Pecan Pie Thumbprint Cookies

Pecan Pie Thumbprint Cookies.

It’s December, and that means time to start Christmas cookie baking!

These cookies are a wonderful version of pecan pie in a cookie!

They are similar to Pecan Tassies, but a lot easier.

The cookie is buttery and shortbread-like, while the filling is nutty and sticky and sweet and AMAZING!

I had a little bit of extra filling left that I just couldn’t throw away, so I spread it on a sheet of crescent roll dough, rolled it up, and sliced it into 8 easier-than-pie pecan “sticky buns!”


Hope you will give these yummy cookies a try for something new on your Christmas cookie baking list.  I do believe these will become a regular in our home!

Here is the recipe I found at  Crazy for Crust, which I only slightly altered.  Thanks for a great recipe, Dorothy!

Pecan Pie Thumbprint Cookies


Cookie Batter:

  • 2 cups brown sugar
  • 1 1/2 cups butter, softened
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 tsp. vanilla
  • 4 cups flour
  • 2 tsp. baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp. salt

Pecan Pie Filling:

  • 2 cups pecans, chopped
  • 1/2 tsp. coarse or flaked salt
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 4-5 Tbsp. Half and Half or Heavy Cream
  • 2 tsp. vanilla

Optional:  Powdered sugar for sprinkling on top of cooled cookies.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

Beat brown sugar, butter, egg, and vanilla in electric mixer until creamy.   Add in baking powder, salt, and flour, and mix on low speed until well combined.

Shape dough, two tablespoons at a time, into balls, and place the balls two inches apart on a baking stone or cookie sheet.  Indent a hole in center with your thumb.

Prepare filling by stirring pecans, salt, brown sugar, and vanilla with cream until it forms a thick mixture.  Spoon approximately one teaspoonful into thumb indentation of each cookie.

Bake for 10-12 minutes.  Cool for 5 minutes on stone or cookie sheet before removing to rack to cool completely.

Sprinkle with powdered sugar if desired.

Cookies freeze well for up to a month.


Cheers & Hugs,

Butter Pecan Cookies

Butter Pecan Cookies.

When it comes to Butter Pecan….. I am an absolute FANATIC!

The way some people feel about chocolate………..
That’s my butter pecan.

Can anyone relate?

As early back as I can remember – even as a child going to Kerber’s Dairy with my grandpap for ice cream, I chose Butter Pecan.

Not chocolate, not strawberry, not chocolate chip, not vanilla……

But creamy, buttery, salty, crunchy, nutty Butter Pecan.

So when I came across this recipe at BakerbyNature for Butter Pecan cookies, I had try it, and O M G!

BROWNED Butter is the secret to these little delights.

And I will not be baking these often, because these – I cannot resist!

Make them if you dare!

Butter Pecan Cookies



  • 1 lb. (4 sticks) butter (salted), melted and browned
  • 2 cups brown sugar, packed
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 4 tsp vanilla extract
  • 4 large eggs, room temperature
  • 4 1/2 cups flour
  • 4 Tbsp cornstarch
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 2 tsp cinnamon
  •  2 tsp baking soda

Buttered Pecans

  • 3 cups pecan halves, chopped
  • 3 Tbsp butter (salted)

Additions for Decorating:

  • 50-60 pecan halves
  • Coarse raw sugar


Prepare Buttered Pecans by melting butter in a large skillet over medium heat.  Add chopped pecans and cook, stirring occasionally for 4-5 mins, until lightly toasted.  Remove from skillet to a bowl to cool.

In same skillet, melt 4 sticks of butter for cookie batter.  Bring to a boil until butter just begins to brown, and then remove from heat.  (Watch carefully, as butter can turn from browned to burned quickly.  It takes about 5 minutes over medium-high heat, but it is so key to get it to the “browned” stage.)

Using electric mixer, combine sugars with browned butter on slow speed until fully combined.  Add vanilla and then eggs, one at time, beating until fully combined.

Add flour, cornstarch, salt, cinnamon, and baking soda – folding in with rubber spatula until fully incorporated, and then fold in the buttered pecans.

