Rum-Spiced Pecan Butter and Chocolate Cookies

Rum Spiced Pecan Chocolate Cookie Recipe

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The holidays are over but at least here in Colorado winter is gonna keep going for a few more months and comