Yield: about 2 dozen large cookies
“Back to Baking”, pp. 36
It was time to finally use the pecans I had at home and try making these pecan lace cookies. I wasn’t quite sure what lace cookies were and upon some investigating discovered that they are delicate and thin cookies with little holes in them due to how they spread out as they bake. Since I like pecans, oats and am getting used to the idea of dried cranberries, I thought it was worth a shot.
- ¾ cup sugar
- ½ cup unsalted butter
- ⅓ cup whipping cream
- 2 tablespoons honey
- 1 cup rolled oats
- 1 cup chopped pecans (chopped to the size of oats)
- ½ cup coarsely chopped dried cranberries
These cookies were fun to make. I did not have a thermometer handy and had to improvise so I stopped cooking the mixture until a caramel colour was reached. Of course, it is very hard to guess the temperature of a mixture by just looking at it, and in hindsight based on the texture of my cookies I suspect that I did not cook the sugar-butter-cream-honey mixture enough. The cookies were more chewy than I expected and I suspect that to be the cause. If you have access to a thermometer I would definitely recommend it for this recipe.
Apart from that it was fun to try making different shapes of lace cookies as suggested by Anna. I found that my cookies were way too soft when I waited the recommended 2 minutes before shaping them, and I suspect that that is due to not having cooked the mixture to 239°F. As such, I waited about 4-5 minutes before shaping them and that worked well for my specific case. I really liked making the little cups and the cigar-shaped cookies, which I found to be the prettiest. Something to note is that these cookies were quite oily even when cooled down, and this might simply be because of how dried cranberries are made – sometimes covered in vegetable oil to prevent them from sticking together. I don’t think it changes the taste of the cookies, but it was nonetheless something I was a bit surprised by. In any case, these pretty cookies were very tasty and had a bunch of interesting and contrasting textures. A pleasure to eat!
- Preheat the oven to 350°F. Line three baking trays with parchment paper.
- Place the sugar, butter, cream and honey in a saucepot, and bring to a boil, making sure to stir often. One a boil is reached, stop stirring and cook the mixture, occasionally brushing down the sides of the pot with water, until it reaches 239°F (115°C) on a candy thermometer. Remove the pot from the heat.
- Stir in the oats, pecans and cranberries.
- Dip a teaspoon into water and use it to drop teaspoonfuls of batter onto the trays, making sure to leave 4 inches between them as the cookies will spread a great deal as they bake. You will likely be able to only fit 8 cookies per tray. With wet fingers, gently press the cookies to flatten them a little, then bake them for 8-10 minutes until they are a rich golden brown.
- You can either completely cool the cookies on the tray before removing, or shape them. To do so, let them cool for 2 minutes once they are out of the oven. Lift the cookies with a spatula and place them on a rolling pin to create a curl, or on the underside of a muffin tin cup to create a dish that can hold ice cream or fruit. Alternatively, you can roll them up into a cigarette-like cylinder to be a garnish for a custard or cake.
Notes from Anna:
- This cookie batter can be made ahead and chilled for up to a week before baking, or it can be frozen for up to 3 months and thawed in the refrigerator before baking.