Pecan Pie

Pecan Pie 

July 12: National Pecan Pie Day

Pecan pie is often associated with fall and winter holidays, such as Thanksgiving and Christmas, instead of the middle of the summer. But this classic comfort food can be enjoyed year-round. The dessert is a staple in the southern U.S.A. and was thought to have originated by the French who settled in New Orleans, Louisiana, after the Native Americans introduced them to pecans. Variations include chocolate or whiskey in the pie recipe, but we make ours the traditional and easy way. Prepare pecan pie and observe the special food holiday of National Pecan Pie Day.

Recipe

(Adapted from Pecan Pie Recipes)

Ingredients

  • 1 ¼ – 1 ½ cups (6 ounces) pecans, chopped
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 cup sugar, granulated white
  • 1 cup light or dark corn syrup
  • 2 tablespoons butter, melted
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 9-inch pie crust/shell, frozen and unbaked

Directions

In a mixing bowl, lightly beat the eggs. Mix in the sugar. Pour in the corn syrup.

Pecan Pie

In a microwavable measuring cup, place the butter and cover with plastic wrap/film. Microwave until melted. Set aside to cool slightly. Mix the melted butter with the previous ingredients. Stir in the vanilla. Mix in the pecans.

Pecan Pie

Pour the filling into the pie crust. Place on a cookie sheet and bake in a preheated oven at 350 degrees F for an hour. Foil or pie crust shields may be used to prevent overbrowning of the edges. Remove from the oven and set on a wire rack to cool completely. The soft-set warm filling will firm up when cool. Slice into wedges and serve.

Pecan Pie

Notes

  • Make mini versions of pecan pies by preparing pecan tassies. The tiny tarts are cute to eat and a sweet treat!
  • Search our blog for other recipes containing pecans as an ingredient.

Butter Pecan Cookies

Butter Pecan Cookies

September 21: Pecan Cookie Day

Islander’s favorite ice cream flavor is butter pecan. So it is no surprise that she likes butter pecan cookies, too. Not only do they taste great, but they contain just four ingredients and are so easy and quick to make. Butter pecan cookies are similar to shortbread and have a buttery-crumb texture. They are not overly sweet, which is nice so the nutty flavor comes through. And the vibrant cookie color adds a festive fall hue on a party (or personal) plate. As the summer ice cream season comes to a close, celebrate with an autumn, afternoon or anytime snack by baking a batch of butter pecan cookies for Pecan Cookie Day.

Recipe

(Adapted from Taste of Home)

Ingredients

  • ¾ cup butter, softened
  • 1 package (3.4 ounces) instant butterscotch pudding mix
  • 1 ¼ cup flour
  • ½ cup pecan chips

Directions

In a mixing bowl, cream the butter, then add the butterscotch pudding mix. Blend well.

Butter Pecan Cookies

Add the flour. Fold in the pecan chips. Form the cookie dough into a ball. Pinch out 1 – 1 ½ -inch of the dough and roll into a ball. Place on foil-lined greased cookie sheets.

Butter Pecan Cookies

Flatten the balls with the bottom of a lightly-floured glass or with the palm of your hand. Bake in a preheated oven at 375 degrees F for 10-15 minutes. Remove from the oven. Cool completely on a wire rack. Yield: Approximately 2 ½ dozen cookies.

Butter Pecan Cookies

Notes

  • For a nuttier or chunkier cookie, substitute pecan chips with coarsely chopped pecans.
  • For a sweeter cookie, add ¼ – ½ cup toffee bits.
  • Search our blog for other recipes containing pecans.

Cinnamon-Pecan Crescent Cookies

Cinnamon-Pecan Crescent Cookies

April 10: National Cinnamon Crescent Day

We sometimes see Mexican wedding cookies served at the receptions we attend in South Texas where we sponsor couples through our church’s marriage formation program. A variation of the round cookies is the crescent shape, probably a prelude to a sweet honeymoon.

One of our couples, Sean and Kristina V., featured them as favors (the cinnamon-pecan crescent cookies were packaged in pretty plastic bags, tied with ribbons and labeled with thank-you tags).

Cinnamon-pecan crescent cookies are wonderful for weddings  and National Cinnamon Crescent Day.

Recipe

(Inspired by Sean and Kristina V.)

