Every year around the holidays, my cousin Katrina, goes into warrior baking mode. It’s two solid weekends of sugar, butter and flour. She will literally spend an entire weekend — just making dough. She freezes it and the next weekend she bakes — from dawn to dark. I’m not exaggerating! I think she makes about 15 different varieties every year – which makes my 2-3 types of cookies look like a truly anemic effort. This is Katrina’s recipe and it’s become a standard every Christmas. She calls them Pecan Pie Cookies. I call them fabulous!!!
The recipe starts with the cookie dough (of course). Creaming sugar and butter together, then adding the dry ingredients.
Then comes the filling: chopped pecans, brown sugar, cream and vanilla. *Sigh!*
To assemble the cookies, start by rolling the dough into a ball. Katrina says you can use your knuckle to make an indentation in the dough. I tried this, but my hands are too small to make a decent well and the dough stuck to my finger – so I used an old trick — I sprayed the back of a rounded measuring spoon with vegetable spray and pressed it into the cookies to hollow out the center.
Then I filled the cookies with the pecan mixture and… well… this is where I veered off her recipe a little. I sprinkled the cookies with fleur de sel — sea salt. Scott and I love the interplay of sweet with salty and those little pops mingled with the sugary cookie is outstanding!
And then there’s the bourbon glaze. I know. BOURBON GLAZE.
Just three ingredients: powdered sugar, bourbon and a dab of cream. Stir them together until smooth, then drizzle over the cooled cookies. With the crispy pecans, sweet, buttery cookie, pops of fleur de sel and the sweet, spiked glaze — these cookies have it all! Let the holidays begin!
Sea Salt Bourbon Pecan Cookies
- 1 cup brown sugar
- 3/4 cup butter , softened
- 1 egg
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 2 cups flour
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
For The Filling
- 1 cup chopped pecans
- 1/2 cup brown sugar
- 1/4 cup heavy cream
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- sea salt for sprinkling
- 1 cup powdered sugar
- 2 tablespoons bourbon
- 1 tablespoon heavy cream (1-2 teaspoons more if needed)
- Preheat the oven to 350°. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper and set aside.
- In a medium bowl, add all the ingredients for the filling. Stir to combine and set aside.
- In a large bowl, cream together the butter and sugar with a hand mixer. Add the egg and vanilla and mix to combine.
- In a smaller bowl, combine the flour, baking powder and salt -- whisk together to combine.
- Add half of the flour mixture to the butter mixture and mix on low speed until flour is incorporated. Add the remaining flour and mix until just combined. With your clean hands, shape the dough into 1 1/4" balls. Spray the back of a rounded teaspoon with vegetable spray and make an indentation in the cookie dough. Add one teaspoon of the pecan filling to the indentation. Sprinkle cookies with a pinch of fleur de sel. Bake for 8-12 minutes.
- Transfer cookies to a cooling rack.
- In a small bowl combine the powdered sugar, bourbon and heavy cream, stir until smooth and creamy. Drizzle the glaze over the cooled cookies. Let the cookies sit until the glaze has hardened and store in an airtight container, separated by parchment paper.