What first attracted me to these cookies was the promise of flourless, butterless baking. I always seem to be running out of flour, butter, eggs, and/or brown sugar (which I can't seem to find in the big-ass bags I need, given how much I love it), and the thought of a recipe for cookies that eliminated the need for two of those things basically had me at hello. And then I tried them, and if I wasn't sold before I sure am now! These little circles of tastiness are easy, relatively quick, and can (in most households) probably be made with the dregs of your last grocery shop. A definite keeper.
You may have noticed the 'healthy' tag down there... well, these are at least healthyish. Sure, they've got plenty of sugar, and nuts have plenty of fat, but with no butter, no egg yolks, and no flour (low-carb!) they're a pretty decent cookie for days when you want something that tastes indulgent without too much guilt. And man, do they taste indulgent.
When you bite into them, you get this sticky, chewy interior which, combined with the flavor of the pecans, could almost trick you into thinking you're digging into a slice of pecan pie. Funnily enough, I've never been a huge fan of pecan pie, because the corn syrup flavor is a bit too rich for me, but swap out corn syrup for brown sugar and boy have you got my attention!
Pecan Pie Cookies
adapted in name/writing only from koko's corner
Note: this recipe makes a whoooooole lotta cookies. When I was setting out to make it, I realized I only had half the required amount of pecans (because 1.5 lbs of pecans is a LOT), so I halved the recipe, and we still got plenty of cookies for ourselves, with enough to bring to the bf's fam on our weekend visit.
Preheat oven to 350F / 175C.
In the bowl of an electric mixer, combine:
2 1/2 cups brown sugar
3/4 teaspoon salt
3/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 1/2 pounds (680g) coarsely chopped pecan pieces
Beat on low to incorporate ingredients, then drizzle in:
1/2 cup egg whites (3 - 4 large eggs)
Increase speed to medium-low and beat 4-5 minutes, scraping down bowl as needed.
Drop dough in rounded tablespoons onto a greased baking sheet. Press each ball of dough flat with the greased back of a spoon or your wet fingers (not too wet, just wet enough to keep them from sticking).
Bake 10-12 minutes, until edges are lightly browned. Remove from oven and immediately transfer cookies to cooling rack. They'll be soft at first, but they'll firm as they cool.