I sit down to write, I get a bake sale

10 Dec

I’m beyond excited to say that my second collection of poems, “The City That Care Forgot,” is currently a finalist for a major book prize!  I just started sending this manuscript out at the end of September and to know that it’s already a finalist straight out of the gate is such an incredible feeling!  I was very apprehensive about this manuscript because it was such a risky undertaking subject-wise, but I believe in it and know that you can’t get anywhere without taking risks.

 

I haven’t been writing much this fall and haven’t written anything since early October, which is actually fine with me.  I’ve been teaching 5 classes this term, which is exhausting, but that is only a small part of why I haven’t been writing.  For the most part, I need a break.  I wrote two books back to back over the past 5 years and I feel that I need time to relax–to read, to think, to enjoy life–and I feel that this (brief, most likely) hiatus will be well worth it in the end.

 

I love cooking and baking and the fall/holidays are the perfect time to find yourself elbow-deep in flour.  Last night, I made homemade butterscotch slice cookies for both Jeff as well as little neighbor holidays treat bags.  The recipe is from Paula Deen.  Since this recipe was quite different than I initially expected gauging the ingredients list and also because  I haven’t done a recipe review in a while, I figured that I would share the recipe, method photos, and final results:

 

BUTTERSCOTCH SLICE COOKIES

 

Image courtesy Paula Deen

 

Ingredients 

1 cup butter, room temperature
2 eggs
2 cups brown sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 cup chopped nuts
3 cups sifted flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
¼ teaspoon salt

 

Directions

 

In a medium mixing bowl, sift together flour, baking soda and salt.  Set aside.

In a large mixing bowl using a hand mixer, cream together butter, brown sugar and vanilla. Add eggs one at a time.  Add flour mixture one cup at a time and mix well.  Stir in chopped nuts. 

 

 

Place dough on wax paper and form into 2-inch rolls.  Refrigerate overnight.

Preheat oven to 375º F. Slice into 1/8 inch slices and bake on an ungreased baking sheet for 5 to 6 minutes.

 

Allow to cool slightly before removing from baking sheet.

 

 

Outcome: These are easy to make, delicious cookies.  When I first read through the ingredients, I wondered how on earth these were going to taste like butterscotch when there were no butterscotch morsels in the recipe.  However, the butter and brown sugar work together to make the dough taste EXACTLY like butterscotch.  Sadly, though, when baked, these little cookies lose their butterscotch flavor and taste more like sugar-pecan biscotti (which is not a terrible thing, but just not what I ultimately wanted).  I think I’m going to rename these cookies (as is) Butter-Pecan Cookies because that’s what they really taste like and then whenever I make these again, I might try adding butterscotch morsels and see if that works any better.  Also, it’s important to note that baking times do vary.  I found that if you slice the dough on the thinner side (which I started out doing, but quickly realized this made for a rather dinky cookie), that I needed to bake them for 5 minutes exactly.  When I began slicing them a little thicker, say, 1/4 inch, they need to be baked for around 7 minutes.  Ultimately, these are yummy cookies that, I know, don’t scream “holiday cookie,” but do make for a nice little tea biscuit or afternoon cold-day snack.  My husband likes them with a glass of 2% Horizon Organic Milk.  I prefer them with a hot cup of Nutcracker Sweet tea.  

 

Santa likes them!

 

Notes from the Paula Deen Test Kitchen: Makes a great cookie to be served with tea or coffee.  Dough freezes well.  Dough is easier to cut when frozen.  If using this method, allow cookies to sit 3-4 minutes on a cool baking sheet before baking.

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