Monday, November 8, 2010

Pecan Lace Sandwich Cookies with Orange Buttercream

Congratulations to Dave for being our first winner with Pecan Lace Sandwich Cookies with Orange Buttercream. Dave is a regular around here, but you may know him better as the guy behind the blog My Year On the Grill.

If you didn't win this week, don't worry. All recipes submitted stay in consideration. : ) Keep those recipes coming! Send them to Krista at KristaDavis dot com.

I was intrigued by these cookies because they sounded different. Dave found the recipe on the Internet when Judy of No Fear Entertaining created them for a 12 cookies in 12 days challenge. Dave says these cookies "taste like a Pecan Praline with icing." Who could resist that description?

Here's the recipe --

Pecan Lace Sandwich Cookies
Orange Buttercream Icing

The orange juice and grated peel in the icing between these gorgeous crispy pecan lace sandwich cookies makes them an ideal accompaniment to any holiday dessert spread.

Makes about 18 (I only got 12 out of this)


1/4 cup (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature
1/3 cup sugar
2 tablespoons light corn syrup
1/3 cup all purpose flour
1 cup coarsely ground pecans (about 4 ounces)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1 cup powdered sugar
1/4 cup (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature
1 tablespoon orange juice
3/4 teaspoon grated orange peel


Position rack in center of oven and preheat to 350°F. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper. Stir butter, sugar, and corn syrup in heavy medium saucepan over low heat until melted and smooth. Bring to boil over medium-high heat, stirring constantly. Remove from heat. Stir in flour. Add nuts and vanilla; stir to combine.

Drop dough by teaspoonfuls onto prepared baking sheets, spacing 2 inches apart. Bake cookies, 1 sheet at a time, until bubbling and lightly browned, about 11 minutes. Cool on sheets 10 minutes. Transfer to rack; cool completely.

Whisk all ingredients in medium bowl until smooth. Spread 1 teaspoon filling onto bottom of 1 cookie. Top with second cookie, bottom side down, pressing lightly to adhere. Repeat with remaining cookies. DO AHEAD Can be made 2 days ahead. Store between sheets of waxed paper in airtight container at room temperature.

As she warned, the recipe makes less cookies than I needed. I was out of pecans, and did not want to go to the store (wasted them in that infamous potato recipe). I had already doubled the recipe (I needed 30 cookies, 60 actually in order to get the sandwich look). So, I abandoned the sandwich look.

They came out about the diameter of a hockey puck. When I make these again (soon), I will make them a little smaller, and achieve the sandwich look. BUT, they are very rich, and if I were to sandwich the larger size cookies, I think it would be uncomfortable to finish them. Two of these rich cookies at a time would be a bit much.

I did dust with some chopped small pecan pieces, and the extra texture worked very well.

Dave's Cookies

And the taste... Incredible. Actually, they taste like a pecan praline. I can not possibly recommend these higher. Of all the cookies served at the party, this was the favorite from everyone.

Krista's Take

I thought it might be useful if I rated all the cookies on a difficulty scale of one to three. If you read my books, you know that Sophie's best friend, Nina Reid Norwood doesn't cook or bake. I think she could handle these cookies, though! So they rate a one, or a Nina Reid Norwood for level of difficulty.

The fact that the dough is made in a pot on the stove had a lot to do with my rating. Most people can stir and drop the dough onto a baking sheet.

If I have one complaint, it's that the recipe doesn't make a big batch of cookies. It's ideal for a small get together, but probably not the go to recipe when you need to bring fifty cookies to the office Christmas party.

However, they're delicious, and very pretty when stacked. They would make a lovely gift tied up with a bow.

Making the dough is a snap. It comes together into a thick batter.

Since Dave said his cookies were too large (how big is a hockey puck anyway?), I made sure I dropped small mounds onto the baking sheets. I got the requisite 18 cookies, but I was really scraping the bowl for that last one.

As you can see, they spread into three inch rounds anyway. I agree with Dave that they could be smaller, but the visual impact of the large cookies is really very nice.

The recipe says to whisk the buttercream ingredients together. I recommend using a mixer.

I couldn't believe how delicate and lacy they were, so I went outside and held one up to the bright blue sky to show you.

Voila! Very pretty cookies that taste as good as they look. The buttercream recipe is adequate for filling them. They have a lovely crisp crunch and the buttercream is a nice sweet touch.

Thanks, Dave, and special thanks to Judy who came up with this recipe!

Please keep sending me your favorite Christmas Cookie recipes. Many thanks to those who have already submitted recipes. I love reading them. And don't worry, they're all still in the running.

Holiday Grind_Paperback
Congratulations also to Cleo Coyle for the release of HOLIDAY GRIND in paperback. A fabulous mystery—and it's packed with recipes -- the perfect stocking stuffer.

