These pecan cookies are chock full of crunchy, caramelized pecans and a perfect cookie for the holidays, or anytime of the year if you are a true pecan lover. Package these cookies up in a box, tie on a ribbon and you have the perfect holiday surprise for your friends and neighbors.
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The star in these cookies is the sugary, nutty crunch when you bite into them! The process to caramelize the pecans is simple and no candy thermometer is needed. Be sure to prep your work area with all the ingredients and tools you need prior to boiling the sugar. You will need: a heat resistant spatula, chopped pecans and a Silpat or cookie sheets to cool the nuts. Please be cautious when boiling the sugar as hot sugar can cause severe burns.
- I prefer unbleached flour in all of my creations. It will provide more structure in your baked goods as it has a denser texture than bleached flour. I highly recommend King Arthur products such as their flours, spices, baking powder and sodas, etc…
- Bring your eggs and butter to room temperature before beginning this recipe. Your ingredients will combine easier and you won’t have that curdled look after adding the eggs to your creamed butter/sugar mixture.
- Chop your pecans prior to creating the praline. This will ensure all your pecans are coated with the caramel.
- Caramelizing the Pecans:
- Complete the process of caramelizing the pecans prior to mixing the cookie dough. At least 20 minutes is required for the pecans to cool.
- Start by adding 66 grams (1/3 cups) of granulated sugar to a heavy-bottomed saucepan. Add 2 tablespoons of water and stir to combine taking care not to get sugar on the side of the pan.
- Heat the sugar/water mixture over medium heat and stir gently and constantly. The mixture will begin to boil. Keep an eye on it and as soon as it turns an amber color, remove the pan from the heat, stir in the pecans and spread the pecans on a heat resistant mat. Allow to cool completely before chopping into small pieces.
These pecan cookies will freeze well so keep a few extra in the freezer – your kids and visitors will thank you when you pull a few out to defrost!
Pecan Praline Cookies
- 1.5 Cups Pecans, toasted and finely chopped
- 66 Grams Ganulated Sugar (⅓ Cup)
- 2 Tbsp Water
- In a heavy saucepan over medium heat, combine the 2 tablespoons water and 66 grams (⅓ cup) granulated sugar.
- Stirring constantly, cook the water/sugar mixture until it starts to boil and begins to turn an amber color.
- Immediately remove from the heat once the mixture turns an amber color and carefully stir in the pecans.
- Very carefully pour the praline mixture onto a parchment lined baking sheet or silpat. Let cool completely.
- Chop the praline into small pieces and set aside for adding to cookie dough.
- Preheat oven to 350°
- Prepare 2 baking sheets by lining with parchment paper.
- In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking soda, salt.
- Using a stand-mixer with the paddle attachment, begin creaming the butter, brown sugar and granulated sugar until light and fluffy (approximately 2 – 4 minutes on medium speed). Scrape the bowl as needed.
- Add the eggs and mix on low speed until incorporated, scraping the bowl as needed.
- Add the flour mixture and mix on low speed until combined.
- Remove bowl from the stand mixer and fold the pecan praline into the dough so it is evenly distributed.
- Scoop the dough onto the parchment-lined baking sheets using a small cookie scooper (approximately 1 ½ tablespoon per cookie). Leave approximately 2 inches of space between each cookie.
- Bake cookies for 12 – 15 minutes or until the tops and edges are a pale golden color.
- Let cookies cool on the baking sheets for 5 to 10 minutes, then transfer them to a wire rack to cool completely.