Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Glenys’ Chocolate Chip Pecan Biscuits

With all the trials and tribulations in life, it’s important to keep perspective.  For instance, yesterday morning I was 6700 miles (or 10,800km) from my current location and the only way to cross that distance quickly was to strap myself into a flying metal capsule and trust God and pilot to get me there safely.  The first leg of the trip from Dubai to London was spent in the aisle seat next to a very nice man from Arizona who was going home after six months working on government contract in Afghanistan.  He hadn’t seen his family since September.  I didn’t actually chat with him as we sat together since it is nigh impossible to turn to talk to someone who is so close that his elbow spends most of the flight in your left ribs, but, at one point we were waiting to use the bathroom, along with our third seatmate, Mr. Window who was from Austin, and then we did chat.  Turns out both men had been in the army years ago and were now working in Afghanistan under amazingly challenging conditions.  They are, in fact, in harm’s way most days and live daily with limited electricity and minimal facilities.

Mr. Middle and Mr. Window didn’t know each other before so they compared notes about locations and exchanged tidbits of information about the end of US troop involvement in Afghanistan.  I listened to them talk of time away from family and plans for the future (Both hope to work in the US again when they can find good jobs at home.) and it confirmed for me that everyone has a story.  Every soul on that plane was traveling for a reason.   Holidays, funerals, family visits, business meetings, to seek better medical care or who knows why.  Some travel with reluctance, some with excitement but all with a purpose, even if it is just to see the world.   This life should be about getting to know each other’s stories, don’t you think?   And appreciating the blessings of our own.

Today I want to share a recipe with you that a dear friend made for the movers as she packed up from a freezing house in London to move to one that actually had working heaters.  She said that the moving guys liked them so much that they asked for the recipe so she shared it with me as well.  I don’t know which moving company she hired, but I can tell you, they have good taste!

125g or just little more than 1/2 cup butter
50g or 1/4 cup caster sugar

125g or 2/3 cup brown sugar

1 egg

1 teaspoon natural vanilla essence or extract

250g or 2 cups flour

1 teaspoon baking powder

1/2 teaspoon salt

150g or a 5 1/3 oz chocolate chips
125g or almost 4 1/2 oz pecans (You can substitute with walnuts if you want but the taste will be slightly different.)

Preheat your oven to 375°F or 190°C and grease your cookie sheet well.

Pop your pecans in a baking pan into the preheating oven so that they can toast a little.  Watch them carefully to prevent burning and remove and allow to cool once they are slightly toasted.

Cream the butter with both of the sugars until light and fluffy.

Beat in the egg and add the vanilla.

Chop your toasted pecans and set aside.

Sift in the flour with the baking powder and salt.  Beat well to mix.

Fold in the chocolate chips and the nuts. 

Drop the dough by spoonfuls or with a small scoop on to the well-greased baking sheet, leaving space around each to allow for a little spreading.

The first batch stayed very round so for the second pan, I mashed them down a little with a spatula for a flatter cookie.

Bake for 15 minutes or a bit longer if you prefer a crunchy cookie to a soft one.  Cool on the baking sheet and eat!

Some of the rounded first batch.


Some of the flatter second batch - both were fabulous cookies.


  1. These look wonderful and those pecans - so large and beautiful! I can't believe you flew across the world and then....just whipped up a batch of cookies!

  2. I just wanted to say that I'm bookmarking this one - along with so many others - for later. I've been extremely strict with myself as we're heading to Bali for spring break and I don't want to shame my family. But once we get back? I'll be breaking out the recipes. Oh, and I know exactly what you mean about everyone having a story. I do love talking to people on planes. If I were an author who needed new material, I'd probably just fly around and talk to people on planes. Everyone really does have a story, and they usually want to tell it! I guess you're in Texas right now - any bluebonnets yet?

  3. Ha, you got me, Kelli! I did cook a lovely dinner last night for my daughter and her roommates but I didn't bake these cookies. I had been saving these to share for when I was traveling. I have a few more "saved" recipes you might see in the next couple of weeks while I'm away from home.

  4. Not quite Texas yet! We will be in Providence until Saturday and then I will have a week in Houston. I'll have to let you know about the bluebonnets then. I completely agree about the treasure trove of ideas traveling can be. I chose to tell those stories because it tickled me that two men with similar jobs in the same location got to know each other just by sitting together on a plane, but I could have chosen different ones from just this short trip. I am one of those people who have never met a stranger and will talk to anyone. :) You will have a fabulous time in Bali! I am jealous.

  5. This is a wonderful post, and I feel exactly the same Stacy. And the stories are usually much deeper than we think in the first place. These are great cookies, who wouldn´t want to make them again?

  6. Thank you, Paula. I have been very fortunate to be able to travel all around the world and I have met some amazing people. A couple of years back we were sitting in a little trattoria in Italy and a single American woman walked in. It was quite crowded, so we invited her to join us. Turns out she was in Italy completing research for a book. She was a professor of anthropology and a published author, but the best part, her business card listed Grandma as her profession. That tickled me.


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