Willpower Cookies – Pecan Shortbread Cookie

Let me just say this up front: willpower and I are not good friends. See my post: Discipline, Yecchh! I took part in one of those group activities where the group leader says a word and you reply with the first word that comes into your head. She said “discipline;” I said “death.” That about sums it up for willpower as well.

So, in order not to become a spherical, immobile sloth (although I definitely dance on the edge of that precipice), I resort to trickery. Self-trickery.

So, what does that have to do with cookies, you ask with your head cocked slightly to the side and a quizzical look on your face? Just this: I love cookies, but I hate that you have to make two dozen when you just want ONE. My solution? Cookies for One! Willpower Cookies. Here’s my first installment:

pecan shortbread

Pecan Shortbread Cookie (makes 1)

1 Tablespoon butter
1/2 Tablespoon sugar
dash vanilla
2 Tablespoons flour
pinch salt
1 Tablespoon diced pecans

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. I use my little toaster oven. It seems a bit much to heat the whole oven for one cookie!

Mix together the butter and sugar until they are just combined. I found the best tool for this is my little two cup food processor. It’s a bit difficult to smush that small amount of butter and sugar together by hand, but it can be done. Use your (clean – need I say that?) fingers if necessary.

Add the vanilla and almond extracts. Add the flour and salt to the butter/sugar mixture. You can do this in the food processor as well. Add the pecans and mix by hand until the dough starts to come together. Dump onto a surface dusted with flour and shape into a flat disk.

Pat into a half-inch thick cookie. If you prefer more, thinner cookies, wrap in plastic and chill for 30 minutes, then roll 1/4 inch thick and cut with your favorite cookie cutter.

Place the cookie(s) on an ungreased baking sheet.

Bake for about 20 minutes (less if you make the thinner version), until the edges begin to brown. Allow to cool to room temperature and serve.

This recipe is still no lightweight. The calorie total is 230. But it’s better than eating two dozen of them.

Do you have recipes you’ve pared down to a single serving? Care to share?

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