As a resident of Williamsburg, Brooklyn, there is a hot fashion genre here that I still haven't quite grasped the concept of....it's called "The Hipster." Robert Lanham, author of The Hipster Handbook, defines a hipster as "one who possesses tastes, social attitudes, and opinions deemed cool by the cool. The Hipster walks among the masses in daily life but is not a part of them and shuns or reduces to kitsch anything held dear by the mainstream. A Hipster ideally possesses no more than 2% body fat." While I find this definition hilarious, it reminded me of a cookie recipe that I found and have always wanted to try. Martha Stewart has this "Cookie a Day" email that I receive and one day it was the "Toasted Pecan Butter Cookie." The picture of the cookies and the ingredients needed had me thinking these sounded an awful lot like a Hipster.
Why do I think this cookie reminds me of a Hipster? No, it's not the that this cookie wears plaid, has ironic eyeglass frames, wears skinny jeans, and looks as though it hasn't showered in a few months. It reminds me of a hipster in a lot of ways: this cookie looks bland, colorless, and as though it has no flavor at all, which is similar to hipsters' drab clothing they wear. However, it calls for pecans, which tend to be expensive (like shopping at Urban Outfitters), uses confectioner's sugar instead of normal sugar which makes it kind of an obscure recipe (obscure similar to all of the music Hipsters listen to and books they read), and smell awesome while they are baking (most hipsters actually do smell good because of their designer perfume/cologne....they just look homeless). My coworker, Tiffani, jokingly said that this cookie was like a Hipster too because you had to "think rich" because the ingredients looked simple but were expensive, but "looked poor" in how simple it is, which is a perfect way to describe it.
With that, let's see if I can truly call this the "Hipster Cookie."
The Hipster Cookie
3.5 oz pecan halves, toasted (1 cup)
2 sticks butter, softened
1 cup confectioners' sugar
1 tbsp. Vanilla
1/2 tsp salt
1 1/4 C. Flour, sifted
To toast the pecans, preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Pour pecans on a cookie sheet or into a shallow pan, and cook in the oven for 8-10 minutes, stirring them once. FYI: the longer the nuts bake, the stronger the nutty flavor becomes, but be careful not to burn them.
Turn the oven down to 325 degrees. Once the pecans have cooled, break each nut into 2 to 3 pieces. Next, using a mixer, cream the softened butter and sugar until pale (about 2 minutes). While still mixing, add the vanilla and salt, then reduce speed to low. Gradually add the flour, beating until the flour is just incorporated. Stir in the toasted pecans until distributed evenly. Next, cover dough, and refrigerate until firm for at least 15 minutes (or overnight if you want; just let the dough come to room temperature before using).
Drop tablespoon sized scoops of dough onto a baking sheet about 2 inches apart (the cookies flatten out when they are baking). Bake the cookies until edges are golden, which depending on the oven and cookie size is about 15-20 minutes. Let them cool for about 5 minutes and then transfer to a wire rack to completely cool.
So, is the name I have given the cookie appropriate? Absolutely. When they come out of the oven, they do look pretty drab like I thought they would (not like the baked goods I normally like to make which tend to be flashy), however, they really do smell awesome while they are baking. The toasted pecans taste amazing mixed in with the sugary, buttery cookie. I would say this cookie is probably something that could be found in one of those organic bakeries Hipsters love to go to so that they can discuss art, music, and obscure things that you and I wouldn't know anything about.