Move over pecan pie, you have competition! I love pecan pie, but it is soooooo sweet. However, I found the most delicious pecan pie COOKIE recipe that brings just the right amount of sweetness in the filling, but is balanced with a nice shortbread cookie base. It’s an odd dough and I went back to re-read the recipe a couple times to make sure I hadn’t missed anything, but it was correct ~ just very crumbly! It actually doesn’t come together into a cookie until you squeeze the crumbs together. Think back to making a clay “pinch pot” in art class at school 🙂
To make the cookie base, grab a small handful of dough and squeeze it until it sticks together. Then, use your thumb and first finger to pinch the dough into a little pot. You want the middle indented to hold the filling. This dough does not spread when baked, so whatever size you make the base, is the size the finished cookie will be.
You’re going to do a partial bake to begin with just to keep the dough from getting soggy, then you’ll add filling and return to the oven for more baking. When filling the centers, use a scant amount of pecan mixture. You’ll want to use more, but the oven will heat up all that caramel-pecan goodness and spread it out to fill the center. If you fill the cookie too full, the pecan mixture will run over the side of the cookie ~ I had a couple of those!
Enjoy this alternate version of pecan pie! I think this was my favorite new cookie recipe of the holiday!
Start by making the filling so it can cool while making the shortbread cookie base.
- 1/4 cup packed brown sugar
- 3 tablespoons honey
- 3 tablespoons butter
- 1/2 cup finely chopped pecans
- Combine first 3 ingredients in saucepan over medium heat until lightly boiling. Remove from heat and stir in pecans
- Let mixture cool while making shortbread cookie
Now for the cookie base
- 1/4 cup of sugar
- 4 tablespoons butter, softened
- 2/3 cup of flour
- In a mixing bowl, beat the sugar and butter until smooth. Add flour and continue mixing until just blended. Dough will be crumbly!
- Use your hands to squeeze together enough dough to make about a 1″ ball. Then use your thumb and fingers to form a well in the center of the cookie.
- Place on greased cookie sheets (I like to use parchment paper instead of non-stick spray).
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Bake cookies for 8 minutes. Remove from oven, add 1/4 teaspoon pecan mixture to the centers, and place back in oven for 4 – 5 more minutes. Remove from oven when the cookies appear “dry” on top.