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John's Pecan-Lace Cookies

These crunchy cookies are wonderful on their own or when paired with your favorite ice cream. If you like, you can substitute almonds for the pecans and lemon zest for the orange zest. Or make a sandwich by spreading a layer of melted chocolate between two cookies.

  • Prep:
  • Total Time:
  • Yield: Makes 55
John's Pecan-Lace Cookies

Source: Everyday Food, March 2009


  • 2/3 cup packed light-brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter
  • 1/2 cup light corn syrup
  • Salt
  • 1 teaspoon grated orange zest
  • 1 cup pecans, finely chopped
  • 2/3 cup cake flour (spooned and leveled)


  1. In a medium saucepan, heat sugar, butter, corn syrup, and a pinch of salt over medium, stirring, until sugar has dissolved, about 7 minutes.

  2. Remove pan from heat; stir in orange zest, pecans, and flour. Transfer to a bowl; cover with plastic wrap, and refrigerate until dough is firm, about 2 hours.

  3. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line two large baking sheets with parchment. Drop dough by teaspoons, about 2 inches apart, onto sheets (6 per sheet); roll into balls.

  4. Bake until cookies are golden brown (they will harden as they cool), 9 to 10 minutes. Transfer cookies on parchment to a wire rack. Repeat with remaining dough. Let cookies cool completely.

Cook's Note

This dough needs to chill for a couple of hours before baking, but you can also leave it in the fridge for up to 2 weeks and bake when you like.

Reviews (28)

  • consommation 18 Feb, 2014

    Hey! this recipes is just so awesome. I've just done my cookies like you have recommanded and really it is so delicious. My daughter really like. Thank you very much for sharing this stuff with us. credit à la consommation

  • MolitorMolitor 21 Dec, 2012

    Just made these for my cookie tins. They turned out awesome & they were gobbled up. I upped the Orange zest to 2 t. Also did all my measurements for butter, flour and nuts by weight instead by volume. They were a tiny bit greasy when warm but as soon as they finished cooling they were just right.

  • Victoriafgna 21 Dec, 2012

    (I got cut off) I then tried different bake times...different temp times trying to solve the problems...but after tasting them...I gave up and threw them all away. The orange in my opinion is gross. I suppose its an acquired taste to enjoy orange flavored toffee. Trust this review. Terrible recipe. Terrible.

  • Victoriafgna 21 Dec, 2012

    I made an account just to say how terrible this recipe is. I wasted time and money and well, i'm not very happy at the moment. I have 10 tins of Christmas cookies to make and now I need to whip up a different recipe as this one failed miserably. They turned out oval like other reviewers stated which i just reshaped them while hot with a spatula...i moved on. As I allowed them to cool I realized they were COVERED in grease. I put them on paper towels hoping that would It didn't.

  • jonesiegal 22 Dec, 2011

    I grew up eating these from our town bakery and have always wanted to know how to make them. I use dark baking pans so I did have to turn the temp down to 325 and I still was only able to bake them for 7 1/2 minutes but they turned out marvelous. Considering our bakery charges. .60 a piece for the wonderful cookies I am happy to now have a recipe I can work with. Thanks ever so much. Make sure you put the rest of the balls back in the refrigerator between bakings so they don't get to soft.

  • scissorqueen 15 Dec, 2010

    These were THE BEST cookies! Every year at Christmas time I make a treat for my clients and my kids teachers...this year it was these cookies. You have to be careful how big you make the ball of dough as it spreads so much when it cooks. If they do happen to spread together I take a metal spatula while they are still hot and separate them and make them as circular as possible. Honestly...nobody cares what shape they are...they are so good!

  • elsiebee2 11 Dec, 2010

    These were the WORST cookies ever! Everything melded into one giant greasy rectangle. I wouldn't recommend them.

  • Nancy32408 27 Oct, 2010

    Made these today. They are NOT a cookie but taste like a thin, crispy pecan brittle. Very pretty. Would be great accompanied with vanilla ice cream. They do make
    50 plus. Use 1/2 tablespoon of dough. Only put 6 on parchment paper. Roll the rest and keep in fridge. Cool completely. Make sure to brown edges. Undercooking makes them doughy/soft and never crisp up.

  • Kbanar 7 Jun, 2010

    I made these cookies yesterday. They are delicious...however I did not get anywhere near 55 cookies...I do find Martha's yields to be WAY off. I tried rolling them...and it worked great...have them in the freezer waiting for an occasion to fill them.

