One Cookie Base to Rule Them All:
To make the base, first cream the fat and sugar. Then add the wet ingredients to that and beat into smooth, consistent, fluffy goodness. Add that mixture to the dry ingredients (sift them, if you're an asshole).Then, you can go ahead and add the flavorings, nuts, and other goodness according to the cookie you're going for. On it's own, this makes about 12 cookies. Double/triple/quadruple etc. as needed.
To toast the pecans, after shelling them (oh, yours aren't in the shell? well, that's stupid), spread them on a sheet pan and bake for 9 mins give or take at 350F. The salt-sugar coating should be pretty straight forward. I'd also suggest cutting the sugar in the base to 1/3 cup of each type so that they don't end up over-sweet. Some people dug this, others thought it was too sweet or too salty. Personally, I thought it was a bit too sweet.
Fantastic. Toast the crushed pecans for 9 mins at 350 F. Let them cool in bowl or on a cool sheet pan before adding them to the dough (or they will melt everything).
Really good. Gary said they tasted like apple jacks. I think he's crazy.
Optionally, maple cinnamon glaze:
Everyone was shocked at how good these were. They were Rhonda's favorite. Gary and I felt confused about them (there's pork in this cookie!?). To make the candied bacon, take 5 strips of good thick-cut bacon and put them on a sheet pan covered with parchment paper. Sprinkle each piece with about a 1/2 tbsp of brown sugar. Bake at 350 for 10 minutes. Flip them, making sure to coat in the fat/sugar goodness. Bake for 10 more minutes. Then cool (on a fancy schmancy rack, if you're an asshat), and chop up.
These are really solid. They were Todd's favorite, and maybe my favorite too, depending on my mood.
After adding your choice of accouterments, you'll want to throw the dough in the fridge for the better part of an hour or two. Roll them into balls the size of golfballs (or smaller, if you hate life) Preheat the oven to 350 and bake them for 9 minutes. Add a minute or two or three if they need it. They're done when the interface between the sheet-pan and the cookie is just turning light brown. Let them cool for about 1 min or 2 on the sheet pan and then transfer them elsewhere to cool the rest of the way. They'll darken as they cool/finish-cooking. They should look underdone when they come out of the oven.