Thursday, October 16, 2008

Pecan Praline Cookies

Cookie Bookie Week
(Click here to see Monday's cookie on Serious Eats...)
With the cooling weather, there's just nothing better than a comfortable chair, a glowing fireplace, a cookie and a spooky story. Every day this week, I'm sharing a cookie and a few of my favorite October reads.... Today's Book: The Woman in White by Wilkie Collins
Considered the Father of the Detective Novel, Wilkie Collins weaves a fascinating tale of villainy, intrigue, deception, and suspense. In the style of Dickens, each character has such a clearly defined personality, that once he has entered the room, he is never forgotten. It makes for a spine-tingling 19th century read. And it certainly doesn't hurt that the electricity shut off in the middle of writing this post, leaving me thinking of scary stories in the pitch black of early morning.....
In The Woman in White, artist William Cartwright is hired to tutor two wealthy but orphaned sisters, Laura and Marian, who live in the care of their aged uncle. En route to their home, he encounters a ghostly figure in the shadows, a ragged and crazed woman dressed in white, purporting to have a secret. This secret is twisted intricately into the lives of all of the novel's characters. At the mansion, Cartwright almost immediately falls madly in love with the beautiful Laura, but she is already engaged to a deceitful Sir Percival Glyde. The marriage is miserable, and the brutal Sir Percival clearly has plans to murder Laura for her inheritance. In the meantime, the woman in white lurks in the woods, desperately trying to share her secret with the two sisters. Sir Percival organizes a hunt and captures the Woman in White, confining her to an insane asylum. The plucky sister Marion and artist Cartwright are left to unravel the mystery together, hoping to save Laura from an unhappy marriage and possible murder, and discover the surprisingly intimate connection between the Woman in White, the sisters' family, and Sir Percival Glyde. It's a captivating and suspenseful read, made even more so by this spooky time of year. Today's treat to eat while reading is a light and crispy brown sugar cookie, covered with a gooey praline frosting and crunchy toasted pecans. Its delicate, crispy texture combined with a candy like praline topping makes this one worthy indulgence. So crack open your novels and your pecans, and get cracking on cookies and bookies.
Money Saving Tips: Pecans are pricey, so I've reduced the amount in this recipe by 1/3. Toast your nuts so that they deliver the maximum amount of flavor. For the quickest toasting, place them on a paper towel and microwave them in 15-30 second increments until they are fragrant. Condensed milk can be substituted for the cream; just leave out the powdered sugar if you do.
Pecan Praline Cookies adapted from Martha Stewart
Estimated Cost: $5.50 for 30 cookies
1/2 cup butter
1 and 1/4 cup brown sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 egg
1 and 2/3 cup flour (I used half whole wheat)
1 and 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
For topping:
1/2 cup cream
1 cup brown sugar
1 cup powdered sugar
2/3 cup chopped toasted pecans
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Cream butter and brown sugar in a large bowl; add vanilla and egg. Stir in flour, powder, soda, and salt. Dough will be dry. Roll dough into one inch balls and place on ungreased cookie sheets. Press dough balls flat with a glass. (You can dip your glass bottom in flour if the cookies stick.) Bake for 6-10 minutes or until just lightly browned. Meanwhile, bring cream, brown sugar and pecans to a light boil in a small saucepan. Boil for two minutes. Stir in pecans. Allow glaze to cool and thicken slightly. Drizzle over cookies.
Coming Tomorrow: More Cookie Bookie
Soft Spicy Ginger Cookies

70 comments:

Mary said...

This is one spectacular looking cookie!

Andrea said...

Prudy, these cookies look so delicious, perfect for those holiday cookie trays! That is great that the chocolate buttermilk cookies got featured on serious eats :) It really is a gem of a recipe and I hope lots of people get to enjoy it since you featured it! This book also sounds very interesting, I will have to see if I can get a copy. I'm loving your cookie bookie week!

