December 26, 2009

Pecans Revisited

I have to admit that I was doubtful about getting a pecan crop this fall. It didn't seem as though the squirrels were the least bit interested in sharing them. Even so, I managed to gather over six pounds. In thinking about Christmas baking, I set about cracking them open to see what I could get.....

I actually got some pecans this year.
Admittedly, they weren't all "good" ones, but I got three cups worth for my immediate use.

One thing I did was to bake a pecan pie for Christmas dinner....

My very 1st pecan pie
I have to admit that this is a break from Christmas tradition, which calls for pumpkin and lemon meringue pies for Christmas dessert. I still baked the pumpkin one, but the pecan replaced the lemon (for which I'm the biggest fan). I probably wouldn't have baked this one, except that I found some organic corn syrup in the clearance bins of one of the grocery stores I shop at. So I decided to give it a try. I'm so glad I did because it was so good!

The other thing I needed pecans for was for a Christmas cookie favorite, chocolate layer cookies...

Chocolate Layer cookies
Actually I use pecan meal for this, and the pecans form the crunchy top layer. Yummy!

Recipes? Well, for the pecan pie crust, I used my trusty No Fail pie crust recipe . But for the filling, I used the recipe for the pecan pie from here. I did roast the pecans as the recipe calls for, but I used the directions for soaking them first from the Nourishing Gourmet, here,and then roasted them on cookie sheets on top of the woodstove.

Yummy bar cookies
The chocolate layer cookies (2 photos up) is a recipe I adapted myself, so I can share that one with you.

Chocolate Layer Cookies

Bottom Layer:

½ C butter
¼ C sugar
1 egg
½ tsp vanilla
1 ¼ C unbleached flour
1/8 tsp salt

Cream butter and sugar. Beat in egg and vanilla. Combine flour and salt and add in 3 parts to creamed mixture. Pat dough into the bottom of a greased 9 x 12 inch pan. Bake about 15 minutes. at 350°

In the meantime, prepare the following:

2 eggs, beaten
1 ½ C brown sugar
1 ½ C chocolate chips
1, 6 oz pecan meal (can make this in the blender)
2 tbsp unbleached flour
½ tsp baking soda
½ tsp salt
1 tsp vanilla

Mix well and pour over bottom layer removing from oven. Bake another 25 minutes. When cool, sprinkle with powdered sugar and slice into bars.


Life Looms Large said...

Everything sounds so yummy!! Fresh pecans are delicious.

Today I have to try not to eat quite so many holiday treats!!


Woolly Bits said...

I think I have to move, I love pecans,but they don't grow in our climate! they are quite expensive to buy, so I only make a cookie recipe where only 90 g of nuts go in - but I love the taste (they ar full of chocolate, cranberries and nuts:)) anyway. other than that we're still stuck and can't go shopping - but we're hopeful that a bit of the white stuff will thaw until monday:)) never mind, we still had a good christmas - one of the advantages to be a homemaker with shelves of edible things!

Theresa said...

Pecans are my favorite nut along with hazel nuts.
The pecan pi looks wonderful. They make an appearance for us at Thanksgiving, assuming any one actually does pies. I'm with Sue, I need to eat less sweets today, heck I need to eat less period!
Those cookies do look tempting though....

bspinner said...

Pecan pie and cookies look delicious!!!!

Nina said...

growing pecans seems quite exotic.. along with a fig tree, which just won't grow this far north. Yummy although I find pecan pie just a tad sweet. Our traditional cookie recipe for the holidays is a cherry pecan shortbread. YUM...

Leigh said...

Well, it does seem like the wrong day of the year to be talking about recipes for holiday sweets!

Sue, hopefully you don't have too many left at home to contend with. I managed to send some home with DS and DDIL.

Bettina, I do feel fortunate to have pecans native to the area. You have some things that don't grow here though.

Good for you for having your shelves well stocked! Always wise to be prepared.

Theresa, it's good all this stuff is just virtual, isn't it, *LOL. I agree with you about eating less sweets in general, but I confess to a terrible sweet tooth!

Thanks Barb!

Nina, I agree about the sweetness of pecan pie. It's probably the only overly sweet food that can really tempt me, and this recipe with the roasted pecans came out especially well. Cherry pecan shortbread sounds pretty good too.

Renee Nefe said...

I'm so glad the squirrels decided that you could share the pecans. Pecans are my favorite and anything with pecans in it is just awesome!

I love that you roasted them on your new stove! :D Course I know you intended to cook on it at times. Was this your first try of cooking on the wood stove?

Sharon said...

My son is allergic to walnuts so for Christmas I made chocolate chip cookies with pecans and used the palm oil in lieu of shortening. They tasted good but the texture was like shortbread instead of chewy. I sent them home with Matt and he was thrilled. Ian wants me to stick to shortening for his cookies.

Randy said...

Thanks for the recipes! Looks yummy! I also noticed the wood stove. We have been looking into purchasing a wood stove recently.

Leigh said...

Renee, the woodstove was perfect for that. I've also cooked one pot things like soups and beans. Works wonderfully for that.

Sharon, interesting your son is allergic to only walnuts and not all nuts. And I'm wondering about the palm oil. Was it actually liquid? My palm is called "shortening," and is solid like shortening. Works like regular store-bought shortening but tastes so much better. I'm guessing that the palm oil for soap making isn't the same thing. If Ian could try one of my palm shortening cookies I think he'd like it.

Lynn, thanks! I suggest you research Woodstock Soapstone Stoves. That's what we have and it's the best woodstove I've ever had (and we've had several.) Their website is, Lots of good info on their site plus a big sale.

Julie said...

It all looks so good, my hubby would just love that pie! I'm not much of a nut person, will I'm a nut I just don't like nuts that well!

Benita said...

Oh, GEE!! That pecan pie looks awesome! How far north do pecan trees grow, anyway?

Leigh said...

Julie, I don't ordinarily care for nuts either, at least not in cookies, breads, cakes, etc. I do love pecan pie though.

Benita, actually I think you could grow pecan trees. Check out this information at the Arbor Day Foundation - Pecan Trees. They do recommend two for pollination. They really are a yummy nut.


I'm glad the greedy little basterds left you enough to enjoy. The layer cookies look absolutely scrumptous.

Heather said...

I feel as though I can almost taste that pecan pie, Leigh! It looks delicious. I'm glad you included the recipes for your treats.