As I mentioned before, this year I really wanted to focus on cookies that were different; ones you probably wouldn’t see on your everyday, average cookie tray. When I spotted these cookies back in September, I immediately earmarked them as a potential recipe for the 12 Days of Christmas Cookies. They seemed fairly easy and looked delicious. Plus they’re called “Elephant Ear” cookies. I have no idea why, but being the raging Alabama fan that I am, I love anything that has to do with elephants. 🙂
I was right. These cookies are delicious, and easy, just a little labor intensive. It’s the perfect cookie to make when you’re doing a whole day of baking because you’ll have plenty of time between chilling times to make another batch or two of cookies (or brownies or bread or whatever blows your skirt up).
Elephant Ear Cookies
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1 17.3 oz package puff pastry dough, thawed
1 cup pecan halves
1/3 cup sugar
1/4 cup + 2 tablespoons brown sugar
1 3/4 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 egg, lightly beaten
Unroll both pieces of puff pastry onto a piece of parchment lightly dusted with flour. Pinch the two pieces together to make a long rectangle. Roll the dough rectangle out to about 11×20 inches. Place in the refrigerator and chill for 45 minutes. (I put mine on a half sheet pan to make moving it around easier.)
Toast the pecan halves in a dry skillet over medium-low heat until the nuts smell nutty, but aren’t burned, about 5-10 minutes. Set aside to cool. When nuts have cooled, place the pecan halves, both sugars, cinnamon, and salt in a food processor (I used my mini chopper) and pulse until the pecans are finely ground and the mixture looks like wet sand.
Remove the chilled dough from the refrigerator and brush with the beaten egg, covering the entire dough sheet thoroughly. Spread the cinnamon pecan mixture evenly all over the dough, spreading to the edges and pressing lightly to adhere. Staring from one of the short ends, tightly roll up the dough to make a spiral log. Wrap the log in plastic wrap or parchment and freeze for 20 minutes.
When the log is firm, slice it into 12 even pieces. Working with one cookie at a time, roll the cookies out into a 5-6 inch diameter circle. Use sugar (or cinnamon sugar) instead of flour to keep the cookies from sticking to your rolling pin and work space. Use as much sugar as needed to keep the cookies from sticking. Place 3-4 cookies on a cookie sheet lined with parchment. Chilled rolled cookies for 30 minutes.
Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 350°. Bake chilled cookies for 16-20 minutes or until lightly browned. Allow to cool on baking pans for a few minutes, and then transfer to wire racks to cool completely.
-Adapted from Annie’s Eats