pecan crunch cookies

Brrr…it’s 19 degrees outside. I just came in from Christmas shopping. It’s definitely time for some hot chocolate and pecan crunch cookies.
I made up the recipe last week while tinkering around with a stack of spices I picked up on my last visit to Montreal. This is the perfect cookie for a late afternoon snack or early evening break.

chopped pecans

Speaking of shopping, I made the mistake of going into a giant chain store and it “almost” destroyed my Christmas spirit. Blaring music, bad air quality, mounds and piles distasteful and poorly made junk represent a few of the things that made me grumpy. And the behavior of some of the shoppers – definitely not warm and festive. I grabbed the one item I needed and headed out the door.

mixing bowl

This is why, whenever possible, I shop locally. I love visiting small, independent businesses in my region – mainly because they put their heart and soul into what they’re doing. They’re more likely to carry unique items and the items are generally of better quality.
Moreover, I feel good about putting dollars back into my community. When I shop locally, I know I’m helping a local business stay open, supporting local jobs and reducing the risk that multinational chain stores will take over my town.
Seriously, who wouldn’t rather have a thoughtful gift from here, here, here, or here, for example. And with events like this and this, how can I lose?
What about you? Will you join me in supporting independent businesses this year?
bite of pecan crunch cookie
Hopefully by now, you’re fired up and ready to shop. Just be sure to have these cookies ready and waiting for you when you get home. They’re perfect way to kick back, relax and be cozy….
Pecan Crunch Cookie
Ingredients
Filling:
2 tbs. butter
1 tbs. dark brown sugar
1 1/2 cupped chopped pecans
1/3 cup coarsely chopped candied orange peel (optional but really good)
1 tbs. butter, softened
Dough:
2 1/4 cups of flour
1 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. baking soda
1/8 tsp. salt
1 tsp. cinnamon
1/8 tsp. cloves
1/8 tsp. nutmeg
1 tbs. butter
1 c. sugar
2 eggs
2 egg yolks
1 tsp. vanilla extract
Glaze:
1 beaten egg white
2 tbs. sugar
Instructions
Preheat oven to 325 degrees.
The Filling
To make the filling, evenly chop the pecans. Melt 2 tbs. of butter in a non-stick skillet and add pecans. When the pecans are uniformly warm, sprinkle them with 1 tbs. brown sugar. Increase heat and stir until slightly caramelized. Remove the pecans from the heat and spread them evenly on a silpat to cool.
When the pecans have cooled, place about 1/2 of them along with the orange peel and 1 tbs. butter in a food processor and blend until you have a chunky, coarse filling for your cookie. I like to save the leftover pecans for these.
The Dough
Mix dry ingredients and set aside.
In a standing mixer cream the butter. Mix in sugar and blend until light and fluffy. Add the eggs one at a time, mixing after each addition. Scrape down sides of bowl.
Attach a dough hook to the mixture. Add dry ingredients and mix until just combined. Alternatively, you can do this by hand.
The Cookie
Using floured hands, spread out the cookie dough onto a silpat into an approximately 12X4 inch rectangle. Place as much filling as you’d like down the center of the dough. Fold the sides of the dough into cover the filling. Fold up the ends so that you have a log. Pinch the seams tight. Flip the log over so that the seams are on the bottom. Slice the dough diagonally, into about 1/2 inch slices.
(Note: I’ve also been told by a reader that these turn out well when you mix up all of the ingredients in a bowl and make drop cookies out of them. Good to know.)
Lay the slices flat on a cookie sheet. Brush edges with egg white and sprinkle with sugar. Bake for 15 minutes. Rotate the sheet pan and bake for about 5 additional minutes.
Allow to cool and store in an airtight container.
Bon appetit!

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Fresh New England

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39 Comments
  1. Your are so right El. It is very important to support the small businesses. They take better care of their customers and are worth staying open. I dislike going Christmas shopping at those large stores where everything is impersonal and chaotic with too many people shopping around the holidays.
    Love your cookies by the way πŸ™‚
    Happy holidays!
    Magda

  2. Those cookies look awesome! It is so cold out suddenly isn’t it? I guess we got lucky with a fairly warm November. I’m all for supporting local business! I started my little bit of shopping at Boston’s Handmade Holiday Gallery Downtown.

  3. I love the holidays but as soon as I step into a mall I feel the same way you did. Retailers and shoppers are just so aggresive it makes gift shopping very unpleasant. Buying gifts from small local stores is much more pleasant.

    These cookies sound delicious. I think I might try them with almonds.

  4. Mmm, can almost taste those lovely nuts, all warm and toasty fresh out of the oven. I’m off to do Christmas shopping tonight and can’t wait to go to my favorite out of the way shops to find little treasures. πŸ™‚

  5. Cookies! I’ve been thinking about making some wintery holiday-ish cookies for a week or so now. I love nothing more than being cozy (especially in the kitchen) when it is so cold out. I also love exploring local shops all decorated and festive this time of year. As always, a gorgeous post.

  6. Yes, will definitely join you in supporting independent businesses! The gifts are alot more thoughtful that the mass, undifferentiated brands and packaging. Your pecan cookies look delicious!

  7. i love visiting little boutiques.. there is always something warm and thoughtful about them.

    Love love these cookies! i could have a couple right now, with a cup of chai!

    Sighhh… i soo hear you about the weather! 19 F during the day is killing me πŸ™

  8. Gorgeous…the cookies, the very charming red mug, and the filling within! Love them El, and agree about small businesses too. Must be something about my age, or my old world belief, you can’t get that personal touch with bling and blaring music. Warm, cozy & independent works like magic for me. Juts back from browsing a small sweet store, and am ready for coffee!

  9. Buying local is where it is at – for sure… Small business owners, and growers and producers all enrich one’s economy and community. I love knowing my farmers. I also love the rustic look of these delectable cookies. The orange zest gives them the zip needed paired with the caramelized nut filling. YUM. I love this kind of bite with a mid morning coffee when I have been up really early doing a thousand things.
    πŸ™‚
    Gorgeous, quiet, warm photographs, too.
    Valerie

  10. These are lovely! You’re photographs are always worth the wait. You’re so right about buying local too. I always try to buy on Etsy or from community vendors and artists. Their goodies make much better presents!

  11. Erika- they are somewhat similar to biscotti but real biscotti is typically made with egg whites only. These have yolks and butter so that you won’t break a tooth!

  12. I think another great gift would be a homemade one such as your pecan crunch cookies, which must be a tantalizing treat with the layers of texture from the nuts and caramelized sugar. I was just telling someone who I haven’t seen for over a decade that I still remember these bon bons she shared with me. So powerful is good food that is made with thought and care.

    I just returned from San Francisco, and was delighted to be able to visit an Asian American craft festival, where I picked up a few hand-bound books/journals (the art of bookbinding unfortunately is disappearing)and tableclothes made of beautiful Japanese silk fabrics. I can only imagine the amount of work and care these artists dedicated to their products. The price probably covered the cost of materials without accounting for the time it took to create.

  13. Ooo i know this is an old post but i adore anything nutty and happen to have 3 bags of pecans in the cupboard (i always forget if i have any when im shopping and cant risk being caught without!) so this looks perfect, i really do hope to try these very soon and will let you know if i do! πŸ™‚

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