Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Pecan Pie Cookies

When you think about Thanksgiving dinner, I'm sure that a cookie tray doesn't enter your mind. Cookies are for Christmas, right? Wrong! You may have never thought about cookies for Thanksgiving, but you will after reading this post. Now, you know how I love my pecan pie. But, pecan pies fail in comparison to the joy that I get out of eating these Pecan Pie Cookies. Yes, I am well aware of pecan tassies, pecan tartlets, and pecan pie bars. I've eaten and enjoyed these many times in the past. However, I will take these cookies over those renditions any day. The recipe is from Southern Living, November 2000. I'm celebrating the 10th anniversary of these luscious cookies entering my life. You will thank me for introducing them to yours!

Pecan Pie Cookies

1 cup butter or margarine, softened
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup dark corn syrup
2 large eggs, separated
2-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 cup butter or margarine
1/2 cup powdered sugar
3 tbsp. dark corn syrup
3/4 cup finely chopped pecans

Beat 1 cup butter and sugar at medium speed with an electric mixer until light and fluffy. Add 1/2 cup corn syrup and egg yolks, beating well. Gradually stir in flour; cover and chill one hour.

Melt 1/4 cup butter in a heavy saucepan over medium heat; stir in powdered sugar and 3 tbsp. corn syrup. Cook, stirring often, until mixture boils. Remove from heat. Stir in pecans; chill 30 minutes. Shape mixture by 1/2 teaspoonfuls into 1/4-inch balls; set aside.

Shape cookie dough into 1-inch balls; place 2 inches apart on lightly greased baking sheets. Beat egg whites until foamy; brush on dough balls.

Bake at 375 degrees for 6 minutes. Remove from oven, and place pecan balls in center of each cookie. Bake 8 to 10 more minutes or until lightly browned. Cool 5 minutes on baking pans; remove to wire racks to cool completely. Freeze up to 1 month, if desired.

Beat the softened butter and sugar together until smooth.

Add the dark corn syrup.

Separate the eggs and use the yolks for the cookie batter. Save the whites because you will need those later. I missed that little tidbit on my first go-round. Mix the yolk into the batter until well blended.

Add the flour a little at a time and stir. The batter will get thick very quickly so you'll have to use some muscle.

Still here and still stirring...

Finally! Ended up having to use my hands to get it mixed together completely. Cover and refrigerate for an hour.

While the cookie dough is chilling, start the pecan filling by melting 1/4 cup (or half a stick) of butter.

Add the powdered sugar

and the dark corn syrup.

Bring to a boil and stir continuously until the powdered sugar is dissolved.

Stir in the pecans. Now, pour this mixture into a small bowl and refrigerate for a half hour or so.

Now that everything is chilled, it's time to start rolling the cookie dough and filling into balls. I like to roll out the cookie dough first, then count how many balls I have. Then, I divide the filling into an equal number. It makes things easier in the end.

Exactly 52 one-inch dough balls, or four and a half dozen.

52 small balls of filling

Place some parchment paper on a cookie sheet and space dough balls about 2" apart. Now, here's where the egg whites come back into the picture. Brush the dough with the beaten egg whites. Bake at 375 degrees for exactly six minutes.

Place a filling ball in the center of each cookie.

Return the pan to the oven and bake for 8-10 minutes. I actually prefer to take them out at the eight-minute mark. Transfer to cooling rack.

These take a little effort but they're worth it.

Happy Thanksgiving, Dear Readers!!


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