Tuesday, June 14, 2016

Pecan Cookies with Oats & Coconut

Last week, Andrew, being the sweet husband that he is, brought me home a surprise from work.  The gift shop inside the hospital where he works had cookies & he got a pecan coconut cookie for us to share after dinner.

I thought it'd be a nice little treat, but I did not expect it to be really, really good.  Y'all, this was one of the best cookies I've had in a long time.  Cookies are my favorite dessert & very rarely do I turn down a tasting opportunity...so I feel I'm a little bit of an expert on cookie goodness.

This gift shop jem was soft, bursting with pecans chunks & had just enough coconut to make it super moist & chewy.  Absolutely delicious.  I didn't want to share with Andrew, but since he was nice enough to bring it home...I had too.

Since I wasn't able to indulge in the whole cookie....or the 10 others I'm pretty sure I could've gobbled up, I set out to make a similar cookie from scratch.  I decided to start with a soft oatmeal cookie & fill it up with lots of pecans & some unsweetened coconut flakes.  

I think I did pretty well.  The cookie stays soft, & the coconut, pecan mixture sets in with the oatmeal to create a nutty bite that still has a touch of chewiness.  I made these Sunday & brought them in to work, where they were gone before lunch.

This recipe comes together in just a few minutes too, as long as you remember to soften your butter ahead of time. I always forget & have to delay my batch!

Pecan Cookies with Oats & Coconut

Makes about 4 dozen

1 cup butter, softened
1 cup packed dark brown sugar
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 tablespoon vanilla
2 eggs
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup old fashioned rolled oats
1 1/2 cups chopped pecans
1 cup unsweetened coconut flakes

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

In a large bowl, cream together butter & both sugars.  Mix in baking soda, salt, cinnamon, vanilla & eggs.  Slowly add in flour.  Fold in oats, pecans & coconut, just until everything binds together, try to avoid over-mixing.

On parchment or silicon mat lined baking sheets, spoon out cookies using either a small scoop or two teaspoons, leaving an inch or so in between each cookie.

Bake 8 - 10 minutes.  Upon removing the cookies from the oven, leave them on the baking sheet for 2 minutes before moving them onto a cooling rack.

Thursday, June 2, 2016

Quick Eats: Austin's Pizza now in H-E-B! + Instagram Giveaway

* Instagram contest has now closed *

Please note that the pizza I sampled & giveaway prize were provided by Austin's Pizza.  As always, all thoughts & opinions are my own.

Pizza, is there anything better?  I love going out to pizza parlors, making homemade pies with Andrew & even, for those nights when you need dinner NOW, frozen pizzas.  We try to always keep a pizza in our freezer for those occasions, but we've struggled to find a brand that we really like.

That's why I'm SO excited that one of our favorite local go-to's Austin's Pizza, now has frozen pies, right in your local H-E-B freezer section!

There are four varieties to choose from:

- classic pepperoni

- Brazos (Canadian bacon, pepperoni, onions, green peppers, jalapenos & feta)

- Downtown Special (pepperoni, sausage, black olives & mushrooms)

- MoPac (Canadian bacon, pepperoni, sausage, onions, bell peppers, tomatoes, mushrooms & olives)

Last night we tried the MoPac & man, was it tasty.  Especially when you consider it was frozen!  This is not your typical grocery store pizza.

The thin crust got toasty & crispy & the entire pie was loaded with toppings that tasted incredibly fresh.  The meats combined with all of the veggies, especially the bites of tomato, made for a not too heavy, delicious meal that went from box to table in less than 20 minutes.

You can find Austin's Pizzas exclusively in the frozen food aisle of H-E-B stores in the Austin, San Antonio, Houston & San Marcos areas.

* Instagram contest has now closed *

Also, I'm giving away a coupon for a FREE Austin's Frozen Pizza, over on my instagram page, so you can try this awesomeness for yourself.  I'll be picking a winner on Friday at 5pm CST, so be sure to enter!