– Double-Chocolate, Pecan, and Butterscotch Cookies –
I’m excited to share a project today by a very special lady. I met Marie Asselin a while back at a food conference and was immediately captivated by her genuine smile. Anyone who goes to conferences understands that many attendees put on their “conference face,” meaning that the persona they display is extra bubbly and overly sweet; so sweet it can be off-putting.
Marie, on the other hand, was open, authentic, and gracious, a breath of fresh air among the manic conference-goers I’d been bombarded with for the entire event. She was a joy to hang out with.
Marie and I struck up a friendship over the years, visiting at conferences and emailing back and forth to share business tidbits. As a graphic designer, pretty much anything Marie touches is beautiful, so I was super excited to find out she was working on a cookbook project.
After learning that she was lactose intolerant, Marie refused to give up the desserts she adored. She made it her goal to develop recipes that lightened up on the dairy while still maintaining the richness she craved. After years of developing recipes professionally and for her blog Food Nouveau, she’s saved her very best dishes for her new digital cookbook, Sweet Spot: Modern, Better-for-You Dessert Recipes, with Clever Tips to Bake (Mostly) Dairy Free. It’s gorgeous and you MUST check it out.
Just check out some of these recipes:
- Upside-Down Apple Cakes with Maple Caramel Sauce
- Chocolate and Raspberry Cake with Chocolate Swiss Meringue Buttercream
- Fresh Strawberry Squares with Pistachio Crust
- Coffee-Infused Brownies
While this book makes it incredibly easy to remove the dairy from Marie’s recipe, Sweet Spot is NOT just for lactose intolerant people. All recipes include regular dairy ingredients as well as dairy-free substitutions. It’s a book everyone can use–if you’re looking to integrate healthier ingredients in your diet, make lighter (but not diet) desserts, or learn more about alternatives to dairy ingredients because you are, in fact, lactose intolerant, but still want to eat indulgent desserts, not fruit plates. But! If you love good old dairy products, you can use them and your desserts will be delicious just the same!
Marie has been generous by sharing her Double-Chocolate, Pecan, and Butterscotch Cookies, a fudgy cookie recipe that’s adored by both kids and adults. If you’re looking for a special treat to tempt the Santa at your house, these cookies just might guarantee you’ll find the keys to a new car in your stocking. (One can dream, right?)
Here’s Marie’s story of how these cookies came to be, and you’ll find the recipe below.
Every year, I prepare edible gifts to send to my clients and close friends as a holiday present. It’s usually a selection of sweet treats, variations on a theme: cookies, candies, and so on. A couple of years ago, I was heavily pregnant in early December, so I couldn’t muster the energy needed by an intensive baking session. Instead, I layered the ingredients needed to make brownies in a cute jar, added baking instructions to the package, and even included a mini jar of homemade butterscotch sauce to make the dessert even more memorable.
To say it was a hit is an understatement! People (especially kids) loved getting involved in making their own freshly baked brownies, but I think the flavors were what won everyone over. You can’t go wrong with a combination of chocolate, pecans, and butterscotch, can you? This is what inspired me to turn the brownies into cookies—and I must say they’ve probably eclipsed the original idea in popularity. It’s a great make-ahead treat that can easily be turned into a delicious gift.
- 1 cup [250 ml] unsalted butter, or dairy-free shortening (2 sticks)
- 3/4 cup [175 ml] cane sugar
- 3/4 cup [175 ml] brown sugar, packed
- 2 large eggs
- 1 cup [250 ml] cake flour
- 1 cup [250 ml] whole wheat flour
- 3/4 cup [175 ml] cocoa powder, sifted
- 1 teaspoon [5 ml] baking powder
- 1 1/2 cups [375 ml] dark chocolate chips
- 1/2 cup 125 [ml] pecans, coarsely chopped
- 1/2 cup [125 ml] butterscotch chips
- 1/2 cup [125 ml] pecans, finely chopped
- 1/2 teaspoon [2.5 ml] Fleur de sel
- Preheat oven to 350°F (175°C). Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.
- In a large mixing bowl, or the bowl of a stand mixer, cream the unsalted butter or dairy-free shortening, cane sugar, and brown sugar together until light and fluffy, beating at high speed about 4 minutes. Add the eggs, one at a time, making sure the first egg is well incorporated before adding the second one.
- In a second mixing bowl, whisk the flour, cocoa powder, and baking powder together. Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredient, mixing at low speed just until incorporated. Using a spatula, fold in the dark chocolate chips and chopped pecans. The mixture will be quite stiff at this stage.
- Drop the dough by heaping tablespoon-fuls on the parchment paper-lined baking sheets, spacing cookies 2-inches (5 cm) from one another. (Using a mini ice cream scoop makes this step quick and easy.) Press some butterscotch chips and finely chopped pecans onto each cookie dough mound, slightly flattening each cooking mound in the process. Sprinkle with a touch
- of fleur de sel. Bake for 11 to 13 minutes until puffed and just set. Cool completely on wire racks.
- Bring back to room temperature before serving, or even better, reheat in a 300°F (150°C) oven for 5 minutes to get that delightful freshly baked flavor again.
- Store in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 4 days. You can also freeze the baked cookies in an airtight storage bag or container for up to 2 months.
- Want to make the brownies version of these cookies? Head over here: Brownies in a Jar
This content was originally posted on FearlessFresh.com.