Ms. Corbitt’s Pecan Cake Fingers

This is quite an unassuming cookie if you saw it out on a platter, but both in taste and required effort…it is more than it appears.

This cookie comes to us from Ms. Corbitt, an author and chef…her recipe from 1957. It is a brown sugar and chopped pecan cookie that starts with whipped egg whites turned to marshmallowy goodness with brown sugar…lots of brown sugar! The trick is to not deflate your nice whipped mixture as you gently fold the flour…in 3 additions and then the cup and a half of chopped pecans…also in 3 additions. That is a lot of gentle folding. The cookies are baked in a 9×13 for about an hour at a low temp.

The icing is made from browned butter and confectioners sugar…I use the term “icing” loosely as this is more of a dry, crumbling molding clay. We are told to cut the cookies into 3×1 fingers and then place some “icing” on top and mold it around…that as we work with it we can move it a bit and then smooth it with an offset spatula. 😳. Thankfully I had only cut 1/4 of the cake into fingers because that was very tedious and difficult to get nice and smooth on the small cookies….not to mention how to know how much to use on each one. I changed tactics and placed the icing on the three remaining sections of the cake and molded it on those. Then I cut the cookies and had a much better go of it.

These cookies were fussy…and did have quite a bit of sugar and butter but I think Ms. Corbitt was on to something. These were really different…crunchy but chewy…sweet but nutty….and that “icing” was the perfect topping haha. They make you want to have another and isn’t that the sign of a good cookie?

We all really enjoyed these…quite an unexpected delight.

Moroccan-Spiced Chickpea and Noodle Soup

We might not be allowed to travel due to this pandemic we are living through, but I truly just took a trip to Morocco! What an experience it was making this soup/stew…and boy did I learn a lot. I was also reminded to always taste something before you decide if you will like something based only on the ingredients! 😂

“This recipe is a take on Harira, a traditional Moroccan dish closely associated with Ramadan…it is often served to break the day’s fast. It is simple and basic but it is the deeply fragrant spices, both comforting and exotic, that draw you in.”

This was a “wowza” kind of eating experience. I couldn’t get over the amount of spices used in this recipe and it made its point when my husband kept saying that flavors were just zinging in his mouth. This was unlike anything we have ever eaten and it surprised the three of us immensely.

This is a recipe that takes time to make and has quite a list of ingredients…a few I had never used before…and I kid you not, there are tablespoons of spices in this stew…ginger alone was 3 1/2 T!

  • The turkey meatballs were optional but I included them and I will continue to do so when I make this again. You make them first and brown and set aside.
  • You then sauté the two onions and celery and then add the list of spices: garlic, salt, pepper, ginger, turmeric, cinnamon, cumin, cayenne pepper and saffron! Like I said, what a wild mixture of spices going on. The diced tomatoes and meatballs are added and simmered for 10 min.
  • Next, the chicken stock is added…bring to a boil, add red lentils and reduce to simmer for an hour. The aroma as it cooks is unlike anything we have had. I felt it was intriguing but honestly thought this would be an expensive test…not sure we were going to like it at this point.
  • After an hour, the chickpeas are added and that simmers for another 30 min. Like I said, you don’t just throw this one together haha.
  • Lastly, four minutes before eating, you add broken angel hair pasta and allow that to soften.
  • Lemon juice is drizzled on top of individual servings.

As my husband and son came to eat, I asked my son, who has been to Morocco, if he ate anything like this on his travels. He didn’t think so but we were all game to give it a try and it turned out this was absolutely incredible!

A lot of time and a lot of ingredients, but I would make this again for sure. We were all so surprised by all the different flavors bursting through…so much so that for me personally who doesn’t care for lentils or chickpeas ate the whole thing haha. Gosh…listen to me 😂😂

Bottom line, we loved it…we are big fans.

Here are a few pictures from Morocco while my son was studying abroad in Spain. Enjoy 😍

Major Grey’s Roll-Ups

This recipe comes to us in the “Cocktail Cookies” section of our cookbook. You can think of these cookies more as an appetizer or snack rather than a dessert since these are more salty and savory than sweet.

There are a few surprises in these cookies that make them quite unique. Dorie created them as a tribute to a popular canapé while she was growing up that used Triscuits, spread with cream cheese and then topped with Major Grey’s Chutney. I personally had never heard of Major Grey’s Chutney and had to look it up to see what it was. 😳

Interestingly, it is a wonder I have never heard of it after reading of its popularity!

“Major Grey’s Chutney is considered by many the gold standard of all chutneys. Complete with its own legend of a 19th-century British Army officer (of the same name) who presumably lived in British India and created this unique condiment made of fruits, vegetables and spices. Using plenty of mangos, red peppers and a variety of seasoning and spices, we created our own delicious version of this timeless classic. Being both sweet and savory it pairs well with smoked meats or strong cheeses and tastes great added to dips, grilled chicken or your favorite vinaigrette recipe.

These cookies are made with a traditional rugelach cream cheese dough and look similar as well, but Triscuits are added in the food processor giving an interesting texture and saltiness. The dough is rolled out and chilled and then a mixture of the chutney and Dijon mustard is spread out on top before cutting and rolling.

These cookies had mixed reviews…people either really liked them or just thought they were ok. I kept telling everyone that they are a “savory cookie”…that there is no sugar, but I think they were still caught off guard and didn’t know what to make of them. I actually liked them but I knew what to expect haha. I think if they were served on a cheese platter while sipping wine…they would have been a hit. 👍