In the Libby & Dish story “The Thing About Cats,” Libby discovers that Dish is irritated and that their neighbor dog, Chad, has some hurt feelings. It takes a while, but Libby finally learns about the disagreement between the cat and dog — and then helps the two of them find common ground and forgiveness.
At the beginning of this story, Libby is in the kitchen with her mother making pecan sandies, a kind of cookie her mother used to eat when she was a kid. Libby loves them, too.
The relaxed days of summer make a wonderful occasion to take some time to bake with your kids. Something about that pouring, stirring — and, of course, licking the mixing spoon after — is irresistible to little ones.
I will admit, baking with my kids does not come naturally to me, but I've found that getting all of my tools and ingredients in place before I call the kids into the kitchen helps make the experience more enjoyable for everyone. For my three-year-old, I even pre-measure all the ingredients — she really just wants to dump them into the mixing bowl anyway.
If you want to spend some time baking with your kiddos this summer, these pecan sandies are an easy recipe to start with. Studded with sweet pecans, these cookies will delight your family, with maybe enough left over to take some to a (hopefully not too disagreeable!) neighbor.
1 ¾ cups flour
½ teaspoon cream of tartar
½ teaspoon baking soda
¼ teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon vanilla
½ cup butter
½ cup sugar
½ cup powdered sugar
½ cup pecans, roughly chopped
In a small bowl, combine the flour, cream of tartar, baking soda, and salt. In a separate bowl, whisk together the egg and the vanilla. Set both bowls aside.
In the bowl of a stand mixer, cream together the butter, sugar, and powdered sugar until the mixture looks pale and fluffy. With the mixer running, add the egg mixture, and then slowly add the flour mixture. Once that's all combined, turn the mixer down to its slowest speed and add the nuts. Allow the mixer to run for about 30 more seconds, until the nuts are well incorporated.
Cover the bowl and pop the dough into the fridge to chill for about 30 minutes.
When you're ready to bake your cookies, preheat your oven to 350° F. Roll the dough into golf-ball-sized portions, flatten them slightly, and space them onto a parchment-covered baking sheet.
Bake the cookies for 12-15 minutes, or until the edges just start to turn golden brown. Allow the cookies to cool slightly before eating.
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About the Author
The Sparkle Kitchen Series is created by Meryl Carver-Allmond.
Meryl lives in a hundred year old house near the prairie with her sweet husband, two pre-schoolers, one puppy, one gecko, and about ten chickens. While she's been writing since she could pick up a pen, in recent years she's discovered the joy of photography, too. She feels lucky to be able to combine those skills, along with a third passion--showing people that cooking for themselves can be healthy and fun--in her weekly Sparkle Kitchen posts.
When Meryl isn't writing for Sparkle Kitchen, you can find her on her personal blog, My Bit of Earth, where she writes about chickens, babies, knitting, gardening, food, photography, and whatever else tickles her fancy on any given day.