A couple of years ago, I was trying out cookie recipes in advance of the busy Christmas season because I needed something REALLY special. I’m sure you know what I mean. There are certain events (i.e. cookie exchanges with serious foodies) where you want to be the one that brings THE cookie. The one that gets talked about, and asked about, for years to come. Well, I found it! I took a few from the first batch to Cara for her birthday. That night, I got a text from Cara’s daughter, Natalie, asking “could you please send us the recipe for those awesome cookies you made for my mom? I ate them all!”. Well, that just about made me the proudest baker around.
So, if you’re looking for a special cookie to add to your Christmas collection this year, try these Tallahassee Lassies. They are a lot like a praline, but they also have a nice little cake-y muffin thing on the bottom that is simply delicious. This recipe was one of the winners of the 2005 Cook’s Illustrated Holiday Cookie Contest, so you know it has to be good. I love it because it doesn’t even require me to get the heavy KitchenAid mixer out – just two saucepans and the muffin tin. EnJOY!
If you’re looking for other Christmas cookie ideas, try these:
- 12 Tbsp. unsalted butter (1½ sticks)
- 1½ cups packed light brown sugar
- 2 large eggs
- 1 tsp. vanilla extract
- 1½ cups all-purpose flour
- 1½ tsp. baking powder
- ½ tsp. table salt
- ¾ cup chopped pecans
- Butterscotch Filling
- 8 Tbsp. unsalted butter (1 stick)
- ¼ cup milk
- ⅔ cup granulated sugar
- ½ cup packed light brown sugar
- 1 cup graham cracker crumbs (I used Nilla Wafer crumbs)
- ¾ cup semisweet chocolate chips
- ½ cup chopped pecans, toasted
- For the cookies: Adjust oven racks to upper-middle and lower-middle positions and heat oven to 350 degrees. Line 48 standard mini muffin tins with liners.
- Melt butter in medium saucepan over low heat. Remove from heat and whisk in brown sugar, eggs, and vanilla until smooth. Add flour, baking powder, salt and pecans and stir until well combined. Scoop 2 teaspoons of mixture into each muffin cup (you only want them filled a little less than halfway to allow room for the topping later). Bake, rotating tins from front to back and top to bottom halfway through baking, until golden brown, 10 to 15 minutes.
- For the filling: While cookies are baking, melt butter in small saucepan over medium-low heat. Stir in milk, granulated sugar, brown sugar, and crumbs and cook, stirring constantly, until thickened, about 5 minutes. Remove from heat and cover to keep warm until cookies come out of from oven.
- For the topping: Remove cookies from oven and immediately sprinkle tops with chocolate chips. Top with heaping tablespoon of filling and sprinkle with chopped, toasted pecans. Cool completely on cooling rack, about 30 minutes. Remove cookies from tins. (Cookies are best served the day they are made.)