Do you ever want something but don’t want to go through the effort of getting it? You know, the times when the idea of something sounds amazing, but there are too many steps to get to the amazingness? Like when you want to go out to eat, take the night off from cooking, but getting ready, going somewhere, waiting for a table, then food, and getting home super late just sound like a huge hassle. Instead of eating in a restaurant you get take out or better yet, delivery. Problem solved.
Then there’s that need for a new dress for a wedding, party, or event. You’ll look great in it once you find the perfect one. But first you have to go through all the other not so perfect ones. For me this has often meant hours searching online, hesitant to order anything because of the pain it will be to return the dress when it inevitably doesn’t fit. The other option, going to the mall, isn’t much better, as you stack dresses into your arms and hunker down in the dressing room for the better part of an afternoon wishing you could wear pajamas to the event because none of the dresses look good. Maybe you get lucky enough to find a dress that’s close enough to perfect, but more than likely you return home, hands empty, and revert back to the old standby dress in your closet. Even though everyone’s seen it, at least it looks fabulous.
This time of year, putting up Christmas lights also falls into this category of tasks. No matter how many years you’ve put up lights, it always sounds easy to do, as we forget the trouble of years prior. You remind yourself it will look great when finished, your house will be the star of the neighborhood. But then half the lights don’t work, the rest are a tangled mess, the trees are too tall, the lights won’t stay in the bushes, and it’s freaking cold outside. The answer? Put up just enough to be festive. Let someone else be the star of the neighborhood.
When I’m baking, sometimes I find there’s a treat that sounds amazing, but I just don’t have the time or energy to make it. Like Pecan Pie. It’s one of my all-time favorite desserts, and based on your comments, one of yours too. The flavor is wonderful and sweet; it’s gooey and crunchy, and it’s pie. I love pie. But it’s a lot of work to make the dough, chill the dough, roll the dough, make the filling, bake the pie, wait for the pie to cool. Enter Pecan Pie Cookies. Pecan Pie’s easier to make cousin, these have all the same amazing flavors as the traditional treat mixed with a cakey sugar cookie. It’s like eating cake and pie at the same time. I bet I really have your interest now.
A simple vanilla flavored cakey cookie gets kicked up with pecans. Formed into a giant cookie cup, they are then filled with a pretty traditional pecan pie filling. During baking they flatten out, as the gooey pecan goodness spreads over the top and into the cookie, giving you the flavor you’re looking for in every bite. The cookies are super soft with that rich, maple-y pecan pie goo flavor and lots of crunchy pecans. Your other Christmas cookies better watch out because these are bound to be your new, easy to make favorite.
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 2 sticks unsalted butter, room temperature
- 2 large eggs
- 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
- ½ cup pecans, finely ground
- 1 cup pecans, coarsely chopped
- ¼ cup packed light brown sugar
- 2 tablespoons light corn syrup
- 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
- ¼ cup maple syrup (I use and love Blis)
- 1 tablespoon unsalted butter, melted
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line two cookie sheets with parchment.
- In a medium bowl, stir together flour, baking powder, and ground pecans.
- In a large bowl, cream together butter and sugar until light and fluffy. I did this by hand, but a hand or stand mixer would work too. Add eggs and vanilla and mix until once again light and fluffy. Add the flour mixture and mix until a dough just comes together.
- Take about a golf ball size amount of dough and form it into basically a very large thumbprint cookie. This will give you a sturdy base with a big indentation in the middle.
- Make the filling. In a medium bowl, stir together pecans, sugar, corn syrup, vanilla, maple syrup, and butter. Fill the indentation in the cookie dough balls with the filling. Be generous.
- Bake for 15-20 minutes until the cookies are set and light golden brown around the edges. They will have flattened and spread and the filling will cover much of the cookie. Allow to cool completely on sheets. May be stored at room temperature for up to 3 days or frozen wrapped in parchment and foil and placed in a zipper bag for up to 4 months. Thaw at room temperature for about an hour or in a 350 degree F oven for about 10 minutes.