Take a good look at these cookies because this is the first, and the last time I will be making them. Why? Keep reading and find out. The recipe is adapted from Martha Stewart's Everyday Food magazine.
2/3 cup packed light-brown sugar
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter
1/2 cup light corn syrup
Pinch of salt
1 teaspoon grated orange zest
1 cup pecans, finely chopped
2/3 cup cake flour
In a medium saucepan, over medium heat cook sugar, butter, corn syrup, and salt, stirring until sugar has dissolved and butter has melted, about 7 minutes.
Remove from heat and fold in zest, pecans, and flour. Transfer to a medium bowl, cover with plastic and refrigerate until firm, about 2 hours.
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Line baking sheet with parchment or a silpat (silpat recommended, see below). Using a teaspoon measure, roll dough into small balls (each 1/4 ounce).
Place on a large baking sheet, about 2 inches apart (you can fit 6). Bake one sheet at a time, until cookies are golden brown, about 9 to 10 minutes. Transfer cookies on parchment to a wire rack to cool completely.
I used regular golden corn syrup as that is what I had on hand. I also ran out of pecans, so I used a mixture of hazelnuts and pecans.
Would I make this again?
No. Helllll no. It took me three cookie sheets on parchment paper before I got it through my thick head that the cookies were sticking to the paper. Finally I took out my silpat. Of course, this meant it took a couple more rounds in the oven to figure out the proper timing. It turned out to be 7 minutes and 30 seconds exactly.
But only when the oven temperature was exactly right. Then it took a couple more rounds to figure out that I had to let the cookies rest and harden on the silpat before placing them on wax paper to cool. Otherwise, the batter ran like liquid and lost its shape. Also, I soon realized I was only able to bake three cookies at a time, spaced far apart, on the silpat or the batter ran together and formed one large cookie. Finally, to keep the silpat flat, I used ceramic ramekins to hold it down. In short, it took me hours just to make about 20 cookies.
Grade: One star out of five. These were delicious and elegant to serve. But that's about it.