Maria said...

What a fun week! I look forward to every cookie! This one didn't let me down, it looks fabulous!!

Beth said...

I love praline - these look and Im sure taste great. Yum!

Proud Italian Cook said...

Oh MY!!!! I can't even talk! I want one of those now!

Patsyk said...

I'm loving your cookie week! Of course, my hips don't love you so much right now. ;)

Tami said...

Oh,My! Those look yummy! A couple of those and cup of coffee...that's just what I need! :)

Your pictures always look fantastic!

Marjie said...

I want the praline frosting! I'll take the cookie with it, of course.

I put up a picture of many of my kids playing a board game with Thor for you.

Cathy at Wives with Knives said...

Oh, goodness, do these cookies look delicious. I was planning to make sugar cookies but you changed my mind.

The Renouf Family said...

I just finished this book. It is an incredible read. I really think it is one of my favorites. It spooks me just enough every time.
Your cookies look great. I think I could eat ten of them for breakfast.

Mary Ann said...

Prudy,
I am thinking that maybe you should start another blog where you just review books. I love reading your synopsis.
These cookies look fabulous. They remind me of roaming the streets of Savannah and going in and out of all the candy stores, sampling praline!

HoneyB said...

What an terrific looking cookie Prudy!

anudivya said...

The book reviews seem interesting, I am gonna borrow one of them from my library.
Cookies... I am speechless!

Tanji said...

That's it! I'm heading to the used bookstore with my list from Prudy. I'll be sure to drive carefully as I'm sure to be dreaming of cookies the whole way. Yummy!

Michal said...

oh.my.gosh. i want these right now. for breakfast. prudy, these really speak to my heart. the sun will not set without me tasting these cookies! and i've got to read the book, too. i vaguely remember that one of my favorite spooky movies from childhood was woman in white, but i couldn't tell you the plot anymore. i wonder if it's based on this book? i think that disney made the movie. anyway, i'm going to hotfoot it over to the library.

VeggieGirl said...

Wonderful novels, and BEYOND wonderful cookies :0)

Catherine said...

Prudy,
I love this book! After I read for the first time, I was convinced that Wilkie Collins was a literary genius! Such a good read, it's one of my favorites, especially for this time of year!
The cookies look great, too!

Prudy said...

Michal:
There is a spooky Disney? movie called Lady in White, not from this story. The BBC made a movie about 10 years ago from this book that I love it. So much so that I own it but I can't watch it alone. It's chilling.

gigi said...

Oh my, oh my! Got some fresh Georgia pecans in the freezer right now! Mom and Dad Griffis have pecan trees in the yard of the house they use to live in. They rent it out now but still go over to pick up the pecans! Mom will shell them and then give them out to her children! I'm glad to be one of her children and will take all I can get. I like pecans in everything! I will try this recipe today when the girls get out of school. Love the book too!

Vera said...

OMG!!! I love your blog-nourishment for the body and the mind all at once. I can't wait to see what new treat you post each day.

gigi said...

Hey, I'm back again. That's really cool about Serious Eats! Have you ever fixed eggplant? I got a real nice one at the farmers market today and now what do I do with it??

Rosie said...

Hi Prudy, this sure is a fun week! Those cookies look divine!!

Rosie x

Bridgett said...

These little cookies look fabulous!

Sara said...

Love the cookies, and can't wait to read the book.

Deborah said...

the cookies sound delicious, but I just want to spoon some of that topping straight into my mouth!

Kirsten said...

Oh my gosh, those cookies look to die for! I NEED to get my hands on one soon--do you ship???

Gaengy said...

I am excited to go to the library and pick up the book! These cookies look so good! I will give them a try. We just love love love the rice and bean burgers! I make them weekly now! Thanks for all the great recipes!

Cathy said...

