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Saturday, February 22, 2014

Keeper: Pecan Lace Sandwich Cookies with Orange Buttercream

It was my boyfriend's very close friend's birthday this weekend and in lieu of buying him something Twilight related (and trust me, I looked for Edward Cullen keychains everywhere), I decided to bake him something.  I searched for Twilight themed recipes but the plethora of white cake cupcakes with white chocolate ganache or white fondant hiding a red berry filling that oozes out (like blood, get it?!?!) but they were a little low brow even for me and frankly just didn't sound very good.  If you've seen any of my baked goods, I definitely aim for taste over aesthetics.


This recipe was pretty simply to make and the results are really quite pretty and refined looking.  Of course mine are significantly less attractive than the picture in the recipe:


but they look pretty darn good from something made by me.  These did require two batches to come out successfully, but that was 100% my fault for not following the directions closely enough.  Be warned that these cookies spread, and if you're used to making chocolate chip and similar cookies like I am, you are going to be really surprised by how little dough you put on the sheet per cookie and how far apart you need to place them.  With chocolate chip cookies, you generally scoop them by the heaping tablespoon and I can always fit 12 to a sheet easily.  I tried fitting twelve of these to a sheet the first time and using a heaping teaspoon as opposed to a scant teaspoon, and this is what happened:

one giant cookie... something went wrong here.

so I am going to stress as much as I can use a teeny, tiny amount of dough per cookie and space them very far apart.  I probably went overboard the second time with cautiousness but I baked these on four separate sheets, and then only made around 14 sandwich cookies.

Seriously though, tiny.

TINY.

stirring in the coarsely ground pecans

okay these are looking much better in the oven this time

actual separate cookies! a miracle.

pairing them up by size and putting some buttercream on the designated bottom halves

final product!


Pecan Lace Sandwich Cookies 
with Orange Buttercream

Ingredients:

Cookies - 
  • 1/2 stick of butter, room temperature
  • 1/3 cup of sugar
  • 2 Tablespoons light corn syrup
  • 1/3 cup of all purpose flour
  • 1 cup of coarsely ground pecans (about 4 ounces) [GE: I weighed out 4 ounces of whole pecans, put them into a big freezer bag and smashed them up using a kitchen mallet thingy.  This was easier than grinding them and then measuring out a cup.]
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Filling - 
  • 1 cup of powdered sugar
  • 1/2 stick of butter, room temperature [GE: You're doing this by hand so very, very room temperature is necessary]
  • 1 Tablespoon orange juice [GE: You're using grated orange peel so you might as well squeeze that guy up and use fresh orange juice]
  • 3/4 teaspoon grated orange peel 
Directions:
  1. Make the cookies: Preheat the over to 350 and line two [GE: or five] baking sheets with parchment paper.  Position the rack in the center of the oven.
  2. Stir the butter, sugar and corn syrup in a heavy medium saucepan over low heat until melted and smooth.
  3. Turn heat up to medium-high and bring to a boil, removing from heat once the mixture has reached its boiling point.
  4. Off heat, stir in the flour.
  5. Add the nuts and vanilla and stir to combine.
  6. Drop teeny, tiny teaspoons of dough onto your prepared sheet, spacing 2 inches apart.
  7. Bake 1 sheet at a time until bubbling and lightly browned, about 11 minutes [GE: Mine only took 8-9 minutes.  Depends on your oven and the size of your cookies but you'll know when they're brown and bubbling.]
  8. Make the filling: Whisk all ingredients together in a medium bowl until smooth. [GE: My butter wasn't soft enough which made this very difficult and annoying.  Make sure your butter is super soft.]
  9. Assemble: I like to go through and match up like-sized and like-shaped cookies with each other first and put them in pairs, turning one over, to make this process easy.  Once this is done, spread 1 teaspoon of the filling onto the bottom cookie of each pair.  Spreading is important because these are thing and lacy so if you press them together to get the buttercream to reach the edges, it will start seeping out some of the holes.
  10. Top with your second cookies and press lightly to adhere.  Can be made 2 days ahead - store between sheets of waxed paper in airtight container at room temperature.



These were absolutely delicious (I had a lot to try, there was a whole sheet of them that failed) and very different.  They also are surprisingly sturdy and transport well, so they'd be great to bring to a party or holiday, and I doubt you'd run into the issue of someone else bringing the same thing!

2 comments:

  1. oh my goodness, megan these look so delicious! what a cool mix of flavors too!

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    Replies
    1. They were! You should definitely try them sometime since they were so easy, just don't make the mistakes I made :-)

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