboard, growing weaker with each passing month. I’m willing to bet that some of the spice jars in my kitchen are so old that they bear little resemblance, scent- and taste-wise, to what I originally purchased.

Now, when I’m baking, I make a list of what I need and I head to the co-op, where I can buy incredibly fresh spices, sold in bulk.

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The bulk spice and seasonings aisle at the Wedge Co-op in Minneapolis.

The flavors and fragrances are much more robust – my guess is that, because so many shoppers buy this way, the product turnover is fast, leading to frequent re-stocks and fresher spices. I only buy what I need; no waste, no guilt.

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Cardamom at the Wedge Co-op. Too bad this isn’t a scratch-and-sniff blog, because the scent is deeply intoxicating.

Best of all, it’s far less expensive to buy spices this way. Need a teaspoon of allspice? Don’t drop a few bucks on a McCormick’s product. Go to the nearest natural foods co-op, measure out what you need, bag it up and bring it home.

Here’s another bonus: In most cases, you’ll be supporting a local company. Frontier Natural Products Co-op, which supplies most Twin Cities natural foods co-ops, is based in Norway, Iowa.

My second tip: Anyone baking with cashews, almonds, macadamia nuts, pistachios, peanuts, almonds, walnuts and filberts during the holiday season should make a plan to visit We Are Nuts in St. Paul.

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Look for this sign as you’re driving north on Vandalia Street, about four blocks north of University Avenue.

The Burt family opens the doors to their business from early October to early January, and it’s truly one-stop nut shopping, at really reasonable prices. Raw, roasted, salted, candied, they’ve got them here. Don’t let the address – the store is located so deep inside an industrial park that you’ll think you’re lost, but keep going: it’s on Vandalia, about 3/4 of a mile north of I-94.

Red-hot cookies

Posted on December 13th, 2008 – 7:00 AM
By Rick Nelson

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This hot-shot recipe comes from the December issue of Better Homes & Gardens magazine.

CINNAMON SUGAR STICKS
Makes 56 cookies.
Note: From Better Homes & Gardens magazine. “Love the zing of cinnamon imperials aka Red Hots?” asks the magazine. “Crushed and mixed with sugar, they become a crunchy topper for biscotti-like cookies. Fro mess-free crushing, place candies in a plastic bag. Roll a rolling pin over the bag to break up the candies. To toast almonds, preheat oven to 325 degrees. Spread almonds in a single layer on a baking sheet and bake 7 to 9 minutes, until almonds are fragrant. Remove from oven and cool completely. Grind in food processor fitted with a metal blade, pulsing until almonds are ground finely.

1/3 c. butter, at room temperature
1 c. sugar
1 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp. salt
2 eggs
1 tsp. vanilla
2 1/4 c. flour, plus extra for rolling dough
1 3/4 c. sliver almonds, toasted and ground (about 7 oz.)
3 oz. white chocolate, chopped
1 tbsp. shortening
1/3 c. red cinnamon candies, crushed
1/3 c. coarse decorating sugar

Directions
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line baking sheets with parchment paper. In a large bowl using an electric mixer on medium-high heat, beat butter for 30 seconds. Add sugar and beat until combined. Beat in baking powder, cinnamon and salt. Beat in eggs and vanilla extract. In a medium bowl, combine flour and almonds. Reduce speed to low and add flour mixture, mixing as much flour mixture into butter mixture as you can, then stir in remaining flour mixture. On a lightly floured surface, roll or pat dough into 2 rectangles, approximately 14-by-7-inches and about 1/2 inch thick. Cut crosswise in 1/2-inch wide sticks. Use a metal spatula to transfer to baking sheets, placing 1 inch apart. Bake 8 to 10 minutes or until firm and edges are lightly browned. Remove from oven and cool 1 minute before transferring cookies to a wire rack to cool completely.
In a small saucepan over low heat, melt white chocolate and shortening, stirring constantly. In a wide shallow bowl, combine crushed candies and sugar. Dip sticks in white chocolate then in candy mixture. Place on waxed paper to set.

A Kwanzaa cookie

Posted on December 12th, 2008 – 6:07 AM
By Rick Nelson

This cookie comes from Joyce White, author of the “Soul in the Kitchen” column that runs in Taste. Be sure to check out her companion recipes for shrimp jambalaya, cheese straws, curried beef stew and Jamaican red peas in the December 18th edition of Taste.

PECAN SAND TARTS
Makes about 30 cookies.
Note: From “Brown Sugar,” by Joyce White. This Southern cookie is a perennial favorite at her holiday table; redolent with chocolate and pecans and childhood memories.

1 c. shelled pecans
1 1/2 c. flour
1 tsp. ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp. baking powder
Pinch of salt
8 tbsp. (1 stick) unsalted butter, at room temperature
3/4 c. powdered sugar
1/4 c. dark brown sugar, firmly packed and free of lumps
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1 egg, at room temperature
1/3 c. coarsely grated bittersweet or semi-sweet chocolate (about 2 oz.)
3 tbsp. granulated sugar

Directions
Chop pecans finely but don’t pulverize them into a powder. Set aside. In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, cinnamon, baking powder and salt, and set aside.
In a large bowl, using an electric mixer on medium-high speed, beat butter, powdered sugar and brown sugar until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes, scraping bowl once or twice with a rubber spatula.
Add vanilla extract and egg, and beat 30 seconds longer. Reduce speed to low, add chopped pecans and mix well. Stir in flour mixture and mix only until blended. Gather dough into a ball in center of bowl. Cover bowl with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 1 1/2 hours. When ready to bake, preheat oven to 375 degrees. Line baking sheets with parchment paper. In a small bowl, combine grated chocolate and granulated sugar and set aside. Dampen your fingertips with cold water. Using a level tablespoon of dough for each cookie, pat dough into flat round discs and place on prepared baking sheets about 2 inches apart. Generously sprinkle cookie tops with chocolate-sugar mixture. Bake until bottoms are just lightly brown and edges are crispy, about 13 to 15 minutes. Remove cookies from oven and cool for 2 minutes, then carefully transfer cookies to a wire rack to cool completely.