December 25, 2011

Pecan logs

Dear Readers, 

Merry Christmas/Happy Hanukkah/Merry day of eating/getting gifts/and baking! I actually made these a few days ago but decided to save their posting for a later time and one of our readers suggested that these baked goods go up next! Although the previous post on gingersnap palmiers was my mom and my favorite recipe of the year, these pecan logs have been on the top of my brother's list and the recipe was requested from a few friends that got to taste them as well. So from my blog world to your kitchen, here's a little Christmas gift!

The original recipe was again from my go-to-holiday Martha Stewart's Cookies book but I adapted it quite a bit. I thought the original didn't have enough sugar in it - leaving it more of a nutty short bread than the cinnamony, sugary concoction you see here. 

In addition to adding some holiday spice into the dough itself, I also spiced up the nutty coating with a sugar and cinnamon mixture (much like snickerdoodles) and the woody, fragrant flavors of the toasted pecans melded beautifully with the sweetness that I added. These logs break apart into a crumbly goodness into your mouth and they're fabulously delicious. Absolutely perfect for Christmas or rather, any other time where a cookie is needed.

And the fun doesn't stop there! you can roll these guys instead of into logs, into little dough balls and make cinnamon-y pecan poppers! ...Gosh that sounds good, maybe even drizzle with some dark chocolate?...mmm...they'd wrap up adorably as little balls into gift bags...must remember to do that next year...

Enjoy these logs by the fireplace! or perhaps, paired with a yule log? Log themed dessert platter? Alright, that's enough of the log jokes.

Happy Holidays to all!

Pecan Logs
Adapted from Martha Stewart's Cookies

2 cups pecans, toasted
2 teaspoons cinnamon, divided (optional)
2 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1 1/2 teaspoons coarse salt
1 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
1 1/4 cups confectioners' sugar, sifted
1 large egg
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
1 tablespoon granulated sugar (optional)

To toast the pecans, arrange in a single layer on a baking sheet at 350F for about 10 minutes. Let cool and process pecans in a food processor until finely ground. Be careful not to over grind or the pecans will form a paste. Set aside

In a separate bowl, mix flour, baking powder, salt and 1 teaspoon of the cinnamon in a bowl. If you're like me, you can go heavy handed on the cinnamon for an even greater kick. This is the part that I adapted so the cinnamon is also optional. In yet another bowl, mix the butter and confectioners' sugar until pale and fluffy. Add the eggs and vanilla until well combined.

Add in your dry ingredient mixtures and half of the ground pecans and wrap the dough in plastic and refrigerate until cold, about 30 minutes.

Preheat your oven to 350F and roll out your dough into log shaped little cookies. The original recipe said about 1 tablespoon per log but honestly, I eyeballed it until they were about the size that I desired. Now, here is the other adapted part that is optional. I added in a tablespoon of sugar and another teaspoon of cinnamon into the remaining ground pecans. Then, mix this new nutty, sugary concoction and generously roll your logs around in them. You can even press the nuts into the log a bit and go for a second roll.

Place on parchment paper lined baking sheets and bake about 1 inch apart (they don't spread much at all). Bake until pale golden about 14-15 minutes.

Let cool and then eat up! They were a huge hit this year! Enjoy!

1 comment:

  1. i love the snickerdoodle inspired variation! yum