Ingredients 

  • ½ cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, softened
  • ¼ cup sugar, granulated white
  • ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon, divided use
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla (we used Mexican vainilla)
  • 1 cup flour
  • ½ cup pecan chips (or finely chopped pecans)
  • 1 cup powdered sugar

Directions

In a large mixing bowl, cream the butter. Mix in the sugar and ¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon. Stir in the vanilla.

Cinnamon-Pecan Crescent Cookies

Add the flour and pecans. Mix well and form into a ball of sticky dough. Pinch out a teaspoon of the dough and roll into a ball.

Cinnamon-Pecan Crescent Cookies

Form the ball into a 2 ½ inch long log and taper the ends into a crescent shape. Place onto a lightly greased, foil-lined baking sheet. Continue making the rest of the crescent cookies. Bake in a preheated oven at 325 degrees F for 20-25 minutes.

Cinnamon-Pecan Crescent Cookies

Remove from the oven and transfer the cookies to a wire rack to cool. In a bowl, sift the powdered sugar with the remaining ¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon. Gently cover the cookies in the cinnamon-sugar mixture and dust off the excess over the wire rack. Serve as is or package them in favor boxes.

Cinnamon-Pecan Crescent Cookies

Notes

  • Roll the dough into small balls and form them into little crescents as these cookies do puff up a little when baking.
  • Try the recipe for Mexican wedding cookies that we also baked for our blog.
  • Search our blog for other cookie recipes.

Pecan Sandies

Pecan Sandies

June 23: National Pecan Sandy Day

Packaged cookies are popular among poor college students—we ate them ourselves when they were served free at our dorm lounges and at school socials. Thanks to God’s providence, we now can afford quality ingredients (organic butter or gourmet vanilla) to replicate some of those desserts from our college days, like pecan sandies, a crumbly, nutty and buttery shortbread. We continue to share home-baked cookies with college students as part of our involvement in campus ministry, and we share the recipe for pecan sandies with readers of our blog for National Pecan Sandy Day.

Recipe

(Adapted from Taste of Home)

Ingredients

  • ½ cup (1 stick) butter, room temperature
  • ¼ cup sugar, granulated white
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla (we used Mexican vainilla)
  • 1 cup cake flour
  • ¾ cup pecan pieces
  • pecan halves for topping

Directions

In a large bowl, cream the butter with the sugar. Add the vanilla and stir thoroughly.  Gradually mix in the flour until well blended. Fold in the pecans. Refrigerate the cookie dough for at least 15 minutes.

Pecan Sandies

Pinch out one-inch balls from the dough, then flatten slightly. Place a pecan half in  the middle of each cookie. Set two inches apart on a lightly greased cookie sheet.  Bake in a preheated oven at 350 degrees F for 15-20 minutes or until the bottom edges are browned.  Remove from the oven and cool completely on a wire rack. Yield: About 1 ½ dozen.

Pecan Sandies

Pecan Tassies (Pecan Tarts)

pecan tassies

April 14: National Pecan Day

Pecan trees grow abundantly in Texas—it is the official state tree. There is even a grove on the college campus in Texas where Islander’s brother works.  When she visited his university, Islander gathered some raw nuts, hoping to use them as an ingredient in a recipe. But it was time consuming and messy to crack their tough shells.

Instead of picking pecans from a tree, picking up a package of pecans at the local grocery store is easier and convenient. The nuts are recipe-ready, like for this blog post about pecan tassies (also known as pecan tarts) in observance of National Pecan Day and National Pecan Month.

Recipe

(Adapted from The Pampered Chef)

Crust

  • ½ cup (1 stick) butter, softened
  • 3 ounces cream cheese
  • 1 cup flour

Filling

  • 2 tablespoons butter, melted
  • ¾ cup brown sugar
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 cup pecan pieces

Directions

To make the crust, mix the butter and cream cheese until smooth. Gradually add the flour to make a soft dough. Roll into a ball, cover with a plastic wrap and chill it for at least an hour to harden. Then divide the dough into one-inch balls. Flatten, press and shape the crusts in the wells of an ungreased muffin pan.

pecan tassies

To make the filling, combine the melted butter, brown sugar, beaten egg, vanilla and pecan pieces. Fill each crust with the pecan mixture. Bake in a preheated oven at 350 degrees F for 20-25 minutes or until light brown. Remove from the oven and cool for five minutes. Transfer the pecan tassies to a wire rack and cool completely.