Prudy, in addition to your many other talents, you should really consider writing book summaries for the back covers of books. The publishers would love you -- their sales would take off! Your description of this book makes me want to go find it RIGHT NOW, and I may well even wake my napping baby to go do it!

The cookies look great, too! My hubs in particular would LOVE these. I have to check to see if my sugar-boiling probation is over yet, and if it is, I'm making these this weekend!

Thanks for the yeast tip, Prudy! "Baby bottle warm" really helps, much more than the "105 - 115 degrees" that they state on the package. I'm trying the buns this weekend!

Candy said...

Love these! And all the great information!

Yasmeen said...

Thats one sinfully good cookie:)

Peter M said...

That gooey topping has slayed me. I'll give up my Speedo for a shipment of these!

The Blonde Duck said...

Prudy,

You never cease to amaze me. Truly. I think you're the best cook in the world. I think you're the best blogger in the world. I think you're so pretty and cute and sweet and kind and intelligent...

Can I have a cookie?

Summer said...

Those look delicious! I am so going to make these! I love anything with the word praline!

Aggie said...

Oh my...that is a perfect looking cookie!

MK and Co. said...

This cookie looks so delicious. And of course I love your choice of books today. Women in White is an absolute favorite of mine. The characters are remarkable and I just love Marian Halcombe...and I dare I say that I love the villain too, Count Fosco! I can't help it. He really is such an intriguing personality. Cookie Bookie week has been fantastic Prudy! Great Work!

Janssen said...

Wow, those look amazing. I'm impressed!

The Cat's Pajamas said...

Holy.Canoli. First, the book sounds like something I might be able to read without scaring the death out of me. Funnily enough, I read a TON of suspense... but it's real life suspense. No ghosts, etc. Oh, I just chills!
Secondly, those cookies look fabulous!
~Cat

Judy said...

This is one of my favorite books, one of the first real mystery books, if not the first. And, if the cookies taste as good as the book reads, they would be terrific.

Clumbsy Cookie said...

Oh cute Prudy! They're like little individual peacan pies!

Girl Japan said...

Oh P- embarrassingly I've never read the book bu saw the MOVIE version of it- I'm sure hardly not the same...

I bookmarked this cookie = ) Have a quick question, do you allow the Praline to cool before topping the cookie? I'd love to make these ahead if that is possible.. You are an scrumptious baker an inspiration... these would make wonderful xmax treats too!!!!

Darius T. Williams said...

LOVING this! Really - I am. Looks great!

-DTW
www.everydaycookin.blogspot.com

Suzie said...

I don't want this week to end! What a delicious looking cookie.

Kevin said...

Those cookies with the gooey praline topping look so good!

Debinhawaii said...

I read the book years and years ago--an excellent suspenseful read. The cookies look so good--love the gooey topping!

Natashya said...

This looks like another interesting book. You have given me lots of ideas for when the snow flies.
The cookies look so yummy, perfect with a cup of tea.

~Holly said...

These cookies look absolutely fabulous! I love this time of the year . . . it is my favorite!! :)

Marie said...

Oh gosh, I am loving all these cookies and bookies Erin!!! You are amazing, did you know that???

Veronica said...

Prudy, praline is one of my favorites-these sound like a delicious cookie...and I'm suggesting that book to my book group-we like to do at least one mystery like book-this one sounds good!

hot garlic said...

They look SO incredibly tasty and chewy. This is so the next cookie I need to try, I'd be crazy not to. And the photo is stunning lady! I will have to catch up further on the books, but what a great idea!

Yes, we're back and had a lovely time minus some craziness that always ensues. Hilarious your kids got such a kick out of the PSM story!! Gave me a laugh to think of them enjoying it so much!

mikky said...

what a great treat... perfect with your interesting book... :)

Peggy said...

You are the best cookie baker ever! Those look really really good. I will have to try those. On another note, I made the Hepburn brownies last night and they were not good - flat as a pancake and the bittersweet chocolate was overwhelming to me. oh well. Where did I go wrong???????

