As I write this post this morning, the sky outside is a gray-black, winds and rains pouring onto greater Austin. We’ve got the TV on with the local weatherman who has been around since Kevin’s childhood telling us to stay inside. Flashes of red and green radar shapes are popping up on the screen, in between images of floods ravaging the southern parts of the Austin metro area. Even though the kindly bald weatherman says it’s moving northwest toward us, I’ve got two furry, freaked out dogs by my side, and a boy who agreed working from home was a safer option than driving.
And I’ve got memories of Long Beach and the plan to remake these cookies as comfort food for this stormy day.
We spent the last week in Long Beach for a web developer conference for the boy, taking place on the Queen Mary, of all venues. When he booked it months ago, I finagled my way into joining the trip, thinking sunny, warm breezes in late October would be very welcome. The city itself is gorgeous – parts of the quaint little airport are open to the sky, and the palm trees I hate seeing in Texas somehow look gorgeous against the California sky. It was perfectly warm, even borderline cool in the evenings and mornings. We made the mistake of reading about the “sketchy” areas of Long Beach before coming down, but our Lyft and Uber drivers assured us we were in a safe area.
The most surprising and incredible part of the trip was the Queen Mary, the last ship of the golden age of ocean liners that is permanently docked in Long Beach. All of the boy’s conference took place on the ship, so I spent our first full day on board, getting lost in the history and warmth that inundates that beautiful British vessel. It’s like a living piece of history from the 20th century, ranging from the Art Deco furnishings from its birth in the 30s, to the images of her after being converted to a troopship during wartime in the early 1940s. It’s incredible to glimpse what feels like history frozen in time. I was enchanted walking along the decks, knowing the likes of Winston Churchill, Walt Disney, Audrey Hepburn, and even Edward VII and Wallis Simpson walked the same steps. I got chills looking at the life boats, knowing that in wartime she shipped over 16,000 troops on one voyage from America to England, with lifeboat capacity at half that number. Essentially, the ship is a major badass.
Romantic ramblings about an ocean liner aside, we’re home now and I’m ready to get back into my kitchen, wine glass in hand. This recipe is one I made for the Austin-based blog for Easy Canvas Prints, a company that creates beautiful canvas prints in all shapes and sizes for your favorite photos. We’ve converted to lovers of canvas photos instead of framed ones, and (spoiler alert, family!) we’re going to embrace them for Christmas gifts this year.
The cookies are like a perfect, warm hug welcoming Fall sans pumpkin-flavored anything. They’re decadently sweet and oat-y, with a delightful combination of crunchy texture from the pecan and soft chewiness. Like the scones we made almost a year ago, we’re once again embracing maple as the cold weather flavor of choice, even making a sweet glaze to drizzle atop the cookies and add a bit of a wow-factor.
To get the recipe and start baking, visit the Easy Canvas Prints Blog!