Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Pecan puff (p.769)

I was sort of excited about the Pecan puff (p.769) recipe because they looked the nut balls that we make in my family for Christmas. I like those nut balls and would be happy to have a lot of them to eat.

The recipe was really simple. I beat my butter until soft and added sugar, which I beat until creamy:

I used my old-fashioned but awesome nut grinder to grind up a cup of pecans:

I stirred the pecans and some cake flour into the butter mixture:

I rolled the dough in to balls and popped them in the oven:

Uh oh:

Can't say I know what went wrong with this recipe but the balls flattened out, which they aren't supposed to do. I was supposed to roll them in powdered sugar and pop them back in the oven but that didn't happen because they were too flat. They tasted good--not very sweet but crumbly and full of nutty deliciousness. I'm sure they would be even better had they retained their ball shape.

Random facts:
  • "Pecans are the soft, fatty seeds of a very large tree..." (On Food and Cooking, p. 511). Does that make them sound appetizing to anyone?
  • Pecans and walnuts have some of the highest oil and unsaturated fatty acid contents among nuts, which means they oxidize and stale faster than other nuts (OFaC, p. 511)
  • The pecan tree is the state tree of Texas (Wikipedia)
  • Cake flour is finely milled wheat flour, which has a lower protein content than all-purpose flour (Wikipedia)

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  1. I would try adding more flour.

    And no, that description is not appetizing- kind of makes me want to gag.

  2. Those look similar to Mexican Wedding/Russian Tea cakes. My guess would be possibly the oven is too hot? or the dough too warm going in. Try freezing the dough for 20 min and/or lowing oven temp so the cookie can "set up" before getting too hot to melt and spread out.

  3. I recommend adding more flour....at least that's what makes my chocolate chip cookies not flatten out so much.

    And, yes, that is a terribly unappetizing description of pecans. Soft & fatty....ew. I think I actually like a lot of soft & fatty foods, but saying "soft and fatty" makes me gag a little.

  4. This is a delicate cookie. Try it again following the recipe exactly. Make sure the butter is completely softened, not melted. I use a coffee grinder for the nuts. And yes a little more cake flower may help but not much more. Oven is only 300 degrees and bake for the 30 min. or until you can smell them, or until they just barely begin to get color. The cookies may flatten only slightly on the bottom. Take out of oven very carefully roll in powdered sugar and just let sit. I do not put them back into the oven. When warm handle gently or the can crumble until they cool............after cool......,YUM, they melt in you mouth. Holiday family & friends favorite for over 30 years! YOU CAN DO IT! ENJOY

  5. The main problem is most likely the high altitude--cookies and other baked goods really don't turn out the way they do at lower altitudes, so normal advice doesn't always work.

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  7. I've made this cookie recipe for over 40 years. Have to say that we do not make it with pecans but walnuts instead. [we prefer the taste better]. I never bake on the same day I make the dough and have made it a month in advance and freezing it. I thaw it out just enough to roll them. Keep trying - they're great!

  8. My favorite Christmas cookie. Try chilling the dough overnight. This might help the flattening out issue.


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