Tuesday, March 01, 2011

Pecan Logs...

We're back with another cookie for treat day, but this one is very different from last week's crazy crumbled Oreo cookie-in-a-cookie. The ingredient list for these Pecan Logs may seem unpretentious with no fancy or unique requests, but how they are prepared and come together make these cookies distinct and exceptional.

Before your eyes go wide when you get to the amount of salt called for in the dough, let me assure you it is correct. I do want to note that I only use kosher salt (unless otherwise specified) in all our recipes, with the brand being Morton kosher. You have to remember both the butter and all of the nuts are unsalted - you need a suitable punch to not only balance the sweetness, but accentuate the subtle notes in the cookies. Neither of us found the baked cookies overly "salty" at all.

After preparing the manageable dough, I did play around with the directions from the original recipe, going in the reverse order that what was stated. Instead of chilling the dough right out of the mixer, I scooped out balls using a tablespoon cookie scoop, shaped each into log between the palm of my hands, then took each fat roll for a ride though a pool of ground toasted pecans.

I did this because while the dough was soft and slightly tacky, it wasn't sticky or hard to work with - I thought if the dough was too firm, the pecans may not stick as well. The cookies will still need to be refrigerated before baking though - chilling the butter in the dough will help the cookies keep their tidy shape, rather than spreading too much and flattening out. A half hour was good enough, leaving you enough time to turn the oven on and heat up!

To tell when these cookies ready to be pulled from the oven, look for them to be a pale golden color and the tops have taken on a few small cracks. The logs are tender and a bit crumbly, with a tantalizing melt-in-your-mouth quality that made us both take note. I thought they were reminiscent of shortbread, but not as dense or delicate. Being infiltrated by those toasted pecans, both inside and out, they are quite nutty as you would expect, which is what these cookies are all about - but what I think I appreciate most was how understated the sweetness was. If you feel like they need to by gussied up, give them a steady dusting of confectioners' sugar right before serving.

I do have to say I agree with what Jeff said after he ate a couple of these nutty logs - these cookies will definitely be a contender for this years Holiday Baking Spree list! I imagine they will be a good candidate for a make-ahead cookie as well - either shaped, baked and frozen, or shaped and rolled in the nuts, then frozen. I do wonder- how do you pronounce pecans? Do you follow the pee-in-a-can line of thinking, or do you go with puh-cahn? Oh and just for the record, I say the latter.

Pecan Logs


  1. I can see my mom and I loving this recipe! I've bookmarked this for the next time I have some leftover pecans in the house (which happens frequently!)

  2. as the last poster said, my mom would totally dig this! i need to make her something for when i see her next anyway, i think this may be the winning choice ! thanks for sharing :)
    @ http://www.clutzycooking.blogspot.com

  3. These cookies have another name in our family. Probably before you were born, these cookies were served at a party a dear friend of ours named Bertha attended. Later, as she shared the recipe, she said "When the plate passed the first time, I took one cookie for politeness' sake. The second time the plate passed, I took two for Bertha's sake!"

  4. Joe, I'm from the Midwest (IL, to be precise) and we say the latter, sort of puh-cahn.

    I bought pecans last night to make these and will follow your prep directions, as I totally think you are right, that the pecans will likely stick better pre-chilled.

  5. man that was a good one..really

  6. Caroline - We're always sure to have pecans in the freezer here!

    Meaghan - Enjoy!

    Joan - Thanks for sharing that story!

    Jennifer - I hope they turned out well!

    Anon - Thanks!

  7. OMG another reason to leave Paris and come home to the USA ! I know that sounds ridiculous but....

  8. Jen - Hmm? Don't have Pecans there?

  9. Looks yum!

    Your pecan pronunciation got me giggling--my best friend's father when I was growing up used to say, "A peecan goes under your bed, a pecahn goes in a pie."

    Needless to say, he said the latter, and so do I. :)