Spirited Butternut Pecan Cookies

IMG_8091Today’s recipe is brought to you by NOT the great pumpkin, but the butternut squash. It’s not that I am not tempted to share some great pumpkin idea, but if your inbox is anything like mine you have been completely inundated with pumpkin recipes. Besides that I did not plant sugar pumpkins this year. I like to rotate my crops and the butternut squash did not disappoint.

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There is nothing like a fresh picked butternut squash. The biggest difference from store bought? The tender skin! There is no battle slicing through it nor the fear of chopping off a finger. Most of the dozen or so I got from just 1 seed grew quite large, but my final pick was a wee 5-inches.

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Chopped, cooked and smashed this little beauty yielded just 1/2 cup of butternut squash puree. It was more than enough for this cookie recipe that I wanted to test out.

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Yes! It is a spirited cookie. I guess you could say a certain Sailor inspired this one. He has been around a lot lately. The recipe also calls for a few other complimentary flavors like vanilla bean paste, pumpkin pie spice, toasty pecans and demerera sugar. The cookie bakes up soft, but not cake-like, on the inside and slightly crispy on the outside from the sprinkle of sugar.

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Here is a tip. If you are roasting or boiling up a butternut squash for dinner set aside 1/4 cupful for these cookies before adding any seasoning. You will be glad you did.

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Spirited Butternut Pecan Cookies

  • Servings: 3 dozen cookies
  • Print

1 ½ cups all-purpose flour

1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice

½ teaspoon baking soda

½ teaspoon fine sea salt or table salt

½ cup unsalted butter, softened

2/3 cup packed light brown sugar

1/3 cup granulated sugar

1 egg yolk

¼ cup mashed butternut squash

1 tablespoon Jack Daniel’s whiskey

1 teaspoon vanilla bean paste

2 tablespoons demerera or turbinado sugar

36 pecan halves

Heat oven to350F. Line baking sheet with parchment paper. In medium bowl, whisk flour, spice, baking soda and salt; set aside. In large bowl, with an electric mixer, beat butter, brown sugar and granulated sugar for 5 minutes or until light and well mixed. Add egg yolk; blend well. Add squash, whiskey and vanilla bean paste; blend well. Add flour mixture; stir with a spatula or wooden spoon until well blended. Using a cookie scoop or tablespoon drop cookie batter onto prepared baking sheet. Press 1 pecan into center of each cookie. Sprinkle each with a pinch of demera sugar. Bake 12 to 14 minutes or until golden brown around edges.

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Have a great week from my real favorite pumpkin

Kindness & Cheesecake Blondies

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Caring for a kitten in Afghanistan ~William Keys

Along this grief journey there have been quite a few moms who have touched my heart and inspired me to do better. Doreen is one of those moms. This poem is a gift from her.

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Choose kindness. It could make all the difference in your day or someone else’s day or a pet’s day or even the world.

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trying to follow in your kind light

This recipe was born from kindness. Inspired by my friend Laurie’s homemade salted caramel this dessert is salty, sweet, creamy and crunchy…need I say more? How kind of a dear friend to share her culinary sweetness with me. Thank you again, Laurie.

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Salted Caramel Cheesecake Blondies

1 (8 oz) package cream cheese, softened

¼ cup sugar

3 eggs, divided

1 ½ teaspoons vanilla, divided

1½ cups all-purpose flour

1-teaspoon baking powder

½ teaspoon salt

1 ½ sticks (12 tablespoons) unsalted butter, melted

1½ cups packed light brown sugar

1 cup toasted chopped pecans

5 tablespoons high quality caramel topping, warm

½ teaspoon fleur de sel

Heat oven 325F. Spray a 9-inch square pan with non-stick cooking spray. Line pan with parchment paper leaving a 1-inch overhang over sides. Spray parchment with non-stick cooking spray. In small bowl, beat cream cheese and sugar until creamy. Add 1 egg and ½ teaspoon vanilla; blend well and set aside. In another bowl, whisk flour, baking powder and salt; set aside. In large bowl, whisk melted butter and brown sugar until blended. Add remaining eggs and vanilla; blend well. Add flour mixture and mix with a spatula just until dry ingredients are moistened. Stir in ¾ cups pecans. Spread half the blondie batter over bottom of prepared pan. Drop half the cream cheese mixture by spoonfuls on top. Reserve 2 tablespoons of caramel. Drop the remaining caramel by teaspoonfuls in between the spoonfuls of cream cheese mixture. Repeat layering with remaining blondie batter and cream cheese mixture. Using the tip of a butter knife gently swirl the blondie batter, cream cheese mixture and caramel together creating a marbled effect. Bake for 50 to 55 minutes or until wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool in pan on wire rack for 10 minutes. Using the parchment edges, lift the blondies from the pan to a cooling rack. Drizzle with remaining caramel and sprinkle with pecans and fleur de sel. Chill in refrigerator until completely cool. Cut into bars or squares. 

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Good Grief Cook’s Best Recipes

What to Write? What to write? What to write? I got nothin’! So instead I will share YOUR top 3 favorite recipes from all my years of blogging. BTW-your favorites are for sure some of mine. May love always guide you in the kitchen.

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Sweet William’s Fancy Chocolate Chip Cookie

Not one bit surprised that the recipe that got me started writing made the list. Who doesn’t love a perfectly crisp chocolate chip cookie with a soft inside spiked with bourbon? https://goodgriefcook.com/2013/10/21/following-in-his-light-with-cookies/

 

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Shredded Chicken Mole

I love this recipe not only for its easy great flavor, but also for inspiring me to learn more about food photography. This one made the foodgawker list and I could not have been more proud. Hope to graduate from my iPhone to a real digital camera in 2017. https://goodgriefcook.com/2015/04/30/building-relationships-flavor-a-give-away/

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Maple Smoked Pickled Pork Sliders

Last but not least is this porky goodness on a Hawaiian roll. It’s the contrast in temperatures, textures and flavors that makes this one a winner. https://goodgriefcook.com/2016/07/17/wills-meerkats-pork-sliders/

Gather the ones you love most as often as you can.

More Happiness in 2017

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