Marisa Spyker
Yield
4.5 dozen

Like turkey and stuffing, pecan pie is about as celebrated of a Thanksgiving dinner staple as any. From the rich and buttery crust to the caramel-like, nutty filling, the scrumptious dessert is packed with fall flavors that always have everyone at the table coming back for seconds. But not all occasions call for a full-on pie (unfortunately), and because of that, we present to you fall’s favorite dessert—in bite-sized form.

Take everything you love about pecan pie and these cookies have it. There’s a crust, in the form of a shortbread-like cookie with a hint of molasses flavoring, thanks to the addition of dark corn syrup. There’s also a filling (warning: it’s addictive) made by simmering together butter, powdered sugar, and corn syrup and then whisking in a flurry of chopped pecans. Both require refrigeration after whipping up, as it prevents the cookies from flattening and allows the pecan mixture to set. But patience is certainly rewarded, in this case, with a decadent, crowd-pleasing treat perfect for any holiday gathering.

How to Make It

Step 1

Beat 1 cup butter and sugar at medium speed with an electric mixer until light and fluffy. Add 1/2 cup corn syrup and egg yolks, beating well. Gradually stir in flour; cover and chill 1 hour.

Step 2

Melt 1/4 cup butter in a heavy saucepan over medium heat; stir in powdered sugar and 3 tablespoons corn syrup. Cook, stirring often, until mixture boils. Remove from heat. Stir in pecans; chill 30 minutes. Shape mixture by 1/2 teaspoonfuls into 1/4-inch balls; set aside.

Step 3

Shape cookie dough into 1-inch balls; place 2 inches apart on lightly greased baking sheets. Beat egg whites until foamy; brush on dough balls.

Step 4

Bake at 375° for 6 minutes. Remove from oven, and place pecan balls in center of each cookie. Bake 8 to 10 more minutes or until lightly browned. Cool 5 minutes on baking pans; remove to wire racks to cool completely. Freeze up to 1 month, if desired.