Pecan Brittle Bark Cookies
Meet chocolate chip cookies' fabulously flamboyant cousins: pecan brittle bark cookies from The Cookie Book by Rebecca Firth.
Why the pecan brittle bark? “When pecan brittle is just thrown into a cookie as is, it will liquefy and cause the cookie to be a hot, oozy mess,” Firth explains. “To fix this, the brittle is anchored with some melted chocolate and turned into a bark.” We’re not mad about it.
Pecan Brittle Bark
Nonstick spray, as needed
1 cup granulated sugar
⅓ cup corn syrup
6 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into 6 pieces
1¼ cups raw pecans
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
1 teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon sea salt
2¼ cups good quality dark chocolate, finely chopped
2 cups packed light brown sugar
8 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
2 large eggs, room temperature
½ cup neutral oil
1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
2 cups white whole-wheat flour
1 cup bread flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon sea salt
1. Make the Pecan Brittle Bark: Heavily spray a rimmed baking sheet with the nonstick spray and line with parchment paper; set aside.
2. In a medium saucepan, combine the sugar, corn syrup and ¼ cup water over medium heat. Cook, stirring often, until the sugar dissolves, about 5 minutes. Continue to cook until the mixture reaches 250°F on a candy thermometer. Stir in the butter and continue to cook, stirring often, until the mixture reaches 300°F.
3. Remove the saucepan from the heat, stir in the pecans, vanilla, baking soda and salt and immediately spread the mixture over the prepared baking sheet to ¼-inch thickness. Cool completely, 1 to 2 hours. Once cool, cut into ½-inch chunks. Reserve half of the brittle for another use. Clean the rimmed baking sheet and once again spray with nonstick spray and line with parchment.
4. Place the chocolate in a medium heat-safe bowl over a medium saucepan of simmer water. Do not let the bowl touch the water or the water come to a boil. Stir the chocolate frequently until melted and smooth. Pour onto the baking sheet using a spatula to smooth to ¼-inch thickness and sprinkle with the brittle. Let cool completely, coarsely chop and place in the fridge or freezer until ready to use.
5. Make the Bark Cookies: Preheat the oven to 350°F and cover several baking sheets with parchment paper. Place a rack in the top third of the oven.
6. Cream the brown sugar and butter in the bowl of an electric stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment until well blended, about 4 minutes on medium speed. Scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl. With the mixer on low, add the eggs one at a time, making sure each is blended before adding the next. Add the oil and vanilla and run the mixer for 1 more minute.
7. In a medium bowl, whisk together the white whole-wheat flour, bread flour, baking powder, baking soda and sea salt. Add this dry mixture to the butter mixture and run the machine until barely blended and you still see streaks of flour. Take the bowl out of the mixer and stir in the brittle bark until evenly distributed throughout the dough.
8. Roll 2 tablespoons of the dough and set on the prepared baking sheet. Repeat with the remaining dough, leaving 2 inches between the balls. Bake one baking sheet at a time for 12 to 13 minutes in the top third of the oven.