Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
In a small bowl, combine the pecans and flour. In a small saucepan, combine the butter, sugar, and corn syrup. Bring to a boil. Remove from heat and stir the dry ingredients into a pan. Transfer the batter to a bowl and stir occasionally until it thickens into a dough and is cool enough to handle, about 25 minutes.
With moistened hands, roll the dough into various size balls, depending on whether you're making cookies, cups or coronets (see below). Place on ungreased baking sheets, 3 to 7 inches apart, depending on size-they spread quite a bit. Bake about 12 minutes, or until the active bubbling subsides. Place the baking sheet on rack and let cool until the cookies are firm enough to lift with a flexible metal spatula but are still malleable, 3 to 5 minutes. Working quickly, mold each into shape and set on a wire rack to cool completely. If the cookies get too cool and brittle to mold, put the try back in the oven for a minute to soften.
To make 9 dessert bowls: With moistened hands, mold each ball using a rounded tablespoon of dough. Place only 2 balls on the ungreased baking sheet. Have 2 small soup bowls measuring 4 1/2 to 5-inches across the top ready by the oven. Follow the baking instruction above. When set but still malleable, lift the cookies, one at a time, and place each in a bowl, nutty, bumpy side up. Gently press the bottom to flatten. The sides will ruffle prettily. Wipe the excess butter off the baking sheet and continue with the remaining dough. If you have more than 1 baking sheet, stagger the baking so that you can mold 1 tray while the other is in the oven.
Fill with butterscotch ice cream, pumpkin mousse, bananas and cream, or anything that strikes your fancy and goes well with pecans.
To make 9 ice cream cones: Follow the baking instructions above for dessert bowls, but when you lift a cookie off the baking sheet, roll it into a cone with the nutty, bumpy side facing out, and hold it for a few seconds to set. Lay it on the cooling rack, seam side down, and place a cylindrical object, such as a pill bottle, in the opening to set until you roll the next cookie.
Fill with scoops of any flavor ice cream or sorbet that complements pecans.
To make 18 coronets: With moistened hands, mold rounded teaspoons of the dough into balls. Place about 9 balls on an ungreased baking sheet. Follow the baking instructions for ice-cream cones; you're making a smaller version of the same. Repeat with a second tray.
Fill with mousse, ice cream, or berries and cream. Place a little dab of cream on the plate to anchor the coronets, and place 1 or 2 coronets on each plate with fruit sauce or hot fudge spilling out of the opening.
To make 24 cookies: With moistened hands, mold level teaspoons of dough into balls. Place about 12 balls on an ungreased baking sheet. Follow the instructions above. When the cookies are set but still flexible, transfer to a cooling rack. Repeat with a second tray.
To make 24 cigarettes: Follow the baking instructions for cookies, but when you lift a cookie off the baking sheet, roll it around a chopstick or the handle of a wooden spoon. Lay it on the cooling rack, seam side down. If the cookies get too brittle to mold, put the baking sheet back in the oven for a minute to soften them. To dip the ends in melted chocolate, immerse 1 end of a cookie, then the other, shake off the excess chocolate, and dip the end into a small bowl of grated chocolate.
Lay it on a sheet pan lined with parchment or waxed paper. When all the cookies are dipped, place the tray in the refrigerator for 5 to 10 minutes, just until the chocolate sets.
Recipe courtesy of Peggy Cullen