Cover bowl and refrigerate at least 2 hours or overnight.

When ready to bake, preheat oven to 375 degrees F.

If you have refrigerated overnight – let dough sit to room temperature to become scoopable.

Place golf-ball sized scoops of dough 1-2 inches apart on baking stone or cookie sheet.  Flatten slightly and press a pecan half in center.

Bake 8-9 minutes.  Remove from oven and sprinkle with coarse raw sugar.  Let sit on baking stone/cookie sheet for 10 minutes, then remove to cooling rack to cool completely.


Cheers & Hugs,

*Recipe slightly adapted from BakerbyNature

Fresh Blueberry, Pistachio, & Edamame Salad with Goat Cheese

Fresh Blueberry, Pistachio, & Edamame Salad with Goat Cheese.

Summer is such a glorious time of fresh bounty.

Salads become meals made from fresh fruits and vegetables.  Like this yummy salad I made for lunch one day with some plump sweet and tart blueberries, crunchy pistachios, protein and fiber-rich edamame, and creamy crumbled goat cheese piled on a bed of greens.

All of this drizzled with a honey red wine vinaigrette is heaven in a bowl!

What is your favorite summer salad?  There are so many wonderful combinations and possibilities!

Fresh Blueberry, Pistachio, & Edamame Salad with Goat Cheese


  • Mixed Greens (Kale, Arugula, Spinach Swiss Chard – any of your faves)
  • Fresh Blueberries
  • Pistachio Nuts, shelled
  • Edamame, shelled
  • Goat Cheese, crumbled
  • Green Onions, chopped (optional)
  • Red Wine Vinaigrette Dressing (homemade or your fave – this is how I make mine – it will make more than you need for one salad) 
    • 1/4 cup Red Wine Vinegar
    • 1/2 cup Olive Oil
    •  Tbsp Honey
    • Salt & Pepper


In a bowl, place a handful of mixed greens.  Top with fresh blueberries, pistachios, edamame, goat cheese, and green onions (if desired).  Drizzle with Red Wine Vinaigrette Dressing.


Cheers & Hugs,

Pecan Sandies Shortbread Cookies

Pecan Sandies Shortbread Cookies.

Wedding Cookie Table baking continues as we approach the last few weeks until the wedding!

I couldn’t resist trying a Pecan Sandie Shortbread Cookie to add to the selection given that I overbought pecans for the Pecan Tassie recipe.

And Oh How Gloriously Buttery, Nutty Deliciouso these turned out!  Be still my nut-loving shortbread heart!  (Oh Rob – you are going to LOVE these!)

Anyone who loves Keebler’s Pecan Sandies, you are in for SUCH a TREAT with this recipe!  Can I get an Hallelujah?  Can I get an Amen!

Hope you will give this simple, yet extraordinary recipe a try!

Pecan Sandies Shortbread Cookies

  • Servings: approx. 6 doz.
  • Print


  • 1 cup butter, softened
  • 1 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 cup confectioner’s sugar
  • 1/2 cup white sugar
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 1 tsp cream of tartar
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 4 1/4 cups all purpose flour
  • 3 1/2 cups toasted pecans (Coarsely chop 3 cups and reserve 1/2 cup whole)


In a large electric mixer bowl, combine softened butter, vegetable oil, and sugars until creamy.  Beat in eggs, one at a time, then add vanilla.  Continue beating at high speed until light and fluffy.

Add cream of tartar, baking soda and salt until combined.  Add four one cup at a time and slowly combine.  Remove from mixer, and fold in 3 cups chopped toasted pecans.

Place dough in Ziploc bag in refrigerator and chill for several hours or overnight.

When ready to bake, preheat oven to 375 degrees F.

Roll dough into 1 inch balls.  Roll top half of ball with sugar, flatten slightly, and add a pecan half to center.

Place on baking stone or cookie sheet lined with parchment paper, and bake for 8-10 minutes until lightly golden brown.  Do not overbake.  Remove to cooling rack to cool.  


