Let me tell you a secret about London: the weather is terrible. I know, I know. This is hardly a secret, you think at your computer screen. Everyone knows that. But I’ll tell you why it’s so bad. It’s not because it rains most days, and the sky is usually a flat expanse of dark, unrelenting gray, or because it’s cold nine months out of the year. Those things are all true, but that’s not why the weather is so awful. No, that would be too easy. The weather in London is so unbearable because sometimes it’s actually quite nice.
Yep. Approximately seven days out of the year London gives us glorious, warm days with cloudless skies and cool breezes. Everyone goes outside and picnics in the park and throws around rugbys and plays with their children. And for those seven days you find yourself forgetting that for the other three-hundred and fifty eight, the weather is, to put it kindly, pure shit.
Anyway, today is not one of those glorious days. Despite the fact that it’s almost June, London feels like February, all slate skies and unremitting rain. And I find myself in a bit of a funk.
But all that will soon come to an end. The spouse and I are moving back to the States next week! We’ve just finished packing most of our things in boxes, our belongings dwindling to what we can pack in suitcases for the flight back. And, as so often happens before a move, pretty much the only things left in our pantry are bulk baking supplies–a gigantic bag of flour, three different kinds of sugar, an inexplicable amount of baking soda. So, to serve the dual purposes of alleviating my weather-induced depression and cleaning out the rest of the junk cluttering up the cupboards, I decided to bake!
Yes, today my writing blog is cleverly disguising itself as a food blog. I even have pictures of, like, the uncooked dough and stuff! But before I share my own invented recipe, I should mention that I threw these cookies together with literally whatever I had in the pantry, namely maple syrup, nuts, and flour. It is entirely possible that these could be vastly improved by actually going out and buying diverse ingredients. But I think they came out pretty well, considering! Hope you enjoy.
Lyra’s Leaving-London-Whatever’s-Left-in-the-Pantry Maple Pecan Cookies
Makes approximately 15-20 cookies, depending on size
1/2 cup salted butter, room temperature
1/2 cup brown sugar (I used light brown sugar)
1/3 cup real maple syrup (I recommend Grade B, as it’s slightly fuller in flavor)
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 cups all purpose flower
1 cup pecans (although almonds or walnuts might be nice)
1 teaspoon baking soda
For the glaze:
1/4 cup butter
1/4 cup maple syrup
1/4 cup brown sugar
1. Cream together the butter and brown sugar in a medium-sized bowl. Add in the maple syrup, vanilla and egg. Mix together well.
2. Pulverize half of the pecans. I put them in a plastic baggie and hammered them until they were a fine meal, but if you have a blender or food processor I would recommend using that (we’re moving, remember?) Roughly chop the other half of the pecans into small-ish chunks.
3. In another bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, and the pulverized pecans until well mixed. Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients a bit at a time and stir until just combined. Add the roughly chopped pecans and combine. Stick this bowl in the fridge for at least a half hour.
4. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees fahrenheit. Grease your cookie sheets. When the dough is sufficiently chilled, shape it into tablespoon-sized balls and set them about 1-2 inches apart on the cookie sheet. Bake for 10-12 minutes, until golden brown, then remove and let cool.
5. While the cookies are cooling, make the glaze. Melt the butter in a saucepan, then add your maple syrup and brown sugar and stir until boiling. Let the mixture boil for 2-3 minutes, stirring constantly, then remove from heat and pour into a bowl. Let cool for 5-10 minutes, then dip your cookies top-down into the glaze, twirling to allow the excess glaze to drip into the bowl. Cool the cookies until the glaze sets.
6. Eat the cookies! Cookies!