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These easy and sweet cookies bring me back to my mama's holiday baking! Chewy Brown Sugar Pecan cookies topped with a praline icing drizzle (or dunk!) for a delicious cookie spin on the classic Southern candy. Make sure to hide some for yourself, they're irresistible!
It's fall, y'all! It's the beginning of the most wonderful time of the year (to me) and that means more baking, more cookies, more delicious comfort foods.
These praline cookies disappeared so fast when I brought them out, and y'all can see why: those cookies are literally holiday and fall perfection. My mother used to sell them during the holiday season and they are one of my favorite Southern cookie recipes.
Chewy, brown sugar cookies with chopped pecans mixed in the dough, and beautiful praline icing that you can drizzle or dip the cookies into. After the praline sets, it is go time on these bad boys. Make a second batch because trust me, they will be gone in a hot second.
What are Pralines?
Pralines are traditionally a French confection made with nuts (most commonly almonds), sugar, and cream. Belgian pralines are often used as a filling in chocolates.
But Southern pralines, which is the type we are focusing on today, is a candy made from sugar, cream, butter, corn syrup, and pecans. This makes a chewy candy that is a Southern tradition we love, especially during the holidays.
What type of nuts are in pralines?
Traditional pralines use almonds and grind them up, but Southern pralines use chopped or halved pecans to make the praline candy.
What are Praline Cookies?
So praline cookies are a take on the candy by making sweet, buttery cookies with pecans and a sweet praline candy icing that can be drizzled or dipped into before hardening onto the cookie.
They're incredibly simple and delicious with no chill time and a serious fall and holiday favorite among my family and friends
How to make them
These cookies are really surprisingly simple to make! Mixing the cookies, baking, and then boiling the cream and sugar for the icing. Here are my tips on making the best cookies:
Don't skimp on creaming the butter and sugar. Creaming the butter and sugar --aka, whipping them together until they become light yellow and fluffy-- helps aerate the fat and make even more cookies. Who doesn't like even more cookies?
Use a cookie scoop for even baking. Cookie scoops are the MVPs of baking cookies, it's crazy. Something so simple is so effective: each cookie is the same shape and size and bake evenly and at the same time. Definitely better than rolling it up in a ball in your hands (warming up the butter and melting it before it bakes) and having lumpy cookie dough in different shapes and sizes.
How long does it take for praline to set?
For the praline icing, it cook me about 30 minutes to fully set. It can depend on your humidity levels, so you may end up with faster results on less humid days.
How to Store Praline Cookies
Praline Cookies should be stored in a nice air-tight container at room temperature for up to 3 days.
Can I make them ahead?
You can make these pecan praline cookies ahead of time, I would say no more than a day ahead for best results unless you freeze them.
Can I freeze them?
100% Yes, freeze them! They are perfect to freeze after baking, which means praline cookies are available whenever you want. Total win!
To eat them, simply thaw them in the fridge overnight and warm them up in a very low oven for about 5-7 minutes or until nice and warm and ready to eat! If the praline candy softens too much, let the cookies cool down and the praline firm up again out of the oven for about 10 minutes.
Love baking? Check these recipes out:
- Joanna Gaines' Magnolia Table Chocolate Chip Cookie Recipe
- Crispy, Snappy Ginger Snap Cookies
- Perfectly Soft Christmas Cut Out Sugar Cookies
- Chocolate Crinkle Cookies
- Levain Bakery Chocolate Chip Cookie Copycat Recipe
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- ½ cup (113 g) unsalted butter, softened
- 1 ½ cups (250 g) light brown sugar, packed
- 1 large egg
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 ½ cups (125 g) all-purpose flour
- 1 ½ teaspoon baking powder
- ¼ teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 cup (110 g) pecans, roughly chopped
- 1 cup (200 g) light brown sugar
- ½ cup (120 mL) heavy whipping cream
- 1 cup (120 g) powdered sugar
- In a large mixing bowl, cream the butter and brown sugar with an electric hand mixer until light and fluffy, about 3-5 minutes. Add in the egg and vanilla extract and mix until well incorporated.
- Combine the all-purpose flour, baking powder, and kosher salt in a separate mixing bowl; add to the creamed butter and mix well with a baking spatula by hand until the dry ingredients are just before they are fully mixed in. Add in the pecans and gently mix them in until all the ingredients are mixed in well. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and chill for about 1 hour.
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (180 degrees C).
- Form dough into balls using a cookie scoop then place 2 inches apart on silicone baking mat lined (or parchment paper-lined) baking sheets. Bake the praline cookies at 350° for 10 minutes.
- Let cool on pans for 5 minutes then remove to cool on wire racks.
- Stir together the brown sugar and cream in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat. Cook until sugar is dissolved and the mixture comes to a boil, stirring constantly.
- Remove from the heat and whisk in confectioners' sugar until smooth. Drizzle over cookies or dip the cookies into the icing.
Place cookies on a parchment paper lined plate in one layer, freeze until firm, place into a freezer-safe zip top bag for up to 4 months!
To eat them, simply thaw them in the fridge overnight or warm them up in a very low oven for about 10-15 minutes or until nice and warm and ready to eat! If the praline candy softens too much, let the cookies cool down and the praline firm up again out of the oven for about 10 minutes.
Nutrition Information:Yield: 36 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 43Total Fat: 0gSaturated Fat: 0gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 0gCholesterol: 6mgSodium: 41mgCarbohydrates: 9gFiber: 0gSugar: 5gProtein: 1g
All nutrition facts are estimations. Please see a physician for any health-related inquiries.
Eden Westbrook is the recipe developer, writer, and photographer behind Sweet Tea and Thyme. A classically trained chef, Eden has inspired home cooks into the kitchen with cultural comfort foods, easy family-friendly eats and sweets, and glorious spreads for date night and entertaining since 2015.