The bonus box: Maple pecan cookies and five-inch floppy disks

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Nothing makes a girl feel old like explaining to a youthful colleague what it was like to use floppy disks in “the old days”. It makes one feel even older than explaining the ubiquity of dial-up and AOL to people. It almost does not seem real to me either since my floppy-disk-using time was at the tail end of floppy use. That said, I still remember it well, right down to the last box of these disks that I owned. The brand was “Bonus” or something, so my brother sometimes asked jokingly, “What’s in the Bonus box?” We found it funny, but I can’t begin to understand why now.  (It’s possible he wanted to imitate the scene from the 80s film Real Men, which is so impossibly silly and stupid that I love it – and my god, look at John Ritter, who was SO young then (RIP), “Happy pie!”)

Now just seeing the words “five-inch floppy” together makes Viagra and other erectile dysfunction pharma commercials spring (yes, SPRING!) to mind. HA!

Then again, in most of the world, tv commercials for pharmaceutical, prescription drugs are not permitted. Only in America (probably) can you have drug ads in every commercial break prompting you to “ask your doctor” to prescribe all manner of toxic chemicals (and we have seen how much trouble the industry gets into as a result; for example, Johnson & Johnson recently got into hot water thanks to false marketing/making misleading claims and for paying doctors and nursing homes to recommend a specific drug that they knew had other adverse effects).

And in America – North America in general (including the Great White North, Canada, in this assessment of course), one great thing is maple syrup/flavor. In my recent baking escapades, I made not only the infamous brown sugar-maple cupcakes and frosting with candied maple bacon, but also tried a whole new recipe – maple pecan cookies. I did not hear any opinions on these one way or the other (and with 24 different options to choose from, I suppose everyone tried a lot of different things), but I assume these were okay – at least they looked the part.

maple pecan cookies

maple pecan cookies

MAPLE PECAN COOKIES

1 cup butter, room temperature
¼ cup powdered sugar
2 tablespoons real maple syrup
2 cups flour
1 ½ cups finely chopped pecans (or whatever amount you desire – I used less)

Maple icing
1 ½ cups powdered sugar
2 to 3 tablespoons maple syrup
2 tablespoons cream or milk (to achieve right consistency
pecan halves, to top the cookies

Preheat oven to 350F/175C.

Cream butter and add powdered and maple syrup. Add flour and pecans and mix well. Shape into 1-inch balls and place on ungreased/parchment-lined cookie sheets. Flatten cookie slightly and use your thumb to make an indentation in the top (for the frosting and pecan. Bake in preheated oven 13 to 15 minutes or until lightly browned on the bottom. Cool completely on racks.

Mix icing ingredients together until you have achieved desired, spreadable consistency and flavor. Spread on cooled cookies and top each cookie with a pecan half.

maple pecan cookies

maple pecan cookies

“Nothing clings to you like laughter…” – Full list of 2013 holiday baking

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I started off today in the office exchanging messages on Facebook with a colleague who was on a bus – it was unintentionally stalker-like to see her progress as her public transport made its way to different parts of the city, and I could track her, thinking, “Oh, she must have stopped responding because she is walking up the path to the office now…”. In any case, our conversation started the day off on the right foot because it sparked laughter. And, as Robyn Hitchcock sings, “Nothing clings to you like laughter…“. Too true.

I also noted that the 24 kinds of baked goods that I brought to the office yesterday – the logistical nightmare that that was – has been reduced and fits nicely on two long tables instead of three. Progress!

Christmas 2013 spread - three full tables

Christmas 2013 spread – three full tables

The final list of stuff baked and brought along with links to recipes (where they exist – some I was making for the first time so will post in new posts in the coming days)…

COCONUT-MACADAMIA COOKIES

CHRISTMAS M&M COOKIES (I know this links to a white chocolate macadamia cookie recipe, but I have been using it for M&M cookies for a while – prefer it to the one I used to use. Just eliminate the macadamia and white chocolate and put M&Ms in instead!)

VANILLA ORANGE ALMOND BISCOTTI   

CRANBERRY PISTACHIO BISCOTTI

TART CHERRY & PINE NUT BISCOTTI      

GINGERBREAD

THUMBPRINTS (WALNUTS & CHERRY)  

RUSSIAN TEA CAKES (ALMOND)

SHORTBREAD                            

CHOCOLATE MINT COOKIES

SNICKERDOODLES                    

RASPBERRY OAT BARS

PEANUT BUTTER CUPS                  

CHOCOLATE TRUFFLES

OREO TRUFFLES           

MAPLE PECAN COOKIES

PUMPKIN PIE                             

RAFFAELLO CANDY CUPCAKES (ALMOND, COCONUT)

BROWN SUGAR CUPCAKES W/ MAPLE FROSTING AND CANDIED BACON

GUINNESS CUPCAKES W/ BAILEYS FROSTING

OREO CHOCOLATE COOKIES-AND-CREAM CUPCAKES

EGGNOG COOKIES                    

PUMPKIN DOUGHNUTS

HONEY ALMOND SHORTBREAD