Pecans are the world’s greatest nut. There can be no arguing this clear, simple fact. Of course everyone agrees that munching on peanuts is a delightful way to curb an appetite; you might enjoy picking a few cashews from a can of mixed nuts because of their unique shape and sweet flavor; and cracking open a handful of Pac-man shaped pistachios is just plain good times. But pecans are clearly the king because while they’re a snack like all the others, they’re also the absolute best ingredient you can ever feature in a dessert. They just blend perfectly with sugar and butter.
Some of the pecan’s most well-known supporting roles have been in such widely popular productions as pie, custard, tarts, toffee, fudge, candy, brownies, and yes of course COOKIES! Making a great pecan cookie recipe can start as easy as simply throwing a couple of handfuls of them into your already awesome sugar cookie batter. And really, why wouldn’t you? Well, there is one reason that might give one pause.
You can’t be the most awesome nut on the planet without also necessarily being one of the more expensive nuts as well, a fact that is no more true than in these times. The price per pound has more than doubled since 2009 when they were about $5 per pound. Economic reports tell us that this ridiculous increase in price is mainly due to the fact that right around 2007, the Chinese began to form an ourtageous obsession with America’s most mighty of nuts. This is certainly understandable. After all, the 1.3 billion strong Chinese culture has always been pretty nutty, putting peanuts and cashews in a version of practically everything. So, once a population their size got their chop sticks on the American pecan, it was bound to put a bit of a burn on the supply. In the most recent years, they have gobbled up nearly a third of the entire world crop.
And there’s more bad news. China’s insatiable appetite doubled the price to play in pecan-land, but this season’s drought seems to have hit the U.S.’s Southern regions the hardest which has caused major deficits for the pecan industry where two-thirds of the world’s pecan supply comes from. CNN recently reported that the pecan could hit $12 per pound by the end of 2012. This might mean goodbye pecan pie tradition this Christmas, so buy now.
Here’s some good news, though. The pecan cookies that I made were a fantastic hit! The recipe I used was technically for a “double-drizzle pecan cookie” recipe. I just left out the double-drizzle part. I also used less pecans than the recipe called for, and crushed them up a bit, which saved a few bucks. None of that mattered, though, because these things were quick, easy and sensational! And you know what? I bet those Chinese aren’t having this kind of experience with their 75 million pounds of nuts!
See you Wednesday for National Pancake Day!