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Pecan Season at the Americus Garden Inn

Pecan Season at the Americus Garden Inn
When we first moved to Americus, in December 2002, I saw my first pecan tree. Actually, I saw several, as our beautiful property here at the Americus Garden Inn had huge, beautiful pecan trees lining the driveway. In the yard, we had more scattered about. There were pecans of different varieties all over the ground. We had so many pecans, we shared them with anyone who wanted some.

Then, in March 2007, we were hit by an EF3 tornado and most of the pecan trees were destroyed. We made the decision to establish a real garden, with the help of a landscape architect, and we now have a beautiful garden. But we still have 2 pecan trees that survived. The one on the driveway, doesn’t produce edible nuts. Our other tree produces nuts but not on a regular schedule.

Due to Covid, we have been closed since March. Kim and I have been tackling projects that do not cost any money, just labor. He has been working around the house and I have been working on digitizing old business records. When the nuts started falling from the tree, I decided that it would be my job to harvest the nuts. We made a mutual decision that we would schedule time every evening, while we watch television after dinner, to crack and shell pecans. In the past, we never had time to shell our own pecans. This year, we do.

There are lots of recipes that use pecans. You may not know this, but many years ago I took first place for my pecan pie. And, in another contest, I took first place for my mini pecan tarts. But due to Covid, I’m only cooking and baking for me and Kim. Since I am gluten intolerant, I was looking for something quick and easy that would satisfy our cravings for sweets. I tried a few different variations of this recipe and decided to share the final version with you.

This recipe takes less than 5 minutes to prep and about 15 minutes in the oven. You will need a food processor. This is a small batch recipe that serves up to 4 people. I used my mini processor that only holds 2 cups of ingredients. There are only 3 ingredients: pecans, honey (or maple syrup) and salt. I add cinnamon because I love cinnamon. You don’t have to. I call them honey pecan cookies but, if you use maple syrup, you can call them maple pecan cookies. Personally, I prefer honey to maple, but either one works. With the honey, it smells like baklava while it is baking. For a vegan version, use the maple syrup. And the big bonus with this recipe is that you can safely eat the raw cookie dough!

FYI – I did lightly toast the pecans before making the cookies, but you don’t have to. It does add to the flavor and texture, however. And, for the photo, I sprinkled a little confectioners’ sugar over the top. The first batch I made I cut with a pizza wheel and they cut beautifully. The second batch I used the star cookie cutters. They didn’t come out perfect, but, as you can see in the picture, they were pretty.

Honey Pecan Cookies – 3 ingredients, gluten and dairy free

1 cup pecans (preferably toasted)
3 TBS honey (or maple syrup)
¼ tsp cinnamon (optional)
Pinch sea salt

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees
  2. In a food processor, finely grind the pecans, cinnamon (if desired) and salt.
  3. Add honey (or maple syrup) and pulse processor until mixture comes together into a cohesive dough ball
  4. Place the dough onto a piece of parchment paper and place a second piece of parchment paper on top
  5. Using a rolling pin, roll to about 1/8-inch thickness (alternate method would be to press it out with your hands
  6. Remove top piece of parchment paper. Place flattened dough on parchment paper directly onto a cookie sheet
  7. Bake at 350 degrees for about 15 minutes or until golden brown.
  8. Remove from oven and quickly cut into shapes using a pizza wheel or pastry cutter for squares or triangles, or use cookie cutters for specific shapes. Cookies will be soft when they come out of the oven and will harden as they cool.
  9. Enjoy.