Monday, February 15, 2016

Valentine's Bakes: Coconut Sugar Pecan Shortbread Cookies

To be honest, I am pretty proud of myself for the spontaneous last minute brunch I pulled together this past Saturday. From ideation to execution, I will shamelessly give myself an A+. I was even able to not leak clues as to what I was preparing to the Fatty for two whole days! Surprise!

I am glad it turned out well, and the Fatty enjoyed the-day-before-valentines-day-brunch as much as I enjoyed preparing for it.

On the menu:
  1. "Muscle Builder" Smoothie
    greens // banana // blueberries // almond butter // chia seeds // honey // almond milk
  2. Crustless Quinoa Quiche
    quinoa // greens // onions // mozzarella cheese
  3. Side salad
    greens // tomatoes // toasted pecans // toasted sunflower seeds // avocado // balsamic maple vinaigrette
  4. Banana muffins
    chopped walnuts // peanut butter swirl
  5. Banana salted caramel tart
    whipped cream // bruleed banana slices
  6. Coconut Sugar Pecan Shortbread Cookiesmilk chocolate // toasted pecans

Coconut Sugar Pecan Shortbread Cookies
recipe halved and adapted from from Natty's Pantry
makes about 44 bite size cookies
1 cup (125g) all-purpose flour
1/4 cup (50g) organic coconut palm sugar
7 Tbsp (99g) unsalted butter, room temperature
1/4 tsp fine sea salt
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 cup (50g) finely ground pecans
Optional: chocolate dip
1/3 cup chocolate chips
1/2 tsp coconut oil
Melt together.
Chopsticks are helpful in rolling them into an even thickness!

1. Preheat oven to 350F.
2. Cut butter into small cubes, set aside to soften.
3. In a food processor, pulse and ground pecans.
4. Add flour, coconut sugar, and salt to the finely grounded pecan. Pulse until combined.
5. Add butter and vanilla extract, pulse until dough forms.
6. Gather dough in plastic wrap and put another layer of plastic wrap on top. Roll out dough to 1/4 inch thickness, and refrigerate for about 15-20 minutes until firm.
7. When dough is firm, cut out shapes with cookie cutter. If dough gets too soft to handle, return to refrigerator. Refrigerate cut out cookies for another 30 minutes or until firm.
8. Bake for about 10-11 or until golden brown. Let cookies cool for about 5 minutes before transferring to wire rack to completely cool.
9. Enjoy as is or decorate!
Dip in melted chocolate/coconut oil and throw some toasted pecans on them!
I don't normally make cut out cookies or sugar cookies since they don't appeal to me as much as good ol` classic chocolate chip cookies. The amount of butter and sugar also scares me away from consuming too much of them. This Valentine's day, I wanted to make heart shaped cookies, and this shortbread cookie recipe couldn't have popped up at a better time.

Natty's CNY royal icing design is what drawn me to them at first. And the fact that these cookies incorporate coconut sugar and grounded pecans.. SOLD!

Making these is simple and only require one bowl! The dough gets soft quite fast in the recent cali heat wave, but it's not something a little chill in the fridge cannot fix. Working in small batches seems to help for me.

These cookies retained their shape really well and stayed flat, meaning you can do intricate shapes and designs. I went for a 1-1.5" heart cutter which didn't exactly have the perfect heart shape and dipped them in chocolate. I suggest dipping them in dark chocolate to balance out the sweetness of the cookies and also refrigerating them if you prefer a harder/crispy cookie.

Taste: 3.5 stars out of 5
Buttery with a hint of toasty/nutty-ness.
Would reduce the sugar a bit next time.
Texture: 3.5 stars out of 5
Tender, flaky, crisp snap bite.


recipe for quiche: here
recipe for balsamic maple vinaigrette: Flavor the Moments 
recipe adapted from Sweet Pea's Kitchen*

recipe for salted caramel: here 

*40g coconut sugar, 1/8 tsp fine sea salt, 1 1/2 banana = 172g, 1/4 cup chopped walnuts, ~1 tsp peanut butter per muffin

Happy Valentine's Day everyone!

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