It’s like pecan pie, but in cookie form....


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Linda e-mailed me yesterday evening looking for a recipe from our archives:

‘I was looking ... for a cookie recipe from Harris Ranch Restaurant, but did not locate it. Could you help me find the recipe for Pecan Thumb Print Cookies? Thank you, Linda’


We tracked down the recipe, which originally ran as a Culinary SOS on Jan. 11, 2006. We had written:

‘Travelers driving between Southern California and the Bay Area on Interstate 5 have made these cookies a popular fixture at the Harris Ranch Inn & Restaurant in Coalinga. Chewy in texture, they have a pecan pie flavor and taste like a buttery lace cookie, although they have no butter.’

Enjoy, Linda!

The recipe follows the jump. And click here for more Culinary SOS recipes. If you have a favorite restaurant recipe you’d like to request, feel free to e-mail me at I’ll do my best to track down the recipe.

-- Noelle Carter

Photo credit: Ken Hively / Los Angeles Times

Harris Ranch pecan drops

Total time: 1 hour

Serves: Makes about 3 dozen cookies

2½ cups brown sugar

¾ teaspoon salt

¾ teaspoon vanilla extract

1½ pounds coarsely chopped pecan pieces

½ cup egg whites (3 to 4 large egg whites)

1. Heat the oven to 350 degrees. In the bowl of an electric mixer, combine the brown sugar, salt, vanilla and pecan pieces. Beat on low speed to incorporate the ingredients, then drizzle in the egg whites. Increase the speed to medium-low and beat for 4 to 5 minutes, scraping down the sides of the bowl as needed.

2. Drop the dough in rounded tablespoons onto a greased baking sheet. Press each ball of dough with the back of a spoon to form a cookie 3½ inches in diameter and about one-eighth-inch thick.

3. Bake 10 to 12 minutes, until the edges are lightly browned. Remove from oven and immediately remove the cookies from the baking sheet to a cooling rack. The cookies will be soft but will firm up as they cool.

Each cookie: 190 calories; 2 grams protein; 18 grams carbohydrates; 2 grams fiber; 14 grams fat; 1 gram saturated fat; 0 cholesterol; 60 mg. sodium.