Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Praline Cookies

Wow! These are fantastic, their taste equal only to the when-worlds-collide story of how I got this recipe.

It comes courtesy of Ed Cahill, above, my date for the Firestone High School senior prom (way back in 1973). Ed posted the recipe cards to my Facebook wall a few weeks ago, explaining that they are his mother-in-law's who is still baking these at age 92!   Ed, who is now a grandfather (!), is a wonderful artist and though you can't see it in the picture, made the jewelry (an abstract necklace and matching earrings) I wore to the prom.  (I got him that carnation boutineer.  Very classy.)

Above is the entire mise en place for these cookies. Butter, flour, brown sugar, an egg, vanilla and pecans.  How simple is that!

Like most cookies, these are simple to mix and very time-consuming to bake.  But so worth it because they are so unusual.  They are incredibly thin, almost like lace, but packed with an intense praline flavor.

You can see how thin these are.  That's a dime, at left.
 Ed warns that they must be removed from the cookie sheet almost immediately, or they will be glued to said sheet.  I didn't find this to be the case, either on the French Silpat or the greased and floured parchment paper I used.  I found that if I waited a few moments, they released beautifully.  You need to leave lots of space between the cookies, as they spread quite a bit during baking.

 Ed said that the recipe cards, below, were typed on a 1960s Selectric, but the recipe goes back much further than that.  Do try these, for an unusual and delicious treat.


  1. Good job Sue, they look yummy. Your experience solved the stick problem. I'll show this to Louise. Happiest holidays to you and your family. E

  2. Your dress is a trip! Or maybe the fabric designer was on one :-) Love it!

  3. @Ed -- Thanks again to you and Louise for the recipe! So intriguing that the New York Times picked it up! Link here:

    @Margaret: True. What was I thinking?!?

  4. Oh What Fun! As a child of the 50s, who got his first, simple baking lessons well before 1960, this is Great Fun for me. I've adapted and upgraded, but I still use some of the 40s and 50s recipes from my late relatives. I don't (won't) do Jell-O, but most other are fair game. I seriously enjoy sharing a baked good and claiming that, "It includes nothing that your grandmother did not eat for breakfast." Many old recipies need some caution, perhaps some intrepretation, of course. On the whole, they are worth the time and effort. THanks and best wishes. -C.

  5. @Anonymous: Thanks for writing. And I do come across many recipes whose ingredients include jello and Cool Whip and boxed cake mix -- very 1960s. I just skip those and look for recipes from the previous generation in the box.

  6. I should probably be working on the HSS cover right now ;-) but I am too busy catching up on your past blog entries! Fantastic to find you in the NYT and even more awesome to see your rad prom dress!

    ok,back to work now... promise! :-) Kit

  7. Kit! Thanks for reading and commenting and a much bigger thanks for creating the most awesome of annual report covers! Brilliant, sophisticated and gorgeous.