Happy National Pecan Cookie Day!

I know for many Americans the pecan cookie is a favorite.  For those that prefer sweets on the saltier side, pecans transform cookies into a salty/sweet masterpiece. The native American nut provides a pleasant, textural crunch as well as rich buttery flavor to any variety of baked goods. Pecan cookies are great because there are so many different recipes for these delicious cookies.

You will be happy to know that indulging in a pecan cookie does have some nutritional benefits.

Natural antioxidants in pecans: Pecans contain different forms of the antioxidant vitamin E, known as tocopherols.

Healthy benefits for the heart: Nearly 60 percent of the fats in pecans are monounsaturated and another 30 percent are polyunsaturated, leaving very little saturated fat in pecans. Monounsaturated fats are heart-healthy fats that help lower LDL (the bad) cholesterol.

Pecans are nutrient dense: Pecans contains several vitamins and minerals – including vitamin A, vitamin E, folic acid, several B vitamins and zinc. Pecans are also a natural, high-quality source of protein that contains no cholesterol.

Top it off with milk. Drinking a glass of milk with a sweet treat will enhance your nutrition intake. Eight ounces of milk contains nine essential nutrients and a third of the calcium you need a day.

So raise your glass (of milk) and toast to National Pecan Cookie Day!

Georgia Pecan Chocolate Cookies  (Recipe provided by Georgia Pecans)

Makes 2 Dozen

Ingredients:

  • 8-oz. sweet chocolate
  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
  • 2 eggs
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup cake flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon Jack Daniel’s
  • 3/4 cup Georgia pecan pieces

Directions:

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.

In a medium bowl placed in a skillet of hot but not boiling water, melt the butter and chocolate. Be careful NOT to splash any water into the chocolate or it will be ruined. Set aside.In the bowl of an electric mixer, beat the eggs until fluffy and then beat in the sugar, 2 tablespoons at a time, very slowly. This should take about 4 minutes. Sift the cake flour, baking powder, cinnamon, and salt together. Fold this into the beaten eggs. Fold in the chocolate, then the pecans and Jack Daniel’s. Drop by the teaspoonful on a buttered baking sheet 2 inches apart- these cookies do spread. Bake for 3 minutes on the middle rack until the cookies are shiny and puffed. Cool and store in an air tight container until ready to serve later the same day.

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