26 Feb 2014

French Glacé Cherry and Pecan cookies

When I arrived in London 5 years ago, I didn't know the city at all, so looking for a place to live promised to be a tricky task. I asked advice from my colleagues and also the very few people I already knew in London (which was 2; La petite Soiz and her British Boyfriend)

I quickly found out that everyone had a say (= a strong opinion) of where I should live. Soiz sent me a detailed and absolutely obscure email filled with secret codes like " you want to be in NW or EC, but avoid SW" (I didn't want to look stupid at the time so I didn't say anything, but I only understood 2 months later that she was referring to London areas by their postcodes)
Her boyfriend, a born and bred Londoner, was adamant: wherever I was to settle had to be north of the river Thames. I wasn't sure why, but it seemed that living south of the river implied that you were some kind of "fake" Londoner (not to say a loser).

Eventually, I found a place in the North West of London, in zone 2, which was close enough to my job and I assumed consequently on the right side of the tracks river (sigh of relief).

As time passed by, I gradually understood how your neighbourhood plays a big role in socially defining who you are as a Londoner, and how you actually become a girl/guy from North London or South London - whether you like it or not - and that once you've picked a side of the river, chances are you'll probably never cross it again.

If you live in Hackney or Bethnal Green, you're a hipster
If you live South Ken, you're a rich (most likely) Frenchy
If you live in Old Street or Dalston, you're a bad ass
If you live in Swiss Cottage, you're nobody, but if you live in Belsize Park (which is next door): you're super posh and your best friend is probably Gwyneth Paltrow.

Well, never say never; so after having been a NW (North West) girl for 5 years, in a few weeks I'll cross the big river and become a SE (South East) Londoner.
More on that later!

easy cherry and pecans cookies

French Glacé Cherry and Pecans Cookies

You're going to think that I'm really into glacé cherries these days, which I kind of am, just because it's one of the products I work with and therefor I've discovered lots of cool recipes using it in a different way.
This recipe has been developed by Anthony Kindred, Master Baker and owner of Kindred Bakery in London, and I like it so much that I haven't adapted it yet. 
I surely will in the future, but for the moment I'm content with the original version!

makes approx 15 large cookies
225g packed brown sugar
120g granulated sugar
250g unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
2 eggs
300g flour
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking powder
270g old-fashioned rolled oats
150g chopped pecans, toasted
360g  French glacé cherries, 100% natural

1/ Pre heat oven to 190c
2/ Cream the sugars and butter, and then add the vanilla extract
3/ Beat in the eggs, one at a time
4/ Sieve the flour, salt and baking powder and gently add to the mix. Do not over mix
5/ Stir in the oats, pecan nuts and French glacé cherries
6/ Line a baking tray with baking parchment
7/ Divide mix into balls between 40-80g depending on preference and space out on a prepared tray leaving 25mm between each one, pressing down slightly
8/ Bake for about 15 mins until golden around the edge. Leave to cool for 15 mins before transferring to cooling wire and leave to cool completely before storing in a cookie jar.

Why weighing each cookie individually before baking? to ensure they all are the same size and will therefor cook at the same speed. This will ensure consistent cookies!
Why waiting for the cookies to cool completely before storing them in a jar? Because otherwise they will release steam in the jar and become soft.

Different sizes for different cookies: the bigger the cookies, the more soft in the middle and crunchy on the edges. Small cookies will be crunchy all way through 

french glace cherry and pecan cookie recipe

This post is dedicated to La Ptite Soiz, my London mentor ;-)

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