Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Going Nuts on Pecan Wednesday

Question of the day: how do you say "pecan?" Is it like "PEE-can" or "pe-CON?"

Nevertheless, I love them. I love their versatility in dishes. Whether they're toasted and sprinkled on top of pasta, added into salads, or even just sprinkled with some sugar and cinnamon, pecans are just plain wonderful.

So without further ado, I give you two recipes that incorporate this wonderful, beautiful nut. Dig in!

1. Linzer cookies

(adapted from The Good Housekeeping Test Kitchen Cookie Lover's Cookbook)

makes about 16 sandwiched cookies


1 cup/4 ounces pecans
1/4 cup cornstarch
1/2 cup confectioner's sugar
1 stick unsalted butter, softened
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 tsp salt
1 egg
1 1/2 cups flour
1/2 cup seedless jam


1. Pulse the pecans and cornstarch in the food processor until the pecans are grounded well.
2. In a bowl, beat the butter and confectioner's sugar until incorporated. 
3. Add in the egg, vanilla extract, and salt and continue mixing. 
4. Beat in the flour and grounded pecan mixture until blended.
5. Divide the dough into four equal parts. Flatten into disk-shapes and wrap them up plastic wrap. Refrigerate for 2-3 hours or until firm.
6. On a floured surface, roll the chilled dough out until it is one-eighth inch thick. Cut out shapes using a cookie cutter (any shape is fine, but I used a flower-shaped one). 
7. Using a smaller cookie cutter of the same shape, cut out the center of an already cut-out cookie. Be careful with this step, for they are extremely fragile.
8. Re-roll any excess dough and continue cutting out shapes. Refrigerate the dough for another hour.
9. Preheat the oven to 325ºF. Line the cookies on two cookies sheets with parchment paper about one inch apart.
10. Bake cookies for about 18 minutes, or until lightly browned, swapping the cookies sheets between the upper and lower thirds of the oven rack midway through.
11. Let the cookies cool before sandwiching them with a teaspoons of jam. Personally, I made my own jam, but store-bought ones work wonderfully as well.

2. Pecan Tassies 
(Honestly, I have no clue what a tassie is. It appears to be really similar to a tart pastry, though.)

(adapted from The Good Housekeeping Test Kitchen Cookie Lover's Cookbook)

makes 6 tassies


3 tbls cream cheese, softened
4 tbls or 1/2 stick of butter or margarine, softened
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 tsp salt
1 egg
1/3 cup chopped pecans


1. Using an electric mixer, beat cream cheese and 3 tbls of the butter until creamy. Add flour, and continue to beat until well-incorporated.
2. With floured fingers press the dough into the bottoms and sides of the cupcake tin cups. Set aside.
3. Preheat the oven to 350ºF. To making the filling, whisk together the brown sugar, vanilla extract, salt, egg, and the 1 tbl of butter.
4. Put half of the chopped pecans at the bottom of each dough-filled cups. Distribute the brown sugar mixture evenly into each cup and sprinkle the last of the pecans on top.
5. Bake for 30 minutes. Using the tip of a knife, gently cut around the tassies to loosen them from the cupcake tin cups. Take them out of the pan and let them cool.

1 comment:

  1. Oooor you could say "pee-CAN" like I do. Weirds people out, but it's a lot of fun!