Ganache Filled Pecan Cookies

by Shoshana on April 4, 2012 · 25 comments

Post image for Ganache Filled Pecan Cookies Several years ago my husband and I worked in the kitchen at the Seminary. While the food in the regular cafeteria at the Seminary was always pretty good, it was fun to work the fancy catered meals and see what delicious things the chef would come up with. One thing that was often served at the fancy meals that wasn’t made in house was an assortment of petit fours and cookies. Elegant assortments of tiny cookies, tarts, cream puffs and mousses that were served with coffee. They were all beautiful to look at, but to be perfectly honest most of them didn’t taste all that great. The one exception was the almond florentines. Shatteringly crisp cookies sandwiched with dark chocolate, those were my favorites. And fortunately for me, as someone working in the kitchen, they were so delicate there were always broken ones at the bottom of the box to snack on.

So what do those cookies have to do with these cookies? Even though they look totally different my husband took one bite of these and said “these taste like those cookies we liked at the Seminary.” I completely agree. They do not have the crispness of those cookies, they are more of a chewy cookie, but the caramel-y nut flavor combined with chocolate is very similar. One of the tasters even said he thought it tasted like there were oats in the cookies which, even though there aren’t in these cookies, there are in florentines. Even better these cookies are extremely easy to make. The ganache is smooth and creamy, with the texture of frosting. The ganache is so silky and smooth, it is one of my new favorite fillings. It is going to be showing up in a lot of different recipes, that is for sure.

The cookies do get soggy fairly quickly once they are filled so they need to be filled not too long before serving. However the ganache can be made up to a month ahead and is soft enough to spred right from the refrigerator. Keep some ganache on hand ready to go and you can whip up these cookies in no time at all.

UPDATE: I have gotten quite a few emails and comments from people who tried these cookies with other nut butters (primarily almond) and were disappointed that they did not spread and get thin and chewy like they were supposed to. This is because pecan butter is much runnier than other nut butters and the different types of nuts are not interchangeable. This ganache would be amazing in an almond butter sandwich cookie as well, so if using almond butter feel free to use the filling recipe but use this cookie recipe instead, substituting almond butter for the peanut butter.

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Ganache Filled Pecan Cookies

Makes approximatly 20 cookies

For Cookies
1 cup pecan butter
1 cup dark brown sugar
1 egg
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 teaspoon cinnamon

Preheat the oven to 350.

Combine all the ingredients in a bowl and stir until well combined. Scoop out teaspoon sized balls of dough onto a parchment lined baking sheet. Space the cookies at least two inches apart since the spread considerably. Flatten the cookies slightly. Bake until the cookies are set and golden, approximately eight minutes. Remove from oven and let cool completely before filling.

For Ganache
6 ounces good quality dark chocolate
3/4 cups (6 ounces) almond milk
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

There are two ways to make this ganache, with a food processor or an immersion blender. If using a food processor coarsely chop the chocolate and then process it in a food processor until finely chopped. Heat the almond milk until just boiling (this can be done in the microwave). Pour it into the food processor while the motor is running. Process until the chocolate is fully melted. Add the vanilla and then process until smooth and glossy.

If using an immersion blender chop the chocolate until it is in very small pieces, no bigger than a lentil. Place the chocolate in a large bowl. Heat the almond milk until just boiling (this can be done in the microwave). Pour the almond milk slowly over the chocolate while blending with the immersion blender. Add the vanilla and blend until smooth and glossy.

Pour the ganache into a shallow dish and let stand at room temperature until it has set, at least a few hours (the time it will take to set is determined by how warm the kitchen is). Once the ganache has set it can be stored in an airtight container at room temperature for up to a week or in the refrigerator for up to a month.

To fill the cookies spread the flat side of half of the cookies with ganache. Top with the remaining cookies, flat side down.

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{ 23 comments… read them below or add one }

Laura April 4, 2012 at 1:31 pm

Such creative use of nut butters to make Pesach cookies! I have stuffed my freezer to capacity already, but I am so tempted to bake more. I wonder if using straight melted chocolate instead of ganache might solve the soggy problem. Kind of like milanos.

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Shoshana April 4, 2012 at 4:16 pm

I think that might work better. I am going to test it this week. I had already filled all of them with ganache when I thought of it and didn’t have a chance to do any more pre pesach testing but I am making them for us to have on pesach and I’ll let you know how it works.

I was thinking about trying this ganache with the pecan cake you just posted. Do you think they would go well together?

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Zahava April 4, 2012 at 9:08 pm

Just made these! I’m so happy I did! They are yummy, chewy and have a nutty and toffee aspect to them. My one comment is that they came out pretty flat and I probably didn’t spread them apart enough. The first tray came out all square because they all merged, the secOnd tray was a little better but I think next time I’ll just spread the dough onto a cookie sheet and cut out circles after its baked and slightly cooled. Also I only used 3/4 cup of the butter because that’s all I had and then refrigerated the dough a bit. So good, I can literally eat all of the myself and I still haven’t added the chocolate and can’t wait to see how it’ll taste, though they’re amazing on their own anyways so I might just leave them as is! Thank you for this and all of your amazing recipes! Have a happy Pesach!

