Squirrel Cookies!

cookies on plate

The entire time I was making these cookies, I was singing, “Who run tha world? Squirrels. SQUIRRELS!” much to Shorty’s chagrin. To make matters worse for him, the house was steadily filling with the smell of fresh-baked cookies (while I did spastic dance moves perfectly imitated Beyoncé with a whisk mic), but all the while, he knew he couldn’t eat them. The man doesn’t like nuts. I know, I don’t get it either, but I’ve come to accept it.

nuts

in bowl

However. HOWEVER. The aroma was so overwhelming that he had to taste one–and. he. liked. it. Kind of. Like, he said, “Mmmm! …oh. Well, three bites is enough.” I tried not to react too strongly. I mean, he can detect the smallest amount of almond meal in a recipe, it’s like some kind of sixth sense. And these cookies–these! cookies!– have the same amount of nuts as flour. Equal parts nuts and flour, mmk? PLUS! He hates oats and weird chewy and crunchy things like raisins or cacao nibs, too…

on pan

Hmm, I can see that this is not as revolutionary for you as it is for me. In any case, these are the heartiest cookies. They’re not overly sweet, they are properly chewy (much in the same way as the “Legendary” Chewy Chocolate Chip Cookies), and the cacao nibs add a sophisticated crunch and bitterness that makes you feel better about eating four as a mid-afternoon granola bar substitute. Eat em, my cheeky friends!

on pan sideways

cooked on pan

Squirrel Cookies
Inspired by Faith Durand’s Fudge and Walnut Oatmeal Cookies on the Kitchn
Makes 36 cookies

2 cups pecan halves
2 sticks unsalted butter, room temperature
1 cup light brown sugar, packed
½ cup granulated sugar
2 eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 cups whole wheat flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon coarse salt
2 cups rolled oats
¼ cup golden raisins
¼ cup cacao nibs

Oven 375 F

1. Toast pecans on a sheet pan for 5-10 minutes, watching closely, and tossing partway through. Roughly chop (or blitz in a food processor) until the size of mini chocolate chips (as Faith says). Remove 1 ½ cups of the pecans and set aside. Continue blitzing/chopping the remaining ¼ cup until very finely minced. It should like wet sand, kind of.

2. Whip butter and sugar in stand mixer (or with a hand mixer, or with a whisk, you Hulk) until light and fluffy. Add vanilla, whip. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Whip until it is slightly lighter in color and smoother in texture.

3. Meanwhile, mix together flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt. Gradually add dry ingredients to butter mixture and stir just until combined.

4. Add all the pecans (chopped and finely ground), rolled oats, golden raisins, and cacao nibs, and mix by hand, just until combined.

5. Scoop heaping Tablespoons (I just use a Tablespoon scoop and make sure the dough is rounded over the edge, the size of ping pong ball.) onto greased sheet pan, 1 to 2 inches apart. I made batches of 12. Bake for 10-12 minutes, until golden brown on the edges and slightly pillowy in the very middle. Let cool on pan briefly, then transfer to wire rack.

Eat them and fill your chubby cheeks with fare for the coming winter. Then run da world.

cookies on plate far

6 comments

  1. Your old office mate · · Reply

    UPTOWN SQUIRREL

    1. Jeeeyust a small town squirrel.

  2. These sound delicious. Where can I find cacao nibs?

    1. Hey! I got them in the bulk/health foods section of HEB–where all the dispensers are. I can snag some for you if you need!

  3. Young squirrel get out of my mind. My love for you is way out of line. Better run squirrel! You’re much too young squirrel!

    1. Ha! I love it.

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