Cheers & Hugs,


Best Ever Pecan Pie


If you have it with coffee, it counts as breakfast.
Confession – I ate a slice of pecan pie for breakfast the day after Thanksgiving.

It’s out!

And O M G – was it delicious!


I made this pecan pie for Thanksgiving, and I have to admit,  I was too full of turkey and stuffing and much too busy holding my new granddaughter to even give a second thought to dessert that day.


But the next morning (while decorating for Christmas 😉  ), I decided to have my piece.

This recipe is simply divine.  If you’ve never tried making a pecan pie, you really should try this.  You won’t be sorry!  MMM MMM Good!

Best Ever Pecan Pie


Pie Crust:

  • 1 cup flour
  • Heaping 1/3 cup Crisco shortening
  • Dash of Salt
  • 1/3-1/2 cup cold water


  • 1 cup brown sugar, packed
  • 1 1/2 cups light corn syrup
  • 4 eggs
  • 1/4 cup butter
  • 2 tsp. vanilla
  • 2 cups whole pecans


Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

Prepare pie crust by blending flour, shortening and salt with pastry blender until fine crumbs form.  Add cold water and mix just until dough comes together and can be formed into a ball.  Do not overwork dough – this makes it tough.  Place ball on floured surface and roll out to fit into 9″ pie plate.  Fold dough in half and then in quarters.  Life and unfold in pie plate.  Pinch edges to flute.

Prepare filling by boiling brown sugar and corn syrup in a saucepan for 2-3 mins.  Set aside to cool slightly.

In a large bowl, beat eggs lightly.  Slowly pour the syrup mixture into the eggs, stirring constantly.  Stir in butter, vanilla and pecans, and pour into crust.

Bake for approximately 50-60 minutes or until set.  Cool completely.

Cheers & Hugs,




Chunky Homemade Granola

Chunky Homemade Granola 0

I was itching to get back in the kitchen and make something after almost a week away.

Chunky Homemade Granola 1

And after a week of indulging, I thought I’d make something a bit healthy, but yummy to have on hand for the coming week.

chunky homemade granola 3

Homemade granola it was, and oh how yummy too!  Made with healthy ingredients like oats and nuts and dried fruits and held together with raw local honey and coconut oil, this recipe is delish just as is, but also delicious as a cereal with some extra fresh fruit like blueberries,

chunky homemade granola 4

or on top of Greek yogurt with some fresh fruit like blackberries!

chunky homemade granola 5

It also makes a lovely hostess or nice “thinking of you” gift in a clear bag with a pretty bow.

chunky homemade granola 2

It’s as simple as mixing everything together, packing it into a baking sheet, and baking.

Hope you’ll give it a try.  Enjoy!

Chunky Homemade Granola

  • Servings: a large batch!
  • Print

Ingredients:Chunky Homemade Granola 0

  • 1/3 cup raw local honey
  • 1/4 cup pure maple syrup
  • 2 Tbsp brown sugar
  • 4 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 cup coconut oil
  • 5 cups old-fashioned rolled oats
  • 1 cup walnuts, chopped
  • 1 cup raw cashews or almonds, chopped (I used cashews)
  • 1 1/2 cups dried fruit of your choice
    • I used:
      • 1/2 cup dried cranberries
      • 1/2 cup dried blueberries
      • 1/2 cup dried tart cherries
    • You could also use:  raisins, dates, apricots, goji berries, coconut, or any other dried fruit you like


Preheat oven to 325 degrees F.

Whisk honey, maple syrup, brown sugar, vanilla, salt, and oil in a large bowl.

Add the oats and nuts, and stir until well coated and incorporated.  Add dried fruit and combine well.

Pour and spread mixture evenly onto a jelly roll sized  baking stone or parchment-lined baking sheet and pack down to compress.

Bake for 30 minutes until lightly browned.  Cool at least one hour in pan.

Break into pieces of your desired size, and store in airtight container.

