The best way I know how to start this is to say it takes a really special person to raise and love a child as their own. Growing up I always wanted a dad, and not just one that called on my birthday, but one that would be there all the time. My mom met the man I call my dad when I was about 10, and that's when I got the best dad any girl could ask for.
I can't possibly tell you how grateful I am for all my dad has done for me over the years, because I wouldn't even know where to begin. I can tell you that it's the simple, everyday things that truly make a dad. He always asked me all about my day every night at the dinner table. He picked me up from school, took me to the doctor, was at every graduation, and went to all my dance competitions. He taught me the importance of working hard, how to save money, and how to check the oil in my car. One particular time that always stands out in my mind is how he remained completely calm the day I announced that I wasn't going back to school, and that I wanted to go to culinary school and become a Pastry Chef. By the way, I'm really happy that one worked out well! These may seem like simple things, but what most people forget is that it's not just about being there, it's about being present.
There are two things that really stand out to me about my dad. The first is how he's always happy. This one is really hard for me to wrap my head around because I'm definitely not always happy, and I don't know many people who are! Somehow the man is always calm, and always in a good mood. Even if he doesn't agree with someone's choices or decisions, if they're happy, then he's genuinely happy for them. The second is his kindness and generosity. He believes that people are good, and helps anyone in need. When he does help people, he does it selflessly. He never expects anything in return, and in fact you'll never even hear him talk about what he's done. It truly brings him joy to help others.
So does biology have anything to do with being a father? I don't think so. A father sets an example for what a man should be. My dad is a man of integrity, he is dependable and a man of his word. I don't think there is a better example than that. Thanks Dad.
Now on to the goods! I first made these Bourbon Pecan cookies in pastry school and they're my dad's favorite. I really like them because they're not overly sweet, and the Bourbon accents the toasted pecans beautifully.
Bourbon Pecan Cookies
- 6 oz. unsalted butter
- 7 oz. sugar
- 1 egg yolk
- 1t. vanilla bean paste
- 2T. Bourbon
- 8 oz. AP flour
- 1t. salt
- 6 oz. ground toasted pecans
- Toast the pecans and when they are completely cool, pulse in the food processor till they look like cornmeal.
- Cream butter and sugar till light and fluffy.
- Add yolk, vanilla bean paste, and Bourbon.
- Add ground pecans.
- Add flour and salt.
- Split the dough into 2 portions and form each into a log.
- Wrap each log in parchment paper, then plastic wrap, and refrigerate over night.
- Slice the cookies and brush tops with egg wash.
- Place a pecan piece on top of each cookie.
- Bake at 350 degrees for 15-17 minutes till slightly golden around the edges.