Lisa magicsprinkles said...

These look sooo good. My mouth is watering. I also loved your book selection. It sounds like the types of books I usually read. Thanks for sharing this!

Dee said...

Ok, this just beat the PB cookies! Pecans are hideously expensive here, so I have to be very discerning with the recipes. These look amazing, Prudy.

Prudy said...

Girl Japan:
I LOVE the movie version too. So no apologies. Yes, the praline has to cool and thicken a bit. Just enough to form a puddle and not run off your cookies. I'd say about 10 minutes.

Grace said...

wowza. this may be my favorite so far--pralines are magical. i for one don't want your cookie week to end. :)

Amanda said...

Those looks absolutely delicious!

Prudy said...

Thanks Tanji. It is possible to drive safe whilst dreaming of cookies. I do it all the time.

Prudy said...

Thanks and welcome Vera.

Prudy said...

Gigi:
I love eggplant! Love it. One of my favorite ways is just to peel it, slice it in rounds and toss it on the grill with lots of balsamic and olive oil. When it comes off, you can drizzle it with more dressing and eat it just like that, or toss it with some pasta.

Prudy said...

Gaengy:
I'm so glad you like the black bean burgers. Thanks for reminding me that I love them too. I'm having them again soon.

Emily Rose said...

I'll have to look for a copy of that book- it sounds right up my alley! I did an independent study on Dickens my senior year of college- I can never get enough, so if this is similar- I'm in! My mom makes a cookie called a praline thumbprint for Christmas- they are similar to these- but yours look so much richer!!

nicole said...

Ohhhh, I will be making these little beauties soon. Thanks!

Pamela said...

I'm just getting caught up on my reader and had to say that WOW! These cookies look magnificent. If I made them, I would eat them all.

Allie said...

Love the gooey topping makes the cookie different and unique. Keep them coming!

bakingblonde said...

I made these with my sister, OMG they are so good, I wish I had my camera so I could blog about them. They were so tasty and went over very well at the baby shower!! Thanks.

bethanyjg said...

Beautiful! They look wonderful.

Katetoo said...

I have a question. Your directions say to bring the cream, brown sugar and pecans to a light boil. It then says to stir in pecans. Should that be bring the cream, brown sugar, and powdered sugar to a light boil and then stir in pecans?

Adrienne said...

As an unofficial tester for your future cookbook, I have two comments. The dough for these cookies is pretty much the greatest thing ever. I like cookie dough, I won't deny it. But after daintily licking my fingertip, I went into a crazed state of cookie dough gobbling. It wasn't pretty. But then when the cookies were baked, they were just kinda THERE. Never fear, the caramel sauce saved it and then some. I made these twice in one week. Yeah. I had the same question as the above poster about the sauce, so I used a caramel sauce recipe I had from Better Homes and Gardens October 2010 magazine. It took me 45 minutes and never did thicken up. Tasted great though. Wish I could have understood better what you meant in your directions. But I'm a total candy-making neophyte so I wanted precise instructions.

Margaret said...

Hi ~ You have powdered sugar listed among the ingredients, but in the baking directions there is no mention of where to include it. Instead, brown sugar is mentioned twice. Is one of these times intended to be powdered sugar instead?

I made them and followed the directions exactly - putting in brown sugar twice (1 + 1/4 cup creamed w/ butter, and 1 cup in the pour-over sauce) and they were rather sweet. Don't know if they are intended to be THAT sweet. Maybe using powdered sugar in one of them was intended.

Also, you instruct to boil the pecans in the saucepan with the brown sugar and cream, then mention adding them after the cream & sugar have been brought to a light boil. Which is it?

Please inform on both. Thanks.

Anonymous said...

Hello, of course this aгticle is truly fastidious аnd I
haѵe leаrned lot of thіngѕ from it concernіng blogging.
thanκs.

Also vіsіt my site - buy toys