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Aunt Mary Dillon's Praline Cookies

  • Yield: Makes 3 dozen
Aunt Mary Dillon's Praline Cookies

Source: Martha Stewart Living, February 2000


  • 1 2/3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter
  • 2 1/2 cups light-brown sugar, firmly packed
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream, plus more if necessary
  • 1 cup sifted confectioners' sugar
  • 1 cup pecan halves, toasted and broken into large pieces


  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Sift together flour, baking powder, and salt in a medium bowl. Set aside.

  2. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream butter and 1 1/2 cups light-brown sugar on medium speed until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes. Add egg and vanilla. Beat until fully combined. Add dry ingredients, and beat on low speed until combined.

  3. Drop batter in rounded teaspoons onto ungreased baking sheets about 2 inches apart. Bake until firm and barely golden, 10 to 12 minutes. Transfer pan to a wire rack to cool for 5 minutes, then transfer cookies from pan to wire rack.

  4. In a small saucepan, combine remaining 1 cup light-brown sugar and cream. Bring to a boil over medium heat. Cook, stirring constantly, for 2 minutes. Remove from heat. Add confectioners' sugar, and whisk until smooth. (If frosting thickens, thin with cream.) Add pecan pieces. Place cookies on a cooling rack over a lined baking pan. Spoon about 1/2 teaspoon praline mixture onto each cookie.

Reviews (18)

  • marikoeno 9 May, 2013

    Oh my goodness, I just made a batch of these and they are as delicious as everyone has written! I'm going to make another half batch right now b/c I have a feeling people are going to want more than just one. And thank you @gml for two great suggestions: make a well and sprinkle salt. Brilliant!

  • LadyTW 7 Dec, 2011

    I love love love these cookies. I make them for my annual cookie exchange every year. My friends can't get enough of them.

  • mbutte 16 Jun, 2011

    These cookies are delicious!! I have found that even after sifting the powdered sugar, there were clumps in the frosting. My solution is to pour the frosting through a strainer and that has worked.

  • cantona 16 Sep, 2010

    @gml- The sea salt took a darn good cookie and made it great. Thanks for the idea!

  • eyewrite1 29 Jul, 2010

    Every time I have made this recipe, all I hear are raves! It's soooo good and I'm planning on making them fo Christmas this year to give as gifts. I've also lied and said it's an old family recipe and refused to give it to friends! Love this!!

  • lkluska 24 Jun, 2010

    These cookies are a real crowd pleaser! I've made them multiple times but this year I made a triple batch and served them at my end-of-year university Grad Show. People were grabbing them three at a time!
    Thanks Martha!!!

  • okiesadie 13 Jun, 2010

    I made these cookies the last time this was cookie of the day. They are out of this world!

  • jenschoe 2 Apr, 2010

    These cookies are awesome!!! I've been making them for a few years and they have become a Christmas favorite of my family. They are my absolute favorite cookie of all time!!!

  • jolancaster 15 Nov, 2009

    I have made these a number of times. They are delicious and soft and moist. Easy to follow recipe and ymmy. Never a problem and turns out each time:)

  • myke43 5 Oct, 2009

    maybe i"ll be lucky today and leave a comment,,,These cookies
    take you on a virtual trip down Bourbon street in the Big Easy.

  • blueskys 15 Sep, 2009

    These were awesome. I've never made praline before and it was surprisingly easy.

  • gml 28 Mar, 2009

    These are entirely lovely! I made a shallow indentation with my thumb while they were still warm to give the praline topping a little more room and finished with a sprinkling of sea salt. Divine.

  • MarilynandMe 27 Mar, 2009

    10 mins. was way too long for my batches!! 7 minutes seems perfect. Make sure to watch the first batch, as I did not. Very yummy though....sure to please.

  • emank27 10 Mar, 2009

    Very good! My cookies didn't come out as soft as I wanted but they were still awesome! The Praline was very good! I've never had or made cookies like this.. Definitely keeping this recipe!

  • StephenieW 9 Mar, 2009

    Praline taste like New Orleans to me. Had extra frosting, put it in dollops on a silpat, made praline candies. Delicious!

  • StephenieW 9 Mar, 2009

    Praline taste like New Orleans to me. Had extra frosting, put it in dollops on a silpat, made praline candies. Delicious!

  • morgan martha 4 Mar, 2009

    These are the best cookies I've ever had. Ever! This is my go-to recipe for any occasion that requires me to bring cookies. I usually make half-again as much praline mixture, because 1/2 teaspoon per cookie seems like such a small taste of heaven.

  • nayeli 30 Jan, 2008

    These are definitely a new favorite of mine! The cookies turn out so soft and moist. They taste great with and without the frosting. Mmm mmm!

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