When we saw this recipe for Brown Sugar Pecan Bears by Fisher Nuts, we HAD to try it. Especially since our mascot this holiday season is Pierre the nutcracker! This nutty creation is both adorable and delicious.
what you need
- Bear cookie cutter
- Large resealable baggy
- Rolling pin (We love this one!)
- Parchment paper
- 3 baking sheets
- Plastic wrap
- 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/4 teaspoon fine salt
- 3/4 cup packed light brown sugar
- 1 1/2 sticks (12 tablespoons) unsalted butter, cut into small pieces, at room temperature
- 1 large egg, lightly beaten
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 68 pecan halves (about 1 1/4 cups)
- 2 ounces milk chocolate, chopped (candy melts are super easy to use)
- Whisk together the flour, baking powder and salt in a small bowl.
- In a larger bowl, beat the brown sugar and butter using a stand mixer with a paddle attachment or with a hand mixer on medium speed until light and fluffy (about 5 minutes).
- In the same bowl, beat in the egg, then the vanilla until completely combined, scraping the bowl as necessary.
- Add the flour mixture and mix on medium-low speed until completely incorporated, about 1 minute.
- Divide the dough in half, then pat or roll each piece into 1/4-inch thick sheets between pieces of plastic wrap and refrigerate until firm, about 1 hour and up to overnight.
- Position 2 oven racks in the top and bottom thirds of the oven and preheat to 350 degrees F. Line 3 baking sheets with parchment paper.
- Working with 1 piece of dough at a time, remove the plastic wrap and transfer the dough to a piece of parchment paper. Place a second piece of parchment on top and roll out the dough between the parchment to 1/8-inch thick, being sure to smooth out any creases.
- Cut out 20 to 22 bears by pressing a small bear cookie cutter into the dough, sliding a small spatula underneath the cutter and dough to lift and release from the paper.
- Place the bears on one of the prepared baking sheets about 1 inch apart. (If the dough becomes too soft, put it in the freezer to firm up a little so it is easier to work with.) Reserve the dough scraps wrapped in plastic at room temperature.
- Place a pecan between the arms of each bear and fold the arms up around the pecan to make it look like the bear is hugging the nut (the arms may crack at the shoulder; that’s okay as long as they sit on the nut).
- Put the baking sheet in the freezer to firm up for about 10 minutes. Repeat with the second piece of dough, adding the scraps to the reserved scraps to roll later. After 10 minutes, take the first baking sheet out of the freezer to bake it and put the second baking sheet in to chill.
- Bake, 1 baking sheet at a time, rotating it 180 degrees halfway through, until the cookies are beginning to become golden at the edges, but are still slightly soft to the touch, 14 to 16 minutes.
- Let the cookies cool on the baking sheets until firm enough to transfer to a wire rack to cool completely, about 10 minutes. The cookies will firm as they cool.
- Knead together the reserved scraps and re-roll, chilling if necessary; repeat the forming, chilling and baking process until all the dough has been used.
- Melt the milk chocolate in a microwave-safe bowl in the microwave at 30-second intervals, stirring between each interval, about 2 minutes total.
Using a toothpick, draw chocolate eyes, noses, ears and feet on the bears. You can also put the melted chocolate in a resealable plastic bag, snip off a TINY corner and pipe the features onto the cookies. Let the chocolate set completely before serving, about 30 minutes.
These Brown Sugar Pecan Bears are almost too cute to eat (but we had no problem eating the whole bunch). We hope you’re nutty for them, too!