Chef Louis Prpich, owner of the Chowder House Café in Cuyahoga Falls, is back to work this fall after spending most of the year in and out of the hospital. He was diagnosed with polyarteritis nodosa, a disease in which the blood vessels become inflamed, causing injury to the organs.

These cookies are crazy good. They were one of the things that helped pull me through this illness.

MY MOM'S SCRUMPTIOUS COOKIES

 ½ cup butter, softened

 1½ cups packed brown sugar

 1 egg

 1 tsp. vanilla

 1½ cups flour

 1½ tsp. baking powder

 ¼ tsp. salt

 2 cups chopped pecans

 Chocolate and caramel toppings (recipes follow)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Combine dry ingredients except pecans and mix well.

In large mixing bowl or bowl of a stand mixer, beat butter and sugar until fluffy, then add egg and vanilla and combine.

Add dry ingredients and blend well. Mix in pecans.

Roll dough into 2-inch balls and place on ungreased cookie trays 2 inches apart. Take a fork and lightly press until the ball is pressed halfway down.

Bake at 350 degrees for 10 to 12 minutes. Let cool for at least 10 minutes before topping. Drizzle tops with caramel and chocolate toppings.

Makes about 2 dozen.


 


CARAMEL TOPPING


½ cup brown sugar


¼ cup heavy cream


½ cup powdered sugar


 


In a saucepan, bring heavy cream and brown sugar to a simmer. Whisking lightly, slowly add powdered sugar a little at a time, so as not to let it knot up on you.


Drizzle this immediately on the cookies with a fork. Tilt the saucepan while doing so. If sauce begins to harden, return to heat and let it soften.


 


CHOCOLATE TOPPING


2 semisweet chocolate squares (1 oz. each)


2 tbsp. unsalted butter


 


Microwave the chocolate and butter 1 to 2 minutes until melted, and stir until smooth.


Drizzle on cookies with a fork.