Friday, August 25, 2006

Pecan Raisin Swirls

These are good cookies. They're just a pain in the ass to make.
The dough smells delicious while you're making them though.
By the time I was done, I thought: "Eh, big deal...these aren't anything special for the work that goes into them" But they disappeared pretty quickly.

In a mixer at low speed, cream 1/2 cup butter with 1/2 cup sugar until just blended. Increase speed to high and beat until light and fluffy, scraping bowl often with rubber spatula. Reduce speed to low and add 1 3/4 cups flour, 1/2 tsp vanilla, pinch of salt and one egg. Beat just until blended, scraping bowl.

If the dough is crumbly, add dashes of water until it holds together, and shape into a ball. Wrap in plastic wrap and put it in the fridge for an hour...or if you're impatient like I am, put it in the freezer or 30 minutes, or until the dough is firm enough to handle...Meanwhile, in a chopper or food processor finely chop 1/2 cup of pecans, and set aside in bowl.

Do the same with 1/2 cup of raisins. Mix together raisins, pecans, 1/4 cup of honey, 1 tsp orange peel, 1/4 tsp ground cinnamon, and 1/4 cup of butter (softened).

If you're like me, you bother the dough in the freezer every two minutes, and then impatiently pull it out of the freezer within 15 minutes and roll HALF of it out on wax paper to about 1/4 inch thickness. Do this in as even a rectangle as you can. Spred Half of the pecan/honey/raisin goo as evenly as possible, and then use the wax paper to help you roll it up.
Again with the cling wrap, and again in the freezer for 30 minutes.

Preheat the oven to 350F...the recipe says 375F but I learned the last time with recipes from this book.
350F is always safe. Slice to about 1/4 inch thick, and place on ungreased cookie sheet. Bake until just browned and watch the bottoms. Next time (if there is a next time) I'll drop the temp on my oven to 325F. I'm pretty sure that these cookies would be great with any filling, from Apricot Jam to Nutella...actually, I might try Nutella with extra real ground nuts so that it doesn't run when it's baked.

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