Quite recently a fellow transplant from Pakistan reached out and commented on how “exhilliratingly high the aroma of vanilla and sugar emanating from my oven makes me (her)”. The entire time these cookies were baking all I could think of was how perfect these would be for her, a fellow lover of butter and sugar. E, I hope you make them and know just how much I appreciate your kind words 🙂
If vanilla has soft beauty then butterscotch packs a sweet punch. It’s tempered by a subtle amount of coffee and a healthy smattering of chopped, toasted pecans. The real piece-de-resistance though is the sweet and salty sugar that these cookies roll around in before making their way on to the baking sheet. I more or less kept the original name (i.e. Salty-Sweet Butter Pecan Cookies) for the recipe out of deference to the awesome people at King Arthur Flour, but really these are Crack Cookies.
You can’t have just one.
Especially when they’re warm.
Salty-Sweet Butterscotch Pecan Cookies
Yield: about 4 dozen 3″ cookies, or 7 dozen 2 1/4″ cookies.
2/3 cup light brown sugar, firmly packed
2/3 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup butter
1/2 cup vegetable shortening*
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon espresso powder or 3/4 tsp instant coffee
1 teaspoon baking soda
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 teaspoon vinegar, cider or white
1 large egg
2 cups All-Purpose Flour
1 1/3 cups butterscotch chips
1/3 cup granulated sugar mixed with 1 to 1 1/4 teaspoons salt, for topping**
– Toast your pecans in a single layer on a baking sheet or do what I do and take out your largest saucepan/frying pan and toast them there. Chop roughly and set aside.
– Cream together butter, sugars, shortening, salt, espresso/coffee powder, baking soda, vanilla, butterscotch flavor (if using) and vinegar till smooth sweet magic happens.
– Add the egg, beat till well combined.
– With your mixer on low gradually add the flour
– Stir in the chips and toasted nuts.
– Refrigerate the dough for 2 hours to overnight unless you are in a rush
– When it is time to bake combine the sugar and salt and put in a bowl. Make the size of cookie you prefer and roll into a ball, let the cookie take a little sugar shower then transfer to the baking sheet and leave 2 inches between cookies.
– Bake the cookies for 9-12 minutes depending on the size of the cookie and the kind of cookie you like. A longer bake time will give you a delightfully crunchy cookie, a shorter bake time where the edges are golden and the cookie is just cooked in the middle will result in a softer chewy cookie. If you go for a softer cookie let it cool on the pan for a few minutes before transferring to a wire rack.
* I don’t always have vegetable shortening and substitute butter for it all the time. Butter does spread just a bit more so please do refrigerate the dough and make sure your cookie sheets aren’t hot when making subsequent batches. For awesome cookie science on butter vs sugar go here
**If you’re making smaller (teaspoon cookie scoop-sized) cookies, increase the coating to 1/2 cup (3 1/2 ounces) granulated sugar mixed with 1 3/4 to 2 teaspoons salt.