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Shoshana April 5, 2012 at 12:51 am

I’m so glad you liked them. I agree that they spread a lot. I made them with literally a teaspoon of dough and they spread to 2 1/2 inch cookies. I’m curious to know if it works to make them as a big sheet. It you try it let me know. Have a wonderful Pesach.

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Eliza April 7, 2012 at 7:07 am

I absolutely LOVE these! I made them last night in preparation for Easter Sunday & couldn’t help but to taste test them! Loved the flourless/dairy free consistancy & I think they’re going to be a hit! I did run into some problems with the ganache & had to do another attempt after the first ended up like chocolate milk…but overall, thank you SO much for sharing the recipe! You did a great job & I can only hope that my cookies will be as well liked as yours! Thanks again! :)

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Shoshana April 9, 2012 at 11:08 pm

I’m so glad you liked them. Did the second ganache attempt work out ok?

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Queenscook April 10, 2012 at 5:12 pm

I made these today, but with almond butter. For the first batch, I was surprised that they didn’t spread at all. I had spaced them out pretty far, and didn’t flatten them down at all, afraid they’d spread too much. Instead, they stayed in the ball shape I left them in, so for the second half, I flattened them out. They all tasted fine, but I’m wondering if the consistency of almond butter is that different from pecan butter, that they didn’t spread out. I’d like to try the pecan version, but as it is, I have made so many different desserts, I’m not sure I can justify yet another.

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Shoshana April 10, 2012 at 5:52 pm

The almond butter does have a different consistency than the pecan butter and it behaves differently when baked. The pecan butter ones spread and get crispy while the almond butter ones are more of a soft cookie.

Although they would be different than the pecan ones I do like using the almond butter version as a sandwich cookie with jam so I imagine it would be good with ganache too.

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Samara April 18, 2012 at 8:07 am

I missed you guys at Passover this year! I hope you had a great one!!

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Shoshana April 18, 2012 at 10:17 pm

We missed you too!

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Jennifer in BreadLand April 20, 2012 at 3:52 pm

In the mood for Pesach cookies, for some weird reason (it’s only been 6 days, but it feels like FOREVER since Pesach!). Ground up some cashews and used 1 cup of that butter. They didn’t spread, but they look marvellous. I made something like this last week with almond butter (thumbprint cookies) during Pesach – they were also lovely. No almond milk in the house, so I used mimicreme cashew/almond cream instead and the ganache looks and tastes utterly divine. Shabbat Shalom!

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Sarah Mindlin March 16, 2013 at 11:36 am

Is the almond milk sweetened or unsweetened

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Shoshana March 17, 2013 at 9:43 am

I haven’t been able to find unsweetened almond milk for Passover so I use sweetened, but it shouldn’t make too much of a difference either way.

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Brytt March 24, 2013 at 5:20 pm

I’ve purchased just about everything I need for these except the dark chocolate. I work in a market and before I left today I went through every chocolate bar we sell and couldn’t figure out what I should use. (I’m almost positive I’m over thinking this.) We have bars that are 85% cacao but I worried that might be too dark and chalky but anything with a lower percentage had a label that said “may contain milk”. Have you found a particular chocolate that works well? Any suggestions would be much appreciated!

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Shoshana March 25, 2013 at 12:35 am

I think you are right that the 85% chocolate would come out a bit grainy in the ganache. Since I make these for Passover I use Elite brand or Schmerling which are both Kosher for Passover and parve which makes them completely dairy free. For the rest of the year my favorite non-dairy chocolates are Scharffen berger and Callbeaut. For a recipe like this I choose chocolate in the range of 50-65% because the darker chocolates result in a ganache that is not quite as creamy.

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Shelley March 3, 2014 at 9:05 am

I shop at Sobey’s in Thornhill, which has the largest kosher for Passover selection, and I have never seen Kosher for Passover almond milk and pecan butter.
Where in the Toronto area have you purchased these products?

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Shoshana March 3, 2014 at 7:20 pm

I am not from Toronto so i don’t know what is available there. In the last few years I have found almond milk for passover in the local kosher stores. The pecan butter I make myself by grinding up pecans in the food processor. I hope that helps.

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Abby March 27, 2014 at 10:19 am

Where is your Passover almond pear-bluebrry cake recipe? Photo looks yummy!

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Shoshana March 27, 2014 at 10:57 am

They linked it wrong in the article. I agree the cake looks delicious, but unfortunately it isn’t my recipe. This is the original link http://hungryrabbitnyc.com/2012/03/almond-pear-blueberry-cake/. Hope that helps.

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Bela Alma April 15, 2014 at 11:22 am

I read these comments before I made the cookies and I just wanted to say that I made my pecan butter from scratch first, but didn’t blend it quite as much as I would if I were using it as just the butter to spread on things/eat by the spoonful ^.^ And my cookies came out perfect in my opinion! They didn’t spread as much as it seems everyone else’s did, weren’t too thin and had that perfect chewy-cookie goodness to them! Thank you so much for sharing this recipe, I’ve made lots of people happy today with them!

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Shoshana April 16, 2014 at 11:55 pm

I’m so glad you liked them!

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