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Monday, March 17, 2014

Sweet & Salty Chocolate Chip Pecan Cookies inspired by Stranger Than Fiction {food 'n flix}

Sweet & Salty Chocolate Chip Pecan Cookies inspired by Stranger Than Fiction for Food 'n Flix |
This month's Food 'n Flix pick is another one that doesn't necessarily fall into the "foodie film" category. Since I hadn't seen it since around the time it first came out, I rented it from the library and sat down to watch it one morning when I was the only one at home. It was like watching it for the first time...again.

Our main character, Harold, is an IRS agent who lives a life of routine. We know because the narrator leads us through it. Only she's not just a narrator, she's a successful author riddled with a severe case of writer's block, and Harold is the main character in the novel she is currently writing. But somehow, he's also a real person.

"Little did he know that this simple, seemingly innocuous act would result in his imminent death."

His routine is disrupted when he starts actually hearing the narrator dictating his life (and his death). Torn between the idea that he may be going crazy and the knowledge that the voice is really there, he alters his daily patterns. His life is set even further off course when he is assigned to audit Ana Pascal, the owner of a small bakery. She is his polar opposite - and he can't get her out of his mind.
Sweet & Salty Chocolate Chip Pecan Cookies inspired by Stranger Than Fiction for Food 'n Flix |
I won't tell you how it ends, in case you haven't seen it. Instead, I'll move on to the food. Since Ana owns a bakery, you can probably guess that it's all about the baked goods. Although, there was a scene where meatloaf and chocolate pudding come into play. But really, it's Ana's love of supplying people with freshly baked goodies that takes the cake {ahem}.

I toyed with bringing some of the things to life that she mentioned: Oatmeal Cookies, Peanut Butter Bars, Dark Chocolate Macadamia Wedges, Ricotta and Apricot Croissants (this was in the lead), Mocha Bars with an Almond Glaze, Lemon Chiffon Cake with Tangy Peach Icing...mmmm. Or perhaps Bavarian Sugar Cookies.

But in the end, I couldn't resist a good old comforting chocolate chip cookie, like Ana makes for Harold after a rough day (she made sure of it) of auditing. This is a great scene; one of my favorites of the film. It's the scene that really starts to soften Harold, and perhaps help him to look at things in a different light.

"I just figured if I was going to make the world a better place, I would do it with cookies." 

And really, who can resist warm gooey cookies fresh out of the oven, with a glass of cold milk? Not I.

Sweet & Salty Chocolate Chip Pecan Cookies
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Sweet & Salty Chocolate Chip Pecan Cookies inspired by Stranger Than Fiction for Food 'n Flix |
by Heather Schmitt-Gonzalez
Prep Time: 10 minutes (+ 1 hour unattended)
Cook Time: 14-16 minutes
Keywords: bake dessert soy-free vegetarian chocolate pecans cookie American

Ingredients (4 dozen cookies)
  • 12 ounces (2-3/4 cups) all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 scant teaspoon coarse sea salt (such as coarse Light Grey Celtic Sea Salt)
  • 1/2 teaspoon cream of tartar
  • 6 ounces (3/4 cup | 12 tablespoons) unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 2 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature
  • 1-1/2 cup brown sugar, packed
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 large eggs, at room temperature
  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • 1 cup chocolate chips or chunks (regular to large)
  • 1 cup miniature chocolate chips
  • 1 cup roughly chopped pecans
Whisk the flour, baking soda, sea salt, and cream of tartar together in a medium bowl; set aside.

In a large bowl, cream the butter, cream cheese, and both sugars until light and fluffy, 2-3 minutes. Beat in the eggs and vanilla until combined. Add the dry ingredients and beat until mixture is just combined. Fold in the chocolate chips or chunks and nuts, if using. Refrigerate for 1 hour.

Preheat oven to 350° F. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper; set aside.

Scoop dough onto prepared sheets (1 heaping tablespoon portions), leaving space between each. Slide into preheated oven and bake for 14-16 minutes, or until they've started to turn golden around the edges.

Let sit on tray for a minute or two, then transfer to a wire rack to cool. Once completely cooled, the cookies can be stored in an airtight container at room temperature for 2-3 days.

If you use a fine salt, you won't get the same results. The fine salt will melt into the cookie, whereas the coarse salt does not - lending little salty bits to each cookie. Don't skip it, or they won't be the same!
Sweet & Salty Chocolate Chip Pecan Cookies inspired by Stranger Than Fiction for Food 'n Flix |
Food‘nFlixThis month's edition of Food 'n Flix is hosted by Deb at Kahakai Kitchen, with her pick, Stranger Than Fiction. Submissions are due on March 30, so you still have plenty of time to watch it and join us this month! Just head into the kitchen and cook/bake something inspired by the flick, then blog about it! New members are always welcome! For more info on how to join in this month, drop by and see Deb's announcement post for the month HERE.

And join us next month when I host right here on girlichef with my pick, Kung Fu Panda and/or Kung Fu Panda 2!

Here is the scene that inspired these cookies:

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