Sunday, February 10, 2008

Pecan Sables (Page 679)

  • Date: Wednesday, February 6, 2008 -- 10pm
  • Location: Bloomington, IN
  • Kitchen: My Apartment
  • Dining Companion: Matty
  • Recipe Rating: B+

I like to always have some cookies around, so I made these last week to fill the cookie quota. I went through a long phase during my childhood when I thought Pecan Sandies were the be-all and end-all of cookies. I preferred those dry, packaged cookies to homemade chewy chocolate chip ones. In retrospect, I am not sure what I was thinking. This recipe is the homemade, I dare say: Gourmet, version of the Pecan Sandies from my childhood. They are pretty good -- obviously significantly better than their mass-produced counterpart. This cookie is essentially shortbread with pecans added. It is a very buttery, very floury cookie, with very little egg or leavener. This makes it thin, crispy, and crumbly -- I dare say sandy even. If you like super-buttery crumbly cookies, you are bound to like this one. The flavor is very nice, and the ground pecans in the cookie and the pecan half on top both contribute a nice nuttiness to the cookie. I didn't find them very visually appealing. Because they rose essentially not-at-all, they ended up looking like cardboard circles with pecans on top. However I hesitate to be too critical of them because I have certainly eaten quite a few!

Here is the recipe.

Yesterday was a big day for my project. Last night Matty and I made three recipes from The Book for dinner, which pushed me over the half-way mark! That's right, I have now cooked more than half the recipes in The Book! I still have 646 recipes to go, but nonetheless I feel like I am in the home stretch. It's hard for me to look at that huge book and internalize that I have now cooked one out of every two recipes in it. It's very exciting! The other exciting thing is that I am nowhere near running out of recipes that sound good to me. Flipping through The Book at the beginning, it was difficult to guess when I would run out of recipes that seemed reasonable. It seemed possible that at half-way the remaining recipes would either sound bad, or require a huge investment of time, or money. But here I am, at the half-way mark and things are still looking good. In fact, I think I can easily make it to the three-quarters mark before I start hitting serious difficulties. Perhaps even further...

There are a lot of people who have supported this project immensely, and it would be hard to thank them all here. But a few stand out and I would like to share my appreciation. Chris supported this crazy idea at the very beginning and told me, apparently correctly, that if I was determined to do this, I could do it. Alex has provided technical support along the way, coding and hosting the Project Index, which is a very helpful source of statistics for me. And of course I want to thank Matty, who has now eaten more than 300 of the 647 recipes that I have made. He has approached this project with a positive attitude and an open mind. Even on days when the project has necessitated trips to 4 different grocery stores, he has been patient and understanding. I wouldn't be nearly as far along as I am today without his support.

Thanks to everyone who has cooked and/or eaten with me throughout these first 647 recipes! I am looking forward to enjoying the next 646 with you as well!


Deborah Dowd said...

Over halfway there! Congratulations on a very daunting task. Your determination and persistance will benefit all of us!

Magdalen said...

Yippee! Way to go!

You know, I've been a fan & regular reader for a while now. This is the first post that made me hungry. Not the description of the cookies (though they look & sound yummy) but your discussion of your friends & supporters who've helped with both the logistics of cooking so many recipes, and the social aspects of consuming so many recipes. *sigh* Oh, well, if you ever have a Gourmet Project Party, let me know.

And, incidentally, The Book's publishers owe you a little money: I finally broke down and asked for The Book for my birthday. The ricotta pancakes -- that's the one that made me think, Hmmm, that sounds like a winner.

Can't wait for the next half!

"Anonymous" said...

"And Mike, whose unwavering devotion to my project and fanatical support of my grading scheme leave me happy and refreshed."

I don't know how that part got left out of your "shout-outs"...

Teena said...

Thanks for all the support! It's great to have so much encouragement!