Welcome to holiday cookie season! I've started making some of my freezer friendly recipes and this is the first in the group. And just to give you some variety this year, I'll also be including things other than cookies throughout the season. I've got birthdays and Thanksgiving to bake for in the coming months, so I promise you there will be some variety. The decision making process for which cookies to bake this year was tough and I limited myself to just nine repeats from last year's list because they are fan favorites. Those are:
Fruit Filled Thimbles
Old Fashioned Sugar Cut Outs
This recipe comes from the Land o Lakes website and I was inspired because they have a holiday feel and are something different. I haven't tried my hands at pies yet, so I thought I'd ease into it with these cookies. When I unveiled this year's list of recipes to Dave, this was the only recipe he was "meh" about. Turns out, he's never had a very good pecan pie. Apparently most times he's had a pie crust with pecan topping oozing inside, so he just stopped eating it. (I know that can be a common mistake among pecan pies. My sister did that once. It was so gooey that my brother-in-law literally poured the pie over his ice cream. Apparently it was delicious just not what she was aiming for. And that's not knocking her skills--she makes awesome cakes and a pretty amazing apple pie. But I digress.)
These cookies turned out perfect. The base is a solid "crust" with a tasty, buttery crispness and the bit of topping provides a sweet crunch and nuttiness that mimics what a pecan pie should taste like. These would be a tasty alternative to the traditional pie at Thanksgiving, especially if you're serving a crowd and will have several other pies in attendance. The only thing with the recipe was that I got a dozen more cookies than called for and had a lot of filling leftover (don't worry--you'll see next week what I did with it!). I thought I filled the cookies enough and didn't want them to ooze, so I'm not sure what that's all about.
Pecan Pie Cookies
1 1/2 cups brown sugar, firmly packed, divided
3/4 cup butter, softened
2 teaspoons vanilla extract, divided
2 cups flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 cup pecans, chopped
1/4 cup cream (light or whipping)
In a large bowl, beat together 1 cup brown sugar, butter, egg and 1 teaspoon vanilla extract until creamy.
Change from the beater to the paddle attachment. At low speed, add flour and baking powder until combined.
Using a small cookie scoop, drop balls of dough onto a parchment or Silpat lined baking sheet a couple inches apart.
Using your thumb, make a small indentation in each cookie and rotate thumb to slightly hollow out.
Chop pecans to somewhere between coarse and fine.
Combine remaining brown sugar, vanilla, pecans and cream in a small bowl.
Fill each indented cookie with about 1 teaspoon of filling.
Bake at 350 degrees for 8-12 minutes or until lightly browned. Turn baking sheet 180 degrees halfway through baking. If using more than one sheet at a time, rotate positions in the oven for more even baking.
Cool on pan for 1 minute before removing to wire racks to cool completely.
Makes 4 dozen cookies.
The Cookie Princess
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