Ingredients

1 cup dark brown sugar
6 tablespoons flour
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 eggs, beaten
1 cup chopped pecans

Directions

1. Set the oven rack in the middle position. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Prepare a 14-inch by 16-inch baking sheet by covering it with parchment paper or a silicone liner.
2. Combine brown sugar, flour, baking powder, and salt in a medium bowl. Add eggs and mix well. Fold in pecans.
3. Drop dough by teaspoons 2 inches apart on pans. Bake 15 minutes or until lightly browned. Place baking sheet on a rack and let cool 5 minutes. Transfer cookies to rack and cool completely.

Cookies will crisp as they cool.

Recipe courtesy of The Brass Sisters, Heirloom Baking, 2006.
This recipe came from “The Radio Lady” who took notes during the 1920s while listening to a cooking show on WJAR radio station in Providence, RI. We put these cookies together in about ten minutes while we preheated the oven. Add fifteen minutes for baking, five minutes for cooling, and we had almost instant gratification. These crispy, light cookies taste of pecans from the Old South.

Hi, I'm Marilyn.

And I'm Sheila.

We're the Brass sisters.

And we'd like you to think of us as two new friends in the kitchen.

We'd like to welcome you to our home in Cambridge, Massachusetts. We're really excited because we're going to be making "The Radio Lady's" pecan wafers with you. And it's from the 1930s.

And this lady listened to the radio, WJAR in Providence. And she made notes. And then she interpreted the recipe. It's very simple. You don't have to use a mixer. We suggest you do it by hand.

And there are only six ingredients. And we're going to start now.

OK. I'm going to be the talking cookbooks.

OK. We have brown sugar in this bowl. We have two eggs that are lightly beaten here. We're going to mix them together.

As only you can.

Well, I'm a good mixer.

You are. And this is a wonderful recipe to make with children. We always suggest that you make it with them. It will only take 20 minutes from start to finish.

Yep.

I think we should tell them about the oven. I suggest that you take the middle rack and put it in the oven at that position and that you set the oven for 350 degrees before you start making the cookies. Now, what Sheila has done right now is she's added salt, flour, and baking powder.

And you notice how simple it is. You really don't need a standing mixer. And for the final ingredient, toasted pecans coarsely chopped.

Now, that actually took about three minutes?

Yes.

OK. Now we have to get the pan ready.

Right. Now these are ingredients they usually have at home, which also makes it easier. And I love the batter.

And we love it because it came from a handwritten recipe. And we collect manuscript cookbooks like these. Pardon my leaning over my sister here. And they're full of handwritten recipes. And--

They're treasures.

They're treasures. And this recipe is in our book Heirloom Baking, which is all from handwritten living recipes.

I'd like to talk a little bit about preparing the pan. We like to use silicone liners, which are very easy to use. We suggest if you don't have a silicone liner to simply put a foil liner on the pan and coat it with vegetable spray. And if you don't have vegetable spray, we suggest you grease the pan. So this is actually quite a nice recipe because there's room for interpretation.

Absolutely. Now, I would suggest that you don't put more than 12 cookies on a pan.

So that would be-- let me see how good I am at math-- every two inches?

Yes.

Because these cookies do spread.

And I have to tell you that when the recipe says to make them with one teaspoon of batter, we're not kidding. One teaspoon spreads. And it makes absolutely lovely, round cookies.

Now I have another suggestion because I like to think I'm a creative home cook.

I would say so.

Well, you're very complimentary. I would suggest that if you want to do a little something different, that after the cookies have cooled, that you make ice cream sandwiches. These make very nice ice cream sandwiches. And we would suggest using coffee ice cream or vanilla ice cream because the real flavor of those toasted pecans comes through.

Now, also you don't have to use toasted pecans. You can use toasted walnuts. You can use any nut that you prefer or have on hand. And you can see they're making nice little circles. And sometimes, if they're not completely round, they're still delicious.

And you know, in the 1920s and '30s, women loved to listen to recipe programs on the radio. And they would record the recipes in little notebooks. And we found several of these. And we suggest you go to yard sales, estate sales, and bookstores and look for these wonderful collections of handwritten recipes. We think you ought to try them because you just never know what type of treasure you're going to find.

And this is an easy way to keep the cookie filled. In the olden days, there was always a cookie jar. Now it might be a tin or even a basket. These cookies will not last, as far as eating. They will be gobbled up. But I do want to tell you that you can freeze these cookies. And they will be fine for probably up to two months. They'll be just as crisp.

What I do is I freeze it in a cookie tin. Now, time to go in the oven?

OK. We're going--

I was pretty neat on that, I think.

I understand.

Well, I think the 15 minutes is up. Let's see those cookies.

Well, this must be our 15 minutes of fame. These are "The Radio Lady" pecan--

Oh, I want my own.

--wafers. You know what this would be great for? This would be great for a cookie exchange, especially at the holidays. I have to try one.

See, it's so easy to just put a big spoonful of ice cream in the middle. It's really heaven.

And they snap. They're really crisp.

Also they yield 30 cookies. So for 20 minutes of work, you've got 30 cookies.

This is wonderful because, you know, you could make these if somebody dropped over unexpectedly.

[CRUNCHING]

You can even have them help you make them.

That's true-- and kids too.

Well, we've had a great time today. And we really want you to have fun baking.

And we hope you'll join us again.

Brass Sisters Pecan Wafer
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