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A distinctive pecan topping is the prasie-winning feature of these apricot cookies of French origin...........ENJOY!!

Aristocrats 3/4 cup butter 1 teaspoon vanilla extract 2/3 cup sugar 1 egg 2 cups sifted cake flour 2/3 cup apricot preserves Pecan Topping (see below)

1. Cream butter with extract; add sugar gradually, creaming until fluffy. Add egg and beat thoroughly. 2. Add flour in fourths, mixing until blended after each addition 3. Turn dough into a lightly greased 11x7x1 1/2-inch baking pan and spread evenly. Spread the apricot preserves over dough. 4. Bake at 350F 20-25 minutes or until edges are lightly browned. Remove pan to wire rack (do not remove cookie layer from pan). 5. Prepare Pecan Topping and spread evenly over cooled cookie layer. Chill 2-3 hours. 6. Cut into stips, about 2 1/2x 3/4-inch. Place strips about 1/2-inch apart on cookie sheets. 7. Bake at 375F for 15 minutes or until topping is delicately browned.

Yield: about 4 dozen cookies

Pecan Topping: Beat 1 egg white with 1/8 teaspoon salt until frothy. Add 2/3 cup sugar and 2 teaspoons flour gradually, beating thoroughly after each addition. Beat until stiff peaks are formed. Fold in 2/3 cup pecans, finely chopped.

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