Thomas Keller, chef/owner of the French Laundry and Bouchon in Yountville, has written best-selling cookbooks about these two restaurants that have come to define Wine Country dining.

This month, he released another tasty tome, “Bouchon Bakery” (Artisan Books) highlighting the little bakery he opened next to his French bistro in July 2003. The chef not only wanted to bake his own bread but to create croissants, macarons, tarts and mille-feuilles for the enjoyment of all.

“One of the qualities I have come to appreciate in a bakery is the community it draws around it,” Keller said. “Whether it’s for croissants in the morning or cookies and an afternoon coffee, a bakery has a central place in our communities.”

Keller will do a book-signing at 11 a.m. Saturday, Nov. 17, at the Culinary Institute of America at Greystone in St. Helena. Here is his recipe for Pecan Sandies, which he dedicated to his hard-working Mom, Betty Keller.

Pecan Sandies for My Mom

Makes 1 ½ dozen cookies

1 ¾ cups + 1 teaspoons all-purpose flour

¾ cup coarsely chopped pecans

6 ounces unsalted butter, at room temperature

¾ cup + 1¾ teaspoons powdered sugar

Additional powdered sugar for dusting (optional)

Position the racks in the upper and lower thirds of the oven and preheat the oven to 325 degrees (convection) or 350 degrees (standards). Line two sheet pans with Silpats or parchment paper.

Toss the flour and pecans together in a medium bowl.

Place the butter in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment and mix on medium-low speed until smooth. Add the ¾ cup plus 1 ¾ teaspoons powdered sugar and mix for about 2 minutes, until fluffy. Scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl. Add the flour mixture and mix on low speed for about 30 seconds, until just combined.

Scrape the bottom of the bowl to incorporate any dry ingredients that have settled there.

Divide the dough into 30 1½ -tablespoon portions, roll into balls, and arrange on the sheet pans, leaving about 1½ inches between them. Press the cookies into 2-inch disks.

Bake until pale golden brown, 15 to 18 minutes if using a convection oven, 22 to 25 minutes if using a standard oven, reversing the positions of the pans halfway through.

Set the pans on a cooling rack and cool for 5 to 10 minutes. Using a metal spatula, transfer the cookies to the rack to cool completely.

If desired, dust with powdered sugar.

The cookies can be stored in a covered container for up to 3 days.



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