Perfectly Pecan Praline Cookies

Total Time:
1 hr 20 min
Prep:
25 min
Cook:
55 min

Yield:
4 dozen
Level:
Easy

Ingredients
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 2 tablespoons water
  • 1 cup toasted pecans, finely chopped, plus 2 tablespoons for sprinkling
  • 1 cup butter, at room temperature
  • 1 cup brown sugar, packed
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 4 ounces white chocolate
Directions

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

Praline:

In a small heavy saucepan over medium heat, stir together constantly the sugar and water. Cook until boiling for 2 1/2 to 3 minutes or until the syrup is golden brown in color. It is important to remove the saucepan from the heat just as the sugar begins to darken to an amber color. Remove from the heat and stir in 1 cup pecans. Carefully pour the hot mixture onto a parchment lined sheet tray. Let cool until completely firm. Transfer to a plastic bag, crush with a rolling pin, and reserve for the cookie dough.

Cookies:

In a large bowl, cream the butter and sugars together with a hand mixer. Add the eggs, 1 at a time, beating well after each addition. Add vanilla extract and beat until combined.

Stir in the flour and baking soda and mix until incorporated. Fold in the reserved crushed praline until combined. Drop 1 tablespoon or a small ice cream scoop of the dough onto a parchment paper lined cookie sheet. Bake for 13 to 15 minutes or until the edges are slightly browned.

While the cookies are baking, melt the chocolate in a double boiler and stir until smooth. When the cookies are done drizzle the white chocolate over the cookies and sprinkle with the chopped pecans.

A viewer, who may not be a professional cook, provided this recipe. The Food Network Kitchens chefs have not tested this recipe and therefore, we cannot make representation as to the results.


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    I totally agree with franmangino_6885625; actually they should NOT look like a cookies at all. My recipe is almost EXACTLY like hers, rolled into balls, pressed into mini muffin tins and filled with pecan filling. Sending you and yours Happy, Healthy and Peacefull Holiday Season!
     

     

     
    The recipe is great tasting. I followed the advice of the former candy maker for the praline addition. Removing the cookies from the parachment paper was rather difficult so I will try spraying as well. But all in all the family is happy and the milk is gone :
    My Aunt Margaret's old recipie is far better. Dough - 3 sticks of butter, 1lb of cream cheese, 1/4C of sugar, 3 Cups of flour. Mix this as pie dough and form into walnut size balls. Flour on your hands help in rolling the balls. Press in minature muffin pan shaping up the sides. Filling-3/4 C brown sugar, 1 egg, 2T butter, 1/2 teaspoon vanilla & 1 1/4 C chopped pecans. Fill the shells, top off with pecans and bake at 350 degrees for 25-30 minutes. Cool in pan till the cups come loose. Finish cooling on a rack. These were so much tastier and no rolling out with a rolling pin. Merry Christmas.
    I just made these cookies and they are excellent. I have a few tips for you on this recipe that I think will help. I owned a bakery and candy shop, so the praline part can be tricky....but this will make it failproof.
     
    Change the recipe to NO water and 2/3 cup sugar for the praline part. Get a heavy saucepan on medium-high heat and put in 1 tablespoon of the sugar. Stir with a heatproof spatula until the sugar is melted. Add another tablespoon to it and continue to stir. After the first 3-4 tablespoons are in and you have a little liquid sugar going...let it start to get a slight amber color. Then continue to add sugar a little at a time until all the sugar is incorporated and an amber color....then add the toasted pecans. (Don't have the heat on the highest temp or you may get a burned caramel flavor). Hopefully this helps. Also don't have the butter get too soft. Just where you can easily push down on the butter with your thumb.
    I know some people have said some bad things about these cookies in the way you make them. Well, all I can say is, if you want to test how good your baking skills are then these cookies are the perfect test. I messed up the first time but the second time was all mine. I took these cookies to my job and they thought i had got these cookies a some fancy high class cookie store. The brown sugar and water part was the test once you get that part its a home run from there. Just remember that you have to pay attention to the sugar and water part cause once it start to thicken you better have those toast nuts ready to mix in and quick to lay out on the paper. Make these cookies ladies and you will hook the man of your dreams. If a man make these cookies for his lady she will be his slave of love for life. Oh make sure you have a glass of milk when you eat one of these cookies or some water. These are cookies of love. Thanks Paula and the Young lady Grandmother for sharing this recipe. TAKE CARE YALL!!!
    I was excited to make these after seeing them on the show. But when I went online to get the recipe and read the "praline problems", I got a bit nervous.
     
    So I cheated a bit and just used a combination of 1/2-3/4 c. Heath English Toffee bits and 1/2 c. finely chopped toasted pecans, which yielded (I assume) a similar flavor without the need to make the praline at all! I also found I needed to add an extra 1/4 c. flour.
     
