It’s December. And it’s wonderful because it means I get to bake and bake and bake — unapologetically. Because baking Christmas cookies has been a family tradition since I was a little girl, we’ve already got a pretty extensive cookie repertoire down. And because all of those cookies are not only utterly delicious, they remind me of the days we piled into my grandmother’s kitchen, pressing out the Wise Men’s camels and pushing hershey kisses into peanut butter blossoms, there isn’t a lot of room to expand on said cookie list.
However this past Thanksgiving, we stumbled upon a cookie that might finally make the coveted list.
The pecan pie cookie.
Seriously, this is the most perfect cookie ever created. I don’t know if it’s just me, but I’ve never successfully baked a pecan pie. OK, I think it probably is just me, but still, sometimes you want pie, but you don’t want to go to all the work to get said pie. Let’s face it, pecan pie, is kind of the drama queen of the dessert world.
Here’s the beauty about this little cookie. If you don’t want to make your own pie crust, you don’t have to, you can use a premade one. If you want to make your own pie crust, you can make it extra buttery, extra flaky, extra vanillay. You can do whatever your heart desires with this little cookie.
Just don’t skip the chocolate drizzle. It’s necessary — just trust me.
Vegan pecan pie cookies
(Makes two dozen)
For the crust:
3 cups all purpose flour
2 cup whole wheat pastry flour
2 tsp salt
1/8 cup sugar
3 sticks vegan butter (we use Earth Balance)
1 cup vegetable shortening
2 cup cold water
For the filling:
1/4 cup (or half a stick) of vegan butter, melted
1 cup pecans (halved or chopped)
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
1/3 cup corn syrup
1/4 cup pure maple syrup
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/3 cup vegan chocolate chips for drizzle (don’t skip the drizzle!)
For the crust, mix together the flours, sugar and salt. Stir in butter, vegetable shortening and cold water. Once blended, divide it into two balls, cover in plastic wrap and refrigerate for 15 minutes (makes rolling easier).
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. In a medium saucepan, combine vegan butter, brown sugar, corn syrup, maple syrup and salt. Cook on medium heat until the mixture starts to bubble. Stir in pecans. Remove from heat and set aside.
Take your pie crust out of the fridge and roll out until about 1/8-inch thick. Using a three-inch cookie cutter (I used one with fancy scalloped edges because it’s the first three-inch one I actually found), cut out shapes. Combine dough and roll out as necessary, until you have 24 circles. Fold the edges around the tiny crusts, so the pecan filling can «sit» in them.
Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and place crusts on sheet. Spoon filling onto cookie (not too much or it’ll run over), just enough to «fill» the spot. Bake for 10-12 minutes, or until edges are light golden brown. Remove and cool on a wire rack.
Once everything is cooled, microwave vegan chocolate chips in a ziplock bag (only took about 30 seconds in our microwave). Cut a tiny tip off the corner of the bag and use this to drizzle over cooled cookies. Allow chocolate drizzle to set (I placed in the fridge for about five minutes).
Take them everywhere and show them off, because not only are they delicious, they’re super cute too.
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