1 1/3 cups pecan halves
2/3 cup light brown sugar, firmly packed
2/3 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup butter
1/2 cup vegetable shortening
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon espresso powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
2 teaspoons Rain’s Choice pure Vanilla Extract
3/4 teaspoon rum or rum flavor
1 teaspoon vinegar, cider or white
1 large egg
2 cups King Arthur Unbleached All-Purpose Flour
1 1/3 cups butterscotch chips
1/3 cup granulated sugar mixed with 1 to 1 1/4 teaspoons salt, for topping*
*If you’re making smaller (teaspoon cookie scoop-sized) cookies, increase the coating to 1/2 cup (3 1/2 ounces) granulated sugar mixed with 1 3/4 to 2 teaspoons salt.
Preheat the oven to 375°F. Lightly grease (or line with parchment) two baking sheets.
Place the pecans in a single layer in a pan, and toast till they’ve darkened a bit and smell toasty, about 8 to 9 minutes. Set them aside.
In a large bowl, combine the sugars, butter, shortening, salt, espresso powder, baking soda, vanilla, flavor, and vinegar, beating until smooth and creamy. Beat in the egg, again beating till smooth. Scrape the bottom and sides of the bowl with a spatula to make sure everything is thoroughly combined.
Mix in the flour, then the chips and toasted nuts.
If you’re going to refrigerate the dough, cover the bowl, and refrigerate for about 4 to 5 hours; or overnight. Cookie dough refrigerated for 3 1/2 to 4 hours will spread moderately; chilled overnight, it will spread much less.
Mix the 1/3 cup sugar and salt for the coating, and put it in a bowl. Use a spoon (or a tablespoon cookie scoop) to scoop 1 1/2″ balls of dough into the sugar/salt mixture, rolling to coat. Then transfer to the prepared baking sheets, leaving 2″ between them on all sides; they’ll spread quite a bit. Or use a teaspoon cookie scoop to scoop 1 1/4″ balls of dough.
Bake the cookies for 10 to 11 minutes — 11 minutes for smaller cookies, 12 for larger ones. Their edges will be chestnut brown and their tops a lighter golden brown. (For dough that’s been refrigerated, add 30 seconds to 1 minute to those baking times.) Remove them from the oven, and cool on the pan till they’ve set enough to move without breaking. Repeat with the remaining dough.
Yield: about 4 dozen 3″ cookies, or 7 dozen 2 1/4″ cookies.
If you bake the cookies right away, you’ll have a flatter, lighter-colored cookie. Chill overnight, for a darker, more “caramel-y,” cookie that won’t spread as much.
Adapted from King Arthur Flour