I’ve been in a bit of a Christmas cookie rut, but thanks to Chicago Magazine, I have an interesting Christmas cookie to share. In fact, it just might be the best snowball type cookie ever! The recipe is Sandra Holl’s Maple-Pecan Cookies, and it’s featured in the December issue in an article about Nielsen-Massey vanilla.
There were a couple of things that drew me to this recipe. First, it’s from the pastry chef at Floriole, one of my favorite bakeries in town. Second, because I’m on a pasture butter kick and it seemed perfect for showcasing it. And finally, because my husband recently brought back a bunch of Berdoll pecans from Austin. They’re so good! I miss Texas pecans.
Here’s the recipe as I made it. The original recipe didn’t call for toasting the pecans, so you can skip that if you prefer. I always like them toasted. The flavors of the toasted pecans, orange, vanilla and maple were just perfect.
- 2 sticks (232 grams) good quality butter, unsalted (I used lightly salted), room temperature
- 1/2 cup powdered sugar, plus more as needed for rolling
- Zest of half an orange (I used 2 teaspoons and would not use more)
- 2 tablespoons plus 2 teaspoons maple syrup
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1 2/3 cup all-purpose flour (I used 250 grams)
- 1 1/2 cups ground pecans, toast before grinding (140 grams)
- With a hand-held mixer, beat the butter and powdered sugar until creamy. Beat in the orange zest, maple syrup, vanilla and salt.
- By hand, stir in the flour until fully blended, then stir in the pecans.
- Cover bowl and chill dough for about 30 minutes.
- Using a rounded tablespoon OR a medium size cookie scoop, scoop out 24 rounds.
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F and bake cookies for 20 minutes or until they are golden.
- I baked the cookies in a convection toaster oven and they were done in 18 minutes.
- Remove cookies from the tray and let cool on a wire rack for 15 minutes. Roll cookies in reserved powdered sugar.