Tag Archives: pecans

Mexican Chocolate Pecan Pralines

Sometimes, you just gotta have some chocolate. I know I’m not alone in this. I mean, they wouldn’t have created the term “chocoholic” if there weren’t a lot of us around with that intense, gotta-have-some, deep-down desire for chocolate. Good thing there is a chocolate for every type of chocolate craving. Sometimes, I crave a pure, dark chocolate – with its bitter, complex flavor, and just enough smoothness, so that I can enjoy a single piece, close my eyes, and enter pure chocolate bliss. A nice bar of Valrhona or Scharffen Berger will do the trick. But other times, I prefer a sweeter treat – something with a variety of textures and flavors – including nuts, fruits, and milk chocolate, rather than dark. However, a Snickers bar just won’t cut it. That’s where these come in.

Mexican Chocolate Pecan Pralines. First, let me explain to you – pecan pralines are one of my favorite candies. Sweet and buttery, with one of the best nuts known to man, a good pecan praline can cause my eyes to roll back and my knees to go weak. So when I came across a recipe at Homesick Texan that combined Mexican chocolate with a pecan praline? It just about blew my mind. Lisa has a knack for causing me to become giddy with excitement over a lot of her recipes, but these definitely were at the top of the list.

I’ve made them twice so far, following her recipe exactly both times. I can’t think of a thing to change. She discusses adding bacon in them, and while this sounds like it’s worth a try, I am happy with these as written. They’re perfect. The cinnamon and that bit of cayenne add a touch of heat that warms the back of your throat. The orange zest brightens the pralines, keeping them from being too rich or heavy. The texture is still very much like a praline – just slightly soft when you bite into them. While I am fully anticipating making a batch or two of these at Christmas, I don’t suggest waiting until then. These are too good to relegate just to the holidays!

As I haven’t modified Lisa’s recipe at all, rather than writing it out here, I’ll just send you her way. While you’re there, check out her other delicious creations. If you haven’t experienced all of the wonderful culinary creations that are Texas, she can definitely lead you on the right path!

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Filed under Desserts, Gluten-Free

Gluten-Free, Dairy-Free Pecan and Cashew Chewy Cookies

chicken curry 171A few weeks back, I was visiting over at SippitySup and admiring some wonderful culinary creations, when I came across a truly wonderful bit of bliss. See, I believe that Greg and I are kin when it comes to cookie cravings. While I have never experienced the Harris Ranch Pecan Drop, I could only imagine the sheer magnificence of this cookie. I thank Greg for using his persuasive efforts in obtaining this recipe, and then sharing it with the world. Because, as you can see, this cookie contains no grains, and no dairy products, making it naturally gluten and dairy-free. I was just about leaping for joy.

This cookie, which I modified only to include cashews (I found out too late that I only had a pound of pecans, so I supplemented), is so deliciously chewy, sweet with a hint of salt, and in fact does remind you of pecan pie. It tastes so decadent, but contains no butter. You could almost call it healthy, if it weren’t for all that sugar. (I’ll let you consider it healthy – it’s a high-protein cookie, and that’s healthy, right?) These are incredibly addictive. Don’t say I didn’t warn you.

Pecan and Cashew Chewy Cookies, as adapted from SippitySup, who borrowed it from Harris Ranch

2 1/2 c brown sugar

3/4 t salt

3/4 t vanilla extract

1 lb pecan pieces, coarsely chopped

1/2 lb cashew pieces, coarsely chopped

1/2 c egg whites (about 3-4 large egg whites)

Heat the oven to 350 degrees. In the bowl of an electric mixer, combine the brown sugar, salt, vanilla, and nuts. Beat on low speed to incorporate ingredients. Drizzle in egg whites. Increase the speed to medium-low and beat for 4 to 5 minutes, scraping down the bowl as needed. The dough will be thick and sticky.

Drop your dough in rounded tablespoons onto a parchment-lined baking sheet. Press each ball of dough with your fingers to form a cookie about 3 1/2 inches in diameter, about 1/8 inch thick.

Bake 10-12 minutes, or until the edges are lightly browned. Remove from oven and immediately move cookies to a cooling rack. (These cookies are soft straight from the oven, so you will have to be careful to “peel” them from the parchment paper. They’ll firm up as they cool.) The next day, if you can wait that long, these cookies will have developed a chewier texture, making them even more addictive.

Makes about 3 dozen.

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Filed under Baked goods, Dairy-Free, Desserts, Gluten-Free, Vegetarian