Nothing says Mardi Gras party quite like the sweet chewy bite of pecan praline cookies! These bake up quick and easy, lighter than air, but with the rich taste of brown sugar and toasted pecans.
When I talk about home, I have a few places that fit that description. Dubai, where I live right now; Houston, which I call my hometown because it’s the place I’ve lived the longest at one stretch – the years from fourth to 12th grade; and New Iberia, Louisiana, where I was born and where my mom made sure we went every time she could find three days off in a row. Christmas, spring break, Easter, Memorial Day, Fourth of July, Labor Day, etc. You get the picture.
New Iberia was not just where I was born. It is also where both of my parents grew up, where almost all of my extended family still live. Cajun country. Home of good and spicy home cooked food, heavily laden pecan and fig trees, fields of sugar cane and elderly relatives who spoke French before they learned English in school and loved to pinch my cheeks.
We stayed with my maternal grandparents but my father’s mother lived just a block or so away so every morning, before anyone else was up, I’d pull on shorts and a t-shirt, slip out of the front door and walk to my grandmother’s house. She didn’t seem to sleep much, was always up before the birds, so I knew I’d find hot coffee milk and something good for breakfast in her warm kitchen.
Occasionally we’d make the longer drive all the way to New Orleans to visit my Aunt Karen, my mom’s closest sister. New Orleans meant fun with my younger cousins, beignets in the French Quarter and, if the timing was right, Mardi Gras parades. What a thrill it was to stake out a spot on the parade route and see that first festive float roll slowly into view! “Throw me something, mister!” we’d shout, jumping wildly, wrapping the beads around our wrists like bracelets and draping them around our necks. I was richer than Midas, more brilliantly festooned than the most famous queens of history, never mind the short shorts and skinned knees of a tomboy childhood.
Some of my fondest memories over these last 50 plus years are steeped in Louisiana history where native pecans feature prominently in many baked goods. When my grandparents were still around, I could count on them for a steady supply of freshly shelled Louisiana pecans, which they’d crack and pick, putting aside bags for the whole family. Now when I’m home, I buy them from a farmer’s market and bring them back to Dubai, storing them – carefully sealed – in the freezer for great recipes such as this one.
Recipe credit goes to Eva Schexnayder who shared these pecan praline cookies in a charity cookbook* sold to benefit Shadows-on-the-Teche, an antebellum mansion and National Trust for Historic Preservation property on the banks of the Bayou Teche in New Iberia. If you ever get down that way, I highly recommend a visit.
- 1 egg white
- 1 cup, packed, or 200g brown sugar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 2 cups, chopped, or 225g pecans
- Preheat your oven to 275°F or 135°C and line your cookie sheets with baking parchment or silicone liners.
- Beat your egg white in a clean mixing bowl until stiff peaks form.
- Mix in the brown sugar.
- Fold in the chopped pecans and the vanilla.
- Drop by heaped teaspoons on to the prepared cookie sheets.
- Bake for 23-28 minutes or until puffy and cooked through.
- Leave to cool for a few minutes and then transfer with a spatula to a wire rack to cool completely.
This week Sunday Supper is celebrating Mardi Gras, sharing easy recipes for your Fat Tuesday party. You are going to have a hard time deciding what to make first! Many thanks to Marion of Life Tastes Good, our host this week and Em, our event manager.
Sunday Supper Easy Mardi Gras Recipes
- Andouille and Crawfish Pimento Cheese Fries by Soulfully Made
- Hot Louisiana Shrimp Dip by Sprinkles and Sprouts
- Mardi Gras Muffaletta Dip by For the Love of Food
- Piquant Shrimp Balls by Food Lust People Love
- Trinidadian doubles by Caroline’s Cooking
- Andouille and Chicken Gumbo by Delaware Girl Eats
- Bananas Foster French Toast by A Mind “Full” Mom
- Bananas Foster Baked Oatmeal by Cooking With Carlee
- Blackened Shrimp Pasta by Seduction in the Kitchen
- Cajun Courtbouillon by Culinary Adventures with Camilla
- Cajun Pasta Carnivale by Palatable Pastime
- Chicken and Shrimp Gumbo by The Freshman Cook
- Creamy Cajun Chicken Pasta by Wholistic Woman
- Creole Beef and Rice Bowls by Renee’s Kitchen Adventures
- Easy Shrimp and Grits Recipe by Life Tastes Good
- Gluten Free Gumbo by Cricket’s Confections
- Gumbo Z’herbes by Monica’s Table
- Hawaiian Jambalaya by Shockingly Delicious
- Overnight Muffuletta Sandwich by A Kitchen Hoor’s Adventures
- Slow Cooker Jambalaya by The Crumby Cupcake
- Spicy Jambalaya Flatbread by My Life Cookbook
- Tenderloin Grillades with Cheesy Grits by A Day in the Life on the Farm
- Vegetarian Muffaletta Sandwich by Hardly A Goddess
- Creole Potato Salad by Cosmopolitan Cornbread
- Easy Buttermilk Cornbread by The Wimpy Vegetarian
- Muffaletta Wedge Salad by Shaken Together
- New Orleans Brandy Milk Punch by Tara’s Multicultural Table
- Not So Dirty Rice by Simple and Savory
- Red Beans and Rice by Cindy’s Recipes and Writings
- Bananas Foster by That Skinny Chick Can Bake
- Basic Bread Pudding by What Smells So Good?
- Bourbon Vanilla Cherries Jubilee by Pies and Plots
- Mardi Gras Cheese Ball by Hezzi-D’s Books and Cooks
- Easy Mini King Cake Bites by Family Around The Table
- New Orleans Mardi Gras Beignets by Big Bear’s Wife
- Pecan Praline Cookies by Sunday Supper Movement
- Traditional Mardi Gras King Cake by Curious Cuisiniere
- White Chocolate-Raspberry Bread Pudding by Gourmet Everyday
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