Alisa Fleming ~ If you asked for a top ten list of what the holidays mean to me, the number one, two, and three entries would be COOKIES! And in all-caps like that, too. A love for all things doughy and chewy is something that I’ve never outgrown, but my tolerance for tons of sugar has definitely diminished. So I was very excited to discover these pecan cookies from the cookbook Super Healthy Cookies by Hallie Klecker. The caramel-y coconut sugar, warm maple syrup, and of course, those pecans, make them perfect for the holiday season!
Speaking of maple syrup, Hallie always uses Grade B (even going so far as to note it in her recipes), and so do I. I had just never thought to mention it! Grade B maple syrup has a more full-bodied flavor compared to Grade A, so most bakers use Grade B almost exclusively.
Super Healthy Cookies uses a sweetness rating of 1, 2, or 3 spoons, three being the sweetest. The pecan cookies below received a 2-spoon rating – they are just sweet enough, but not Tollhouse sugary by any means. I think on my next batch, I’ll have to incorporate some spices because, why not?
These pecan cookies are naturally grain-free, but if you need to make them egg-free and vegan, too, I suggest trying 2 tablespoons of dairy-free pumpkin butter or apple butter in place of the egg yolk. That just sounds amazing, doesn’t it? Egg yolks emulsify and add richness, but it’s the whites that provide binding. This recipe has enough “glue” from the rich load of nuts and the sticky maple syrup, but the egg yolk offers a buttery flavor. If you want sweeter cookie, I think you could even use 2 tablespoons of additional maple syrup in place of the egg yolk.
- 2 cups (192 grams) blanched almond flour
- ½ cup raw pecans, finely chopped, plus about 30 pecan halves for garnish
- 3 tablespoons coconut sugar
- ½ teaspoon baking soda
- ½ teaspoon sea salt
- 1 large egg yolk
- 3 tablespoons Grade B maple syrup
- 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 tablespoon unsweetened applesauce
- In a large bowl, whisk together the almond flour, chopped pecans, coconut sugar, baking soda, and salt. In a small bowl, whisk together the egg yolk, maple syrup, olive oil, and applesauce. Pour the wet ingredients into the dry and stir to form a dough.
- Divide the dough in half. Roll each half into a log about 6 inches long and 1-1/2 to 2 inches in diameter. Wrap both logs in plastic wrap and freeze for 1-2 hours.
- Preheat the oven to 350ºF. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper. Slice the frozen dough logs into ¼-inch thick rounds. Place the cookies about 2 inches apart on the lined baking sheets. Gently press a pecan half into the center of each cookie.
- Bake for 12 to 15 minutes until golden brown and fragrant. Cool completely before serving. Store in an airtight container.