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Author Notes: Since discovering Nekisia Davis’ olive oil maple granola recipe on FOOD52, I’ve made it countless times. I make big batches of it for my sons, but every time, I shamelessly strip mine the fragrant, olive oil- drenched, maple-scented toasted pecans. So I figured, why not make just the nuts and use them as the primary ingredient in a cookie? The dough is based on the ubiquitous holiday nut crescent for which there are dozens of similar recipes floating around. I started with the one my mother most likely clipped from a “Woman’s Day” or “Family Circle” magazine in the sixties. These are chewier – and tastier – due to the crumbled pralines inside each one. They take a bit longer to make, but the results are well worth the effort. Enjoy!! ;o) - AntoniaJames
Makes 2 -3 dozen
- For the nuts you'll need:
- 8 ounces coarsely chopped pecan pieces
- 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 3 tablespoons pure maple syrup
- 2 tablespoons dark brown sugar
- For the cookie dough, you'll need:
- 1 ½ sticks (6 ounces) unsalted butter
- ¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
- ¼ cup brown sugar
- 2 teaspoons excellent quality vanilla extract
- 2 teaspoons water
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- ½ teaspoon salt
- Confectioners' sugar for rolling the cookies (about a cup)
- In a medium bowl, toss the pecans well with the 3 tablespoons of olive oil, the maple syrup and the brown sugar, so all of the pecans are well coated. Let them sit in the bowl for about two hours, or more if you have the time. (The longer, the better.)
- Heat oven to 300 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Spread the coated nuts and any crumbs on a parchment- lined medium baking sheet. Roast for about 25 minutes, turning the nuts over after about 12 minutes. Check them after 18, to make sure they don’t darken too much. Put in a bowl to cool.
- In a large mixing bowl, beat the butter and olive oil with the sugar until light and creamy. If using an electric mixer, medium speed works well here, for about 4 minutes. Add the vanilla extract and water; scrape down the sides of the bowl; and beat until well combined.
- Chop the pralined pecan pieces into small bits. (I pulse them quickly 15 - 20 times in my food processor. You want the bits to look like very coarse salt.) Add to the creamed butter with the flour. With a large spoon, stir to incorporate fully.
- Wrap and chill the dough for at least an hour, or up to 48 hours. The longer, the better! I divide the dough into four equal portions and roll each into an 8-inch log. When I shape the cookies, I use a bench scraper to cut each log into walnut-sized cubes.
- When ready to bake, heat oven to 325 degrees.
- Scoop or cut the dough into walnut-sized pieces, then roll them into little logs. Shape into crescents, pinching the ends just a bit.
- Bake for 20 minutes. Cool for about 10 minutes on the baking sheet; then, roll the slightly-warm cookies in sifted confectioners’ sugar.
- Enjoy! ;o)
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