I thought I'd kick December off with these cinnamon spiced Chocolate Pecan Cookies, the recipe to which I spotted in a Family Circle Christmas 2007 magazine.
Just the smell of cinnamon puts me in a Christmas mood and these carry that lovely aroma from baking to eating. There's an added complexity to their texture with the addition of rolled oats and flaked coconut to the dough.
185 grams softened butter
150 grams brown sugar
160 grams caster sugar
1½ teaspoon vanilla
230 grams plain flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
¼ teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
150 grams rolled oats
120 grams pecans, roughly chopped
200 grams dark chocolate chips
50 grams flaked coconut
Place the butter, brown sugar and caster sugar into the bowl of a mixer and beat until pale and creamy.
Break the eggs into a small bowl, add the vanilla extract and lightly whisk to amalgamate and then add it slowly to the creamed mixture.
Sift the plain flour, baking powder, ground cinnamon and bicarbonate of soda together into a clean bowl.
On a slow speed, add the flour, a quarter at a time until just absorbed.
Finally, add in the rolled oats, chocolate bits, flaked coconut and pecans. Mix at the slowest speed until just combined.
The dough is quite soft and there are two ways in which you can form the cookies. The ones in the first photo have been made by using a small ice-cream scoop to form balls - they are then baked at 160°C/320°F until golden. The end result gives you a soft and chewy cookie.
For the ones pictured above, I've taken the dough and placed it on baking paper and then rolled it to form a fat sausage. It's then placed in the fridge until it has hardened.
To make the cookies, simply slice the dough sausage and bake until golden. These cookies are more crisp.
Whichever way you make them, they are an idea cookie for sharing and just perfect for gift giving. They do keep quite well, but only if you can resist the temptation of eating them all at once!