Trip report: Prickly Pear Orange Pecan Shortbread Cookies

So I’m in the third week of this whole “baking cookies inspired by each of our 50 states” thing, and I’m already regretting calling it “Cookies Across America.” Real missed opportunity there. But “Getting Baked with Shadi” is too cliché, and “United Cookies of Shadmerica” is just dumb.

Oh, well.

Today, I represented my home state of Arizona with a cookie so involved that I get bored before I even finish typing the recipe name: Prickly Pear Orange Pecan Shortbread Cookies. I’m going to be honest with you: prickly pear really isn’t my thing, and the “fruit spread” I acquired from Whole Foods was bitter as all hell. This recipe should not have worked. But, friends, it easily beats out the cookies from Alaska and Alabama. Like, it’s not even a close competition. Continue reading

Getting baked

Baked cookies

Two weeks ago, I decided to embark on a journey through all 50 U.S. States – by way of  cookies. The baking powder I use (because it’s the only one available at Whole Foods), Clabber Girl, posted  a list of recipes they feel represents each state. And, me being me, I decided to work my way through it.

While I was underwhelmed by the so-called “Alabama Cookie” because of its everything-but-the-kitchen-sink approach (I mean, oats, pecans, coconut AND Rice Krispies? Why?) I’m a little more enthused by Alaska’s entry. I love me some oatmeal raisin cookies, but adding chocolate chips, coconut and chopped nuts serves The Last Frontier far better thematically than it does The Cotton State.

The coconut sticks out like a sore thumb, don’t get me wrong, but what elses sounds better when you’re holed up in lodge way up north than a hearty oatmeal cookie and some milk (or booze – I’m not the master of your destiny)? Also, Rice Krispies are a parlor trick, not a breakfast food. Let’s be real here. The last thing I want my cereal to do is onomatopoeia.

Though I could just look at the recipe for the next state on the list, I’d rather keep it one big surprise. It gives me something to look forward to – besides the fact that I get to eat fresh-baked cookies every weekend.