16 December 2010
Pecan Praline Cookies with Brown Sugar Frosting
One of the best things about being a home cook is finding others who share that same interest. It is a delight to meet someone whose eyes sparkle at the mention of recipes and who can tell a story about the dishes they serve. Even better is meeting someone who shares (or at least understands) your taste preferences and food quirks.
I met one of my dearest food friends when we moved into our first house in Texas. It so happened that she lived right next door. Over the years Anne and I have shared many dinners and special events together. We have also swapped many recipes. The recipes she shares are often versatile and always dependable. Even better they almost invariably appeal to my particular sense of taste and style. These cookies, rich with brown sugar and pecans, are no exception.
I first tasted these at a Christmas Cookie Swap several decades ago. I have made them almost every Christmas since. They are not difficult to prepare but do require an extra step for the frosting. That extra step makes them pretty and doubly tasty, therefore perfect for the holiday season.
Pecan Praline Cookies
1 cup butter, softened
½ cup firmly packed brown sugar
½ cup white sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 cups flour
½ teaspoon baking soda
¼ teaspoon salt
½ cup finely chopped pecans
Brown Sugar Frosting (see below)
Pecan halves for garnish
In a large mixing bowl, beat butter at medium speed with an electric mixer. Gradually add sugars, mixing well. Add egg and vanilla; beat well.
In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, soda and salt. Gradually add the dry mixture to the creamed mixture, stirring after each addition. Stir in the chopped pecans.
Chill dough for 30 minutes.
When chilled, remove from the refrigerator. Shape dough into 1-inch balls. Place the balls of dough on ungreased cookie sheets.
Bake at 350 degrees for 10 - 12 minutes. Cool on wire racks.
When cool, spread Brown Sugar Frosting over the tops of the cookies. Top each with a pecan half before the icing sets.
Makes about 5 dozen cookies.
Brown Sugar Frosting
1 cup firmly packed brown sugar
½ cup half & half
1 Tablespoon butter
1½ cups sifted powdered sugar (plus a little more if needed)
Combine brown sugar and half & half in a saucepan.
Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, until mixture comes to a boil. Boil 4 minutes.
Remove from heat. Stir in butter. Add 1½ cups powdered sugar. Beat at medium speed with an electric mixer until smooth. Add a little more powdered sugar, if needed, to achieve a desired spreading consistency.