Monday, August 17, 2009

Raw pecan pie cookies

Have you ever thought about what you’d like your last meal to be? Now, I’m not planning on landing on death row anytime soon (although, morbid as it may be, I find this list fascinating), but I’ve given the last meal question ample consideration. I’d begin with an appetizer of hummus and pita. For my entrée, I struggle to decide between Thai Place’s cashew tofu stir fry (second pic here) and Touch of Asia’s dal makhani (right smack in the middle of this entry). Dessert, without a doubt, would be pecan pie.

I don’t know what it is about pecan pie that sings to my heart so, but I don't believe there’s anything more luscious than the syrupy symphony of sweetness that is pecan pie filling, knitted to the fragrant crunch of fresh pecans and married to a delicate, melt-in-your-mouth crust. Somebody get me a fan. Ahem. Anyway. This recipe comes courtesy of the legendary Ani Phyo, and the words "pecan pie" instantly landed it on my must-make list. Plus, it’s not only raw, but outrageously easy, so there was no excuse not to give it a try.

1 cup pecan halves
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp lemon juice
1 cup dates, pitted
Unsweetened flaked coconut, optional

Combine the pecans, cinnamon, and lemon juice in the bowl of a food processor. (As I wrote about last year, on my cruise to Mexico, I got to visit a farmer’s market in Mazatlán, where I was able to purchase cheap pecans and almonds [and a liter of vanilla; I’m still proud of that!]. My long-hoarded Mexican pecans found their home in these cookies.)

Pulse until the nuts are finely chopped. Add the dates...

...and pulse to form a mixture that can stay pressed together. The smell of the pulverized pecans is heavenly.

Line a baking sheet with parchment or wax paper. Divide the mixture into 10 equal portions and roll into balls. If desired, roll in unsweetened coconut. Flatten each to form a round cookie (I used the bottom of a glass, misted with cooking spray, to help). Place on the lined baking sheet.

(The four at the bottom I rolled in coconut.) Refrigerate (or freeze) the cookies to firm them up. Keep refrigerated to store.

It’s crazy that with so few ingredients, these do taste rather pecan pie-like. It’s not a dead ringer, of course, but the essence is there. The cookies are a little oily, quite chewy, and super-nutty. Until I can perfect a vegan pecan pie, these are a suitable swap to quell the craving.

Yield: 10 cookies. Per cookie: 124 calories, 7.9g fat (.5g sat), 14.8g carbs, 2g fiber, 1.4g protein.

If you like this, you might also like...
Choc-oat banana walnut cookies
Pumpkin oatmeal cookies

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  1. Mmm, those sound good! I'll have to try em :>

  2. I'd agree that my last meal has to include pecan pie, but the other two dishes would be tough. I'm going to have to give these a go when I get my annual pecan haul from my uncle in Topeka.

  3. You'll also have to share with me ;] Since the damn nut store in Norman was closed this year! Argh.

  4. I can do that. They leave me a few jars for me anyways.

  5. I also had a cruise to Mexico and i also saw there in some unknown small market a special selling of unique Mexican legumes, thanks for the post!