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  1. I have had pecan lace cookies before and loved them but am too skittish to try to actually make them. This creamy center is a real plus and has pushed me over the edge. Now I simply have to give it a try. Thanks so much for the deliciousness.

  2. These don't seem to be nearly as hard to make as I'd have thought--they're so pretty that it seems like they'd be tough to make. Pecans are my faves and I'm looking forward to making these--I think they'd make nice neighbor gifts!

  3. Congrats Dave...these do look easy to make. I always thought it would be fairly hard. I will have to try these make and they would make great gifts for the boys teachers and our mail lady.

  4. Whoop whoop... spread the word, these indeed are the best cookie i ate last year!

    I love the shot showing the lace. Thanks so much for the pick

  5. Big WOW, Krista - another MUST-MAKE recipe from you (and Dave, of course - way to go grill man)! This post is just wonderful. Thank you for all the how-to photos and the tips, including the warning that these beautiful treats are really rich and will be very good made smaller. For parties especially, bites of many good things is a always a good thing.

    Your Cookie Contest is going to be amazing. Now I can't wait to see what you bake up next Monday!

    Have a great week,
    ~ Cleo
    Cleo Coyle on Twitter

  6. Congratulations, Dave. Oh, man, do these look delicious!!!! I love pralines. And I'm way over having parties of 50 so a dozen is perfect.

    Krista, fun contest!!!! I've pre-ordered Goose. :)

  7. Luvee, I think you'll be pleased when you see how easy it is to make these cookies.

    Elizabeth and Babs, I can just imagine these stacked in a cellophane bag with a floppy red bow at the top. What a wonderful gift!

    Dave, thanks for the recipe! I'll be in touch about your cookie cutter prize!

    Cleo, I'm amazed by the variety of recipes I'm getting. It's going to be very hard to decide which ones to try!

    Avery, you're so sweet to have ordered The Diva Cooks A Goose. I know you'll love these cookies, too. I'm going to try freezing a few and will let everyone know if they hold up.

    ~ Krista

  8. I'm loving this cookie contest, Krista! And I'll definitely have to give these a try. Great recipe, Dave! This is just so much fun! Putting me in the holiday mood, for sure!

  9. Since my partner keeps the house and especially the kitchen "strictly" Kosher. I'll try making this recipe with stick margarine. In most cases that works find. I'll let everyone know if it works properly.

    It should be a wonderful addition to the Thanksgiving day Dessert Table.

  10. This is just the most irresistible cookie recipe I've seen all year! Krista, seeing the laciness against the blue sky really makes it click. Great recipe, and thanks to both of you.

  11. I love the picture with the sky showing through! I must try these.

  12. Pretty and delicious! I can't wait to make these!!!

  13. Julie, I'm loving this contest, too. The hardest part is not eating *all* the cookies!

    Nora, I'd love to know, as would many other people, I'm sure. Is there a Kosher rule against mixing butter with nuts?

    Laineshots, I found it irresistible, too. I'm so glad people like that shot against the sky. I looked around for something that would show contrast, and we were having such a gorgeous day that the blue sky seemed just right.

    ~ Krista

  14. Thank you, Harbingerdc. I wasn't sure my arm was long enough!

    Jenn, your boys will eat these so fast you'll wonder where they went.

    ~ Krista

  15. Krista, these look so pretty and delicious, I might actually consider baking again! I love how you make them into a sandwich, too. Thanks for the recipe!

    And thanks again to you all for a fun day yesterday! Mystery Lovers' Kitchen is my favorite place to lurk. :-)

  16. Wow, Krista & Dave, these look fabulous! Thanks so much, they're definitely going on the To-Be-Tried List. As others have said, the the brilliant blue sky really shows off the delicate laciness of the cookie. Very clever idea for the photo, Krista!

    BTW, I'm in the midst of my 1st ever NaNo frenzy, so even if I may not comment, I've really been enjoying the recipes when I come visit the blog on my breaks! This place is definitely getting me into the holiday spirit!

  17. Kate, I bet they're even easier than your scrumptious Apple Crisp. It's on my menu this week! Aha! So you're the one who has been lurking in the dim corners. Glad to have you joining the fun. : )

    Lynn, good luck with Nano -- it's tough! Swing by here whenever you need a break!

    ~ Krista

  18. I found this recipe from December 2004 Bon Appetit and just love it. Thanks for the tip on making ahead. I'm not familiar with Judy but did she submit to Bon Appetit in the RSVP section or is she a restaurant owner or cookbook author. I would certainally like to check out some of her other creations... this one was delish! I'm making it again for a party on Sunday, the hostess requested them after I made them last year!

  19. These cookies look beautiful. I've been looking for a recipe like this for a long time. I'll for sure be making these sometime in the next couple of weeks. Thanks for all the beautiful recipes!

  20. You're so welcome, Beth! These are delicious cookies. The biggest problem is that they disappear entirely too fast!

    ~ Krista