Pecan Lace Sandwich Cookies

I am a prolific baker and love to try new recipes and tweak old ones, always searching for the best cake or cookie recipe this side of the Mississippi.  As the holidays approach, I really ramp up the baking and testing as I try to find new recipes worthy of the Thanksgiving and Christmas tables.  Since this is all counterintuitive to maintaining my desired weight, I have to find outlets for whatever I bake—usually foisting the results of my baking on family, friends, and coworkers.  Heaven help me when I retire and I don’t have my office and lab mates around.  I picture myself handing out cookies on street corners!

Several years ago, a neighbor exchanged cookies at Christmas time with me.  She had found the recipe in Bon Appétit and made the sandwich cookie which had a soft vanilla orange filling.  Chocoholic that I am, I thought the cookie would be fabulous with a firm chocolate filling.  I simply substituted some melted bittersweet chocolate which firmed up nicely when cooled, and a new star was introduced to the holiday table.  It is crisply toothsome, chocolate-y, and very much enjoyed by my children who have inherited my chocolate gene.

A few years ago, I put together a family favorites cookbook for my children, and I am very particular about which recipes qualify to make “Fran’s Favs,” both in the family cookbook and now here on this blog.  Needless to say, this recipe has a place of honor in both.  Do I have to say it?  These cookies are frantastic!

One year ago:  Old-fashioned Butter Cookies (Roll-out Sugar Cookies)

Pecan Lace Sandwich Cookies

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Ingredients

  • 1/4 cup (1/2 stick) unsalted butter
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 2 tbl. light corn syrup
  • 1/3 cup flour
  • 1 cup coarsely ground pecans (about 4 oz.)
  • 1 tsp. vanilla
  • 1 cup chocolate chips of your choice—bittersweet, semisweet, milk, white or butterscotch (I prefer Ghirardelli bittersweet chocolate.)

Directions for Cookies

Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper.  Stir butter, sugar, and corn syrup in heavy medium saucepan over low heat until melted and smooth.  Bring to boil over medium-high heat, stirring constantly.  Remove from heat.  Stir in flour.  Add nuts and vanilla; stir to combine.

Drop dough by teaspoonfuls onto prepared baking sheets, spacing 2” apart.  They will spread quite a bit so don’t put more than a teaspoon or they will spread too much and run into each other.

Bake cookies, 1 sheet at a time in middle of oven, at 350o F until bubbling and lightly browned, about 7 to 8 minutes.

Cool on sheets 10 minutes.  Transfer to rack; cool completely.

Directions for Chocolate Filling

Melt chocolate chips in either microwave or on stovetop, stirring until smooth.  Allow chocolate to firm up to a spreadable consistency.  You don’t want the chocolate to be so loose that it immediately drips through the cookie’s holes.

Spread 1 teaspoon filling onto bottom of one cookie.  Top with second cookie, bottom side down, pressing lightly to adhere.  Do not press too hard because filling will ooze out of the “lace.”  Repeat with remaining cookies.  Makes approx. 18 sandwiches (36 single cookies).

Can be made two days ahead.  Store between sheets of waxed paper in airtight container at room temperature.

Fran’s Notes

The lace cookies are delicate, so handle carefully.  Once you add the filling to make the sandwich, the firmed-up chocolate makes them less fragile.

Source:  Adapted from a December, 2004, Bon Appétit recipe via my friend Donna

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