Sunday, February 22, 2009

pecan cookies aka what to bake when there are no eggs in the house

Today at the park the rain started, so we headed home to avoid getting chilled to the bone.
We got inside, and the mood for some cookies struck pretty bad. I didn't want to leave the house again so we had to make do with what was in the kitchen.

Ruby, my baking assistant in uniform

Ransacking the freezer where I keep my nuts, I found a huge bag of raw pecans. I love baking with them, because they have a nice buttery taste, and crisp nicely when baked. I needed something easy and quick, because kids cant wait for too much fuss when cooking.

I found this recipe in my mom's old cookbook; Maida Heatter's Book of Great Deserts, and was especially glad for it since I had run out of eggs.
Its a not-so-sweet cookie, with a very crumbly crumb. With such a small amount of sugar I didn't feel guilty when Clyde ate three. Perfect for afternoon tea too, I packed up the rest and gave them away as a gift so I can try to avoid eating the rest.

Pecan Crispy Crumbly Cookies (adapted from Maida Heatter's Plantation Pecan Cookies)

1 heaping cup of organic raw pecans
1 cup organic all purpose flour (I bet these would be good with whole wheat, but like the eggs, I am low on baking supplies today)
1 stick organic unsalted butter
1/4 cup organic rapadura sugar, or cane sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon sea salt
1 1/2 teaspoon brandy
25 pecan halves

*optional* turbinado or additional sugar for sprinkling.

1. Place parchment paper on two baking sheets.
2. In food processor, grind pecans on and off for 10 seconds at a time until small pieces..
3. Add 1/4 cup of the flour, and continue to pulse on and off until almost powdery. Set aside.
4. In mixing bowl, beat butter and sugar until whipped and creamy, 3-4 minutes.
5. Add vanilla, salt, and brandy to butter, whip for 30 seconds.
6. With mixer on low speed, add remaining 3/4 cup flour, then add the ground pecan/flour mixture.
7. Batter will be soft and buttery. Using hands dipped in water, scoop a teaspoon at a time, place on parchment paper about 1 -1/2" inches apart.
8. Sprinkle optional sugar on top, and press a pecan half on top. Try to flatten a bit, so they are a disc shape.
9. Place in freezer to chill while you preheat oven to 375*.
10. Once oven is ready, bake for 16-18 minutes, until light brown on bottom.

my little precious cookies waiting to bake

With the rain and coldness continuing in the day, it sure is nice to have the house smelling like cookies. Eggs can wait until tomorrow.


  1. Can we make them with other nuts too?x

  2. They would be delicious with almonds too, but maybe instead of brandy you could use amaretto. If no alcohol, Maida says you can use water or coffee.