Tomorrow is Mardi Gras. To celebrate, I made these King Cake Cookies with Pecan Praline on top. These cookies are a marriage of two New Orleans delicacies, king cake and pecan pralines. If these are not a celebration, I do not know what is. I originally had these incredible cookies at Mixed (the most fun conference I have ever been to), and have been patiently waiting for Mardi Gras to roll around to make them. Dixie Crystals had a bake off to kick off their Bake It Forward program. Aimee Broussard made these and won the bake off! They are amazing. I love celebrating Mardi Gras, usually I make a king cake with my children, but this year I made these instead.
They are a little more work than I normally do for a cookie, but I guarantee that they are worth the effort. And since I only would make these once a year it is completely doable. If you want to skip a step, feel free to roll the dough into balls and them roll them in the sugar mixture without rolling them into spirals. I am not sure that it a necessary step, but I followed the recipe as it was written. While I was making them, I got the idea that you could make these two ways. You could make them as the recipe states, but you could also make a simple white glaze and decorate them like a teeny king cake. How cute would those be?
1 cup butter, room temperature
1 1/4 cup sugar
2 teaspoons cinnamon
3 egg yolks
1 Tablespoon honey
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 teaspoon lemon extract
2 1/2 cups flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon cream of tartar
Cinnamon Sugar Mixture:
1/4 cup sugar
1 Tablespoon cinnamon
1 cup brown sugar
1 cup white sugar
1/2 cup evaporated milk
2 Tablespoons butter
1 1/4 cups pecan halves
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
yellow, green, and purple sprinkles
Cream butter, sugar, and cinnamon until light and fluffy.
Add egg yolks, honey, vanilla, and lemon extract.
Add flour, baking powder, salt, and cream of tartar. Mix until combined.
Roll dough into golf ball sized balls. Combine sugar and cinnamon on a small plate.
Roll the ball into a 6-inch log and roll into cinnamon sugar mixture.
Roll the log into a spiral shape. Place on a parchment lined baking sheet.
Bake in a preheated 350 degree oven for 12 to 16 minutes. Cool completely on a wire rack.
Get started on the praline. Add both sugars to a saucepan. Add evaporated milk.
Bring the mixture to a boil over medium heat.
Stir in the pecans, butter, and vanilla. Bring to a boil. Take off the heat and let cool for 3 to 5 minutes.
Spoon the praline over the cookies. I made sure each cookie had a generous portion of pecans and then went back around and used the rest of the praline.
Mix equal parts of yellow, green, and purple sprinkles in a small bowl.
Sprinkle over cookies.