Praline Cookies

Praline Cookies
I keep saying this about each cookie recipe that I bring out, but this really is the best cookie I have ever eaten. I am a huge fan of those crunchy sugary caramalised praline nuts that you find in European markets. They are often very expensive, but I've finally worked out how to make my own. So what do I do? Put them in a cookie. Yes. This is good. Very good. The nuttiest cookie ever.

makes 12 cookies

For the praline nuts
200g nuts of your choice, roughly chopped (pecans, hazelnuts and almonds work well)
100g caster sugar
1tbsp water
1tbsp brown sugar
pinch of salt

For the cookie dough
110g unsalted butter, softened
175g soft light brown sugar
1 egg
½tsp vanilla extract
200g plain flour
¼tsp salt
1¼tsp bicarbonate of soda
12 whole pecans for decoration

Preheat the oven to 170°C. First make the nuts. Prepare a baking tray with tin foil or silicone baking paper. Put the caster sugar and water into a small saucepan and leave to simmer until it starts to go a golden caramel colour (do not stir or shake the sugar, brush water around the edge of the pan if you see crystals forming). Keep a close eye on it as it can burn very quickly. Remove from the heat and stir in the chopped nuts. immediately spread the nuts over the prepared baking tray, then sprinkle over the brown sugar and salt. Roast in the oven for about 10 minutes. Remove from the oven and smash them up into small clusters. Leave to cool.

Now for the cookie dough. Prepare 2-3 baking trays with baking parchment. Beat the butter and sugar together until pale and creamy. Beat in the egg, followed by the vanilla extract. Add the flour, salt & bicarb then mix together until well combined. Finally pour in the praline nuts and mix until well distributed.

Using an icecream scoop or large spoon, measure equal amounts of cookie dough onto your baking trays, making sure to space them well apart. Flatten the cookie dough into nice round disc shapes. Press a pecan into the top of each cookie. Bake for about 10minutes, or until the edges just start to turn golden. Remove from the oven and leave to cool on the trays.

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