    The end result was great; they are (as Kristi already claimed) an "amazing cookie"! Everyone loved them! They definitely earned a spot as one of our new "favorites"!
    I saw this on TV and printed off recipe. I failed the first try at my praline so I read the reviews. I followed the reviews and praline came about awesome. Actual cook was terrible. I added extra flour to help in speading too thin, but did not help. Way too thin. Once I out them on the rack to cool, they instantly turned hard and unedible. Waste of time and ingredients. Wish it came out better for me :(
    I saw the Cookie Swap last night and these looked delicious so we whipped up some this morning. While my sugar following this recipe kept turning back to sugar i found that it was easier to caramelize the sugar without water and let it turn amber this way. The small pan was definitely needed but these turned out so good that we didn't even use the white chocolate. This recipe made over 2 dozen.
    I just made these cookies and thanks to the advice of others they came out well.
     
    I doubled the amount of sugar and water for the praline part and used high heat. My sugar started to become amber in more like 6 minutes. My dough need a little more flour so the cookies wouldn't spread out as much. I did do one thing wrong because I didn't read carefully. The recipe says to "Fold" the praline into the dough. I put the pralines in the stand up mixer with the dough and the pecans lost some of their coating.
     

     
    Also, you have to be really on the ball with the praline part. Have your pecans already toasted before you even start boiling the sugar. And do not walk away from it. Overall they are a sweet and buttery cookie.
     
    This is an amazing cookie. Thanks to the reviews, and the helpful hint on turning up the temperature to melt the sugar, this cookie the best cookie I've ever had! Well worth it. It took me three tries of ruining the sugar before coming online to read the reviews and figured out how to make it! Thank you!
    Thanks Carla for your tip on melting sugar- Thanks also to Jenn and the other readers who suggested that I double the sugar for more sugar crunch- I had no problems at all making these cookies and they are awesome. I gave one to my girlfriend who immediately demanded the recipe. This is a keeper!
    I tried to make this recipe two nights ago and got the sugar mess many alluded to in the comments. I was so angry! Only after reading Carla's advice did I decide to try again last night. Having the heat up higher was apparently all I needed. Cookies came out well, though I think if I made them again I would make more sugar syrup or use less pecans, to have more candy crunch.
     

     
    Carla, I love you! :-)
    Tina, I learned the hard way also. I don't think anybody makes praline right the first time, it's tricky but once you get it right once, you got it. The heaviness of the pot, has nothing to do with it. White sugar needs a med to med-high heat to melt (not low or you'll get the crusty white mess because the heats not high enough to melt the sugar). Interesting, Paula hasn't made praline otherwise she would have known this. Still love her. Put sugar in pan, add the water , it helps the sugar to melt a little faster but it's not necessary if your heat is right. If it's not melting within a few minuts turn up the heat, you can always turn it down. Stir constantly. When it's a praline golden brown it's done. Once you take it off the heat it starts to harden so you have to work fast. The fun thing about the praline; if you mess up you can put it back on the heat and liquify it but you have to be careful not to burn it. :)
    The same thing that happened to paula happened to me. I tried again with the suggestion about not adding the water until the sugar melted and turned amber but as soon as I did it hardened. I contintued cooking and then it softened but then ended up doing the same thing as the first time around. Will someone please explain what i'm doing wrong. Is the heat too high? Please help as I'd like to actually complete the cookies.
    Horrible waste of time and ingredients. The whole
     
    sugary mess had to be thrown away.
    I didn't have any problems making these cookies. At first the batter seemed a little thick but it came together eventually. I baked mine for 13 minutes and they were perfect. I made some with white chocolate and praline on top and I also made some plain with nothing on top. I personally prefer them plain but they were delicious both ways.
     

     
    My only problem was I couldn't keep my fingers out of the batter!!
    I tried to melt the sugar by itself but was unsuccessful. I squirted a glob of corn syrup (2 tsp maybe?) into the hot sugar and put in the water. The sugar melted almost immediately and took only seconds to turn light amber. After that everything worked great. I am in central AZ, which is pretty dry right now, and had the cookies dry out overnight even when stored in a plastic bag. The taste was still good, though. If you are in a desert climate then I recommend cooking maybe 11-12 minutes instead of 12-15 like the recipe said. Paula lives in Savannah, GA, and her house is on a river, so it was surely much more humid when she was cooking these for her show than it was at my house!
    I use this method to make another wonderful cookie called Butter Crunch. I would certainly increase the sugar to 2/3 cup then cook the sugar over med. low heat stirring constantly until it turns into a golden brown syrup BEFORE adding the water and bringing it to a boil. The sugar will lump as it begins to melt but be patient and keep stirring. It will all melt. When I do this I pour the syrup onto a buttered cookie sheet and when it has cooled I crush the hardened sugar syrup and use it in my cookies.
    My first batch of sugar syrup also turned white like Paula's did without coming to a lovely amber color. I decided to try again. I stirred gently a few times, not contantly, until the sugar melted and then left it alone to bubble. However, after 3 minutes it had not turned amber in color, but I mixed it in with the toasted pecans anyway. There was not enough sugar syrup to cover the full cup of pecans. The finished cookies tasted like a pecan cookie and I could not discern the praline part in the finished cookie. The cookies are just o.k. and I don't think worth the multiple steps to make hese.
    I tried this recipe.......got a small heavy pot to cook sugar and water in. My sugar came out just like Paula's did on the show. The heavy smaller pan did not help. The recipe says Food Network has not tested. They need to test recipes before they put them on this site. Oh well, I just through out the pecans. I'll start over with a new recipe. Happy Cooking.
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