A number of years ago I was in a little town near my home and stopped into a small shop that looked more like a party store than a catering facility. I’d heard about this place for years, as my mom would always pick up their patented sandwiches for parties. Yes, that is not a typo, they make a special sandwich in a round loaf of rye bread that is patented. The bread is hallowed out and then it is cut amazingly thin and made into these tiny delicate little triangular shaped tea sandwiches – the sandwiches are then repackaged into the original round bread loaf (almost nested back into the bread). As you can imagine it is always a memorable treat.
Occasionally I would try to go there to pick up some of their mixed plate sandwiches (5 beautiful triangles of yumminess- 1 triangle wedge of each — tuna, deviled ham, egg salad, chicken salad and olive salad sandwich) accompanied by a lovely three-bean salad. On the counter would be a plate of homemade cookies. I resisted buying them; I knew they would be wonderful, but I bake often and couldn’t really justify buying more cookies. One of the ladies that worked at this store shared the same name as me, and with our common name bond we would often chit chat and exchange stories. One day she asked me if I had tried their Pecan Sandy cookie. Of course I hadn’t, and she generously gifted me one. From there on out I was hooked. I had hoped to one-day blog their recipe, but it seemed like it was not one they could share. So whenever I was at their shop I would buy two, one to eat immediately and one to freeze and save for a rainy day. I would taste each bite and write down what I thought might be in this cookie and vowed that some day I would try to recreate it.
Fast forward to about a month ago when I was approached by Benitos brand to do recipe development for them with their product. I was very curious as I have a soft spot for beans; which just happens to be their main ingredient. In fact beans are one of the primary reasons I’ve never attempted to go Paleo. I just can’t give’um up! As a part-time self-proclaimed vegetarian beans are one of my preferred forms of nutrients because they are high in fiber, protein and complex carbohydrates. I reviewed the product list of ingredients and discovered that their product contains USA farmed whole beans combined with long grain rice that is blended into dough and made into chips. And the fact that these chips are gluten-free, low glycemic and non-GMO, low in sodium, contain no trans fats and have no added sugar further sold me. Bonus- only 145 calories per 12 ginormous chips!
I had thought about what I might create and then suddenly I thought the craziest chip idea would be to make a dessert. I started to plan out my recipe, but it wasn’t until I started pulling together the batter that the long lost idea of the Pecan Sandy came to mind. I began to feverishly adjust the batter, modifying it with my old notes from previous cookie dissections.
What you find before you today is a Hawaiian inspired Pecan Tortilla Sandy. Why Hawaiian? Well I was on vacation there last week and I just couldn’t shake the magical taste of fresh coconut out of my mind; so I added in coconut oil and some coconut shavings into the recipe. And because I love chocolate, I thought a generous slathering of that might be a nice added bonus.
Make a batch and then ask two questions of the people eating them:
Do you like them?
Can you guess the secret ingredient?
So far I haven’t met one person that didn’t go ga-ga over these cookies, nor did anyone guess the secret ‘magic’ ingredient.
Tropical Pecan Tortilla Sandies
½ cup coconut oil (extra virgin)
½ cup butter, softened
¾ cup brown sugar
¾ cup granulated sugar
1 tsp vanilla
2 ¼ cups flour
1/4 tsp baking powder
½ tsp salt
3 cups (6 oz) Benitos white bean tortilla chips, crushed
½ cup finely shredded coconut
1 cup whole pecans, rough chopped
1 tsp orange zest
½ cup craisins
8-10 oz semi-sweet chocolate, melted
In a large mixing bowl, cream butter, coconut oil and sugars until light and fluffy. Add eggs and vanilla and mix well to combine.
In a medium bowl, combine four, baking powder, salt, Benitos chips, shredded coconut, pecans, orange zest and craisins.
Slowly add flour and chip mixture into larger bowl of butter. Mix by hand until well combined. Scoop out rounded tablespoon size balls of dough and place in refrigerator for 15-20 minutes.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Place cookies far apart on a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper (I cooked 9 cookies at a time). This works better than the silpat mats for cookies to keep their form. Cook for 11-12 minutes until golden brown. Allow to set for 2 minutes before transferring to cool on wire rack.
Melt chocolate slowly in a double boiler or for 40 second intervals in a microwave, stirring regularly until chocolate is melted. Stir until smooth. Using a knife paint half of your cookies with the chocolate. Place on the rack to allow chocolate to harden and dry.
Standard Disclaimer: While I received free products for this post, I was not compensated for my time. The views and opinions expressed here are my own.