Cheers & Hugs,

*recipe adapted from Foolproofliving

Spinach Strawberry Salad with Candied Almonds & Goat Cheese

spinach strawberry salad with candied almonds and goat cheese 2

This weekend we celebrated the 25th birthday of a very special young lady in our lives –  our son Nick’s girlfriend, Liz.

spinach strawberry salad with candied almonds and goat cheese

For the special picnic we were invited to, I made a batch of my almost famous guacamole, a plateful of homemade chocolate chip cookies, and this YUMMMMMMY Spinach Strawberry Salad with Candied Almonds and Goat Cheese.

spinach strawberry salad with candied almonds and goat cheese 1

Drizzled with an easy homemade balsamic vinaigrette, the crispy fresh spinach, sweet juicy strawberries, crunchy candied almonds, and the creamy goat cheese just SING when tossed together!

Easy – fresh – delicious – beautiful – summery – this is a Five Star Salad you are going to want to try, and your family and friends are going to thank you for making.

Spinach Strawberry Salad with Candied Almonds & Goat Cheese*

Ingredients:spinach strawberry salad with candied almonds and goat cheese 1

  • 1 lb fresh baby spinach (approx)
  • 1 qt fresh strawberries (chopped)
  • 6-8 oz. fresh goat cheese (crumbled)
  • 1 cup sliced almonds
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 3 Tbsp balsamic vinegar
  • 3/4 cup olive oil
  • 3 tsp brown sugar
  • 1 large clove garlic (minced)
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp coarse ground pepper


Prepare candied almonds by combining sliced almonds and sugar in a non-stick skillet over medium heat, stirring frequently for several minutes until the sugar begins to caramelize.  Keep stirring until all the almonds are coated, and then spread in a single layer on a cookie sheet.  Cool completely.  Once they are cooled, break them into chunks for little clusters of crunchy sweetness.

Prepare balsamic vinaigrette dressing by whisking together the balsamic vinegar, olive oil, brown sugar, garlic, salt and pepper.  Set aside.

When ready to serve, combine spinach and chopped strawberries, candied almonds, and crumbled goat cheese.  Toss with balsamic vinegar, and serve immediately.

You could easily substitute your favorite greens for the spinach – perhaps arugala, romaine….  You could substitute the sliced almonds for walnuts or pecans…..  You could also substitute blue cheese or feta for the goat cheese.


Cheers & Hugs,

*Recipe slightly adapted from Veggie & the Beast

Rosemary Roasted Cashews

roasted rosemary cashews

I am completely OBSESSED these days with fresh rosemary!

I’ve been adding it to sourdough pretzels, potatoes,  butternut squash, pot roast (My PERFECT Post Roast Recipe coming soon!), chicken, veggies.

I am utterly addicted to the smell – it reminds me of Christmas and winter and Bombay Gin 🙂 , the taste – so earthy and woodsy, the PUNCH – it completely kicks up any recipe it is added to!

rosemary obsession

So when looking for a different snack to take and share at “The Best Book Club Ever,” I came across this recipe, and had to try.

O M G is all I can say!  Served warm, these will ROCK your WORLD!

roasted rosemary cashews 3

Here is the recipe I found on the Food Network’s website from Ina Garten.


Rosemary Roasted Cashews (original recipe can be found on Food Network’s website from Ina Garten)

1 1/4 lbs cashews
2 Tbsp coarsely chopped fresh rosemary
1/2 tsp ground cayenne pepper
2 tsp brown sugar
2 tsp coarse kosher salt
1 1/2 Tbsp melted butter

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.

Place cashews on ungreased baking sheet (I used a stone bar pan) and roast for 10 mins.

While the cashews are warmly roasting in the oven, combine the rosemary, cayenne pepper, brown sugar, and salt.

When you remove the cashews from the oven, drizzle with the melted butter and toss to coat thoroughly.

Then sprinkle with spice mixture, and toss again to coat thoroughly.

Serve warm.

Go Crazy!  I dare you to eat just one!

(If you for some reason I would not be able to understand, are not a cashew fan, I’ll bet this would work great with pecans, peanuts, brazil nuts, hazelnuts, or whatever you fancy!)

roasted rosemary cashews 2

Cheers & Nutty Hugs,