  • mynameislynn 6 Jun, 2010

    I've had oatmeal lace cookies and I love them. Wonder if there is a recipe on here for them?

  • Samantha1119 21 Dec, 2009

    Does anyone know how, and how long these cookies can be stored? Thanks.

  • sunny21 15 Sep, 2009

    They didn't turn out that flat...but were great although. Instead of pecans I used almonds and instead of orange I used vanilla.

  • krmez 5 Mar, 2009

    Mine came out oval-shaped which was disappointing. The taste is ok. These take quite awhile to bake at 6 per sheet. Also, either it's my butter or these are greasy. Had to place on paper towels when cool enough.

  • krmez 5 Mar, 2009

    Mine came out oval-shaped which was disappointing. The taste is ok. These take quite awhile to bake at 6 per sheet. Also, either it's my butter or these are greasy. Had to place on paper towels when cool enough.

  • krmez 5 Mar, 2009

    Mine came out oval-shaped which was disappointing. The taste is ok. These take quite awhile to bake at 6 per sheet. Also, either it's my butter or these are greasy. Had to place on paper towels when cool enough.

  • toriburgess 4 Mar, 2009

    Oh--and you can find cake flour at your local grocery store, or you can create a substitute with cornstarch and flour. Put 2 Tablespoons of cornstarch at the bottom of a 1-cup measuring cup, then fill to the top with regular flour. For best results, sift it all into a bowl so you don't get any hard lumps!

  • toriburgess 4 Mar, 2009

    I made these yesterday and I didn't realize they literally melt in your mouth! YUM!! To make them even more over-the-top, I melted semi-sweet chocolate and slathered it between two cookies. I used a substitute for cake flour since I didn't have any handy, but I did have regular flour and cornstarch and it did the job perfectly. Just be careful after the cookies cool--they are so delicate and can fracture easily!

  • cdlewis2 4 Mar, 2009

    These are soooo good! They're light and crispy - you'll eat a dozen before you know it.

  • ItsMandaPanda 25 Feb, 2009

    WHat is cake flour? And where would I find it?

  • iamamyhall 15 Feb, 2009

    These are great! And I used regular flour instead of cake and it seemed to work in a pinch.

  • BeeQueen 10 Dec, 2008

    Roll these into cones. Fill with ice cream, pudding, whipped cream or fresh fruit for lower calories! Sky is the limit for toppings...whipped cream, liqueur, chocolate sauce or curl.
    These can be made ahead! TO STORE: Transfer cooled cones to a freezer container and freeze until ready to serve or refrigerate in an airtight container.

  • BeeQueen 10 Dec, 2008

    For a special holiday presentation fill with vanilla pudding with Grand Marnier stirred in. Place on a plate with clementine wedges spilling out. Top with whipped cream or choc curls.

  • BeeQueen 10 Dec, 2008

    Roll these into cones!! To serve lay on dessert plate

  • terrie-bear 19 Jun, 2008

    My family just finished off the recipe. I melted some semi sweet chocolate chips in the microwave and carefully dipped half of the cookie into it for a little extra treat. This recipe was really good. I also followed other comments and just made 1" balls and put 6 on a tray and got 3 to 4 inch cookies out of it. Yummy. Tasted just a good as Trader Joe's lace cookies.

  • Connie10 12 Jun, 2008

    You can also roll the cookies, while still warm, around the end of a wooden spoon to create a different shape.

  • cookiemold 8 Jun, 2008

    Thank you Rainbowcherries. Just the info I needed. Now another question. What is the best way (or is there a way) to keep them so you can serve only maybe 1/2 dozen at a time?

  • rainbowcherries 8 Jun, 2008

    Lace cookies expand a lot. when they cook they flatten out and get really thin which is why they look lacy. If you follow the 1/4 ounce (apprx. 1/2 tablespoon U.S.), the two inches should be good. The first time I made lace cookies, I put too many on the sheet and they spread over the edge of the sheet. I would expect that the diameter could possibly be up to 4 inches. Usually a large cookie sheet is 16 inches by 14 inches. I hope this helps!

  • cookiemold 6 Jun, 2008

    Question - What are the dimensions of your "large baking sheet." How big are the finished cookies that you can only fit 6 at a time? Thank you.

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