I was sitting with my mom and her coworker, digging into my gomaae salad, thinking about how I could smash sesame seeds to replicate the dressing at home.
My mom casually mentioned she has started taking the antioxidant that gives flamingos and salmon their pink flavor. Bite of salmon belly.
They bonded over their shared love for miso dressing, and I ordered a single mango mochi ball. As it does, the powdered sugar that once coated the ball was all over my lap.
The next morning, my mom moved her furniture out of my apartment, and we fought over whose glassware was whose.
She packed up her 16-food Uhaul and drove to the nudey hot springs that she took us to as kids.
I went back into my house emptied my underwear drawer into a box and my spices into another and then went to my new apartment in Fremont.
Trudging up the smurf-colored stairs, I made my way through the hallway, which, so far, has continually smelled like a tuna melt.
All of this is completely irrelevant except that during this visit from my mom, she repeatedly mentioned her new infatuation with pecan butter. It reminded me of the time I put toasted pecans and butter in the food processor and smeared it between two rich chocolate cookies.
Makes about 24 sandwich cookies//Dahlia Bakery
For the filling
- 6 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 1 cup toasted, cooled and chipped pecans
- 3/4 cup powdered sugar
- 1 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
For the cookies
- 3/4 cup plus 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
- 1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons Dutch-process cocoa (This is a really important detail for full flavor)
- 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 cup plus 1 tablespoon unsalted butter, softened
- 3/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
- 1 large egg at room temperature
- 1/4 cup toasted, cooled and finely chopped pecans
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
To make the filling, brown the butter by placing it in a small saucepan over medium heat. As the butter melts, stir it continuously until it turns golden brown and smells nutty, about 3 minutes. The butter will foam, but continue to cook it until it reaches a slightly darker brown, not letting it burn. Remove from heat.
In a food processor, combine the brown butter, pecans, powdered sugar, vanilla extract and salt. Pulse until a paste forms. Cover and chill while you make the cookies.
To make the cookie dough, sift the flour, cocoa and baking soda together into a bowl.
Combine the butter and sugar with an electric mixer on medium-high speed until light and fluffy. Add the egg on medium-low speed until incorporated. Scrap down the bowl and add the pecans, vanilla extract and salt.
Add the dry ingredients on low speed in a few additions until just combined, careful not to over mix.
Chill the dough for 1 hour or longer.
When you are ready to bake the cookies, heat the oven to 375 degrees F. Portion the dough to about 2 teaspoons per cookie. You should get about 48 cookies. Place the cookies 3/4 to 1 inch apart on a parchment-lined baking sheet. Use your fingers to press them flat to about 1/4 inch thick.
Bake the cookies until they have set, about 7 minutes. (Dahlia Bakery says don’t open the oven door while baking, but who can help themselves?)
Remove the pan from the oven and allow to cool for at least 10 minutes before transferring to a cooling rack.
To make the cookie sandwich, spread about 2 teaspoons of filling on the flat side of a cookie and press the flat side of another cookie on top. Repeat until all the cookies are sandwiched together.