Tuesday, August 29, 2006

The Infamous Praline Cookies

I have mentioned this recipe in several places recently, and was exhorted by a new commenter, St. Inuksuk (welcome, by the way!) to fork over the recipe forthwith.

Because I always, *always* have to provide you with the backstory, I will tell you the origin of the Praline Cookies. (Hush all the griping, and just listen!)

I spent a year at another school, not the place where I work now. It was a very fish-out-of-water year for me. The one saving grace was some of the great people I worked with. One of my coworkers passed out little Ziploc baggies of these yummy cookies as a Christmas gift that year, and when I had eaten the whole baggie in less than ten minutes and was clamoring for more, I knew I'd have to beg, borrow, or steal to get the recipe. Fortunately, the wonderful lady was as nice as she could be and provided the recipe without my having to resort to violence. I made about 12 batches of these cookies that Christmas, eating probably half of those batches by myself over the course of the holidays.

I got sent back to my home school (my current school) the next year, and since no one there had tried the cookies, I decided give those away as my gifts to the staff that year. (I have given, in past years: homemade holiday pins (Christmas Trees, menorahs, reindeer...); chocolate cakes baked into Mason jars; and Christmas CDs.) They proved so popular, our school secretary had me sit down at her computer and type out the recipe right then and there! She dubbed them "Christmas Crack" because they were so lethally addictive. However, there is one caveat: you have to like pecans. (And here in the the South, that would be pronounced "pee-can", *not* "pee-cahn". Just so you know.)

Praline Cookies
1 box graham crackers (regular flavor, NOT cinnamon)
2 sticks margarine
2 sticks butter
1 cup sugar
4 cups pecans, chopped

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a large cookie sheet (or two smaller ones) completely with tinfoil. Break graham crackers into individual "fingers" and arrange in bottom of lined pan. Completely cover pan, breaking crackers into smaller pieces to fit all the way up to the edges. Spread pecans over top of crackers, taking care to distribute evenly. Set pan aside. On stovetop, in a nonstick saucepan, combine butter and margaine over medium high heat. Once mostly melted, add in sugar and whisk together. Bring to a low boil. Boil for 3 minutes, and remove from heat. This will make a thick syrup. Ladle syrup over pecan-covered crackers, distributing evenly. Try to cover as much as possible.

Bake in preheated oven for 12 minutes. (Check once around ten minutes to make sure cookies aren't burning.) Remove from oven, set aside for 1 hour to cool. When cool to the touch, remove from pan. You will have one giant sheet-cookie. Peel tinfoil off of back and discard. Break into individual cookies and box or bag as you wish. Refrigerate. Cookies taste best when refrigerated overnight.

I hope everyone enjoys. I usually only make these for Christmas because I bankrupt myself buying pecans to make them. Make and consume at your own risk. I will not be held accountable if any of you wind up with an addiction. You were warned.


Songbird said...

Those sound really, really good. I want some Christmas crack!

KLee said...

They are really good. SO good. I can't stop making them and then hoarding them all like a demented Christmas elf.

Rev Dr Mom said...

Wow, the sound really good. And how can anyone NOT like pecans?

Yankee, Transferred said...

I'm dyin' here. We should have a cookie swap!
I'll trade you a dozen ginger snaps for a box-o-crack.

ccw said...

Those sound really good. I quit making extra peppermint bark during the holidays because I can't resist from eating every bite.

Yankee has a good idea, we should do a cookie swap.

St. Inuksuk said...

Thanks for sharing. They sound utterly scrumptious. Will be making them sometime this fall.
I vote for a cookie swap as well.

Old Lady said...

Thanks for clarifying the pronouciation of pecan. Too many people try to correct me on that, at last I have an ally.

KLee said...

Nope -- us southern girls are sayin' it right: pee-can! :)

"Pee-cahn" just sounds too hoity-toity for such a common tree offering.

I agree that would should organize a holiday cookie swap. That would be really cool. Anyone else want to take charge? If not, let me know, and I'll organize it. We'll have to do some sort of questionnaire, so we can find out likes/dislikes, and if there are any allergies involved. (And I call dibsies on the Praline Cookies! I get to send those out, since they're my recipe. So there. :P)

Let me know if you're in, and I'll start a master list.

Bridget said...

these saound yummy- too bad there are no graham crackers in ireland. do you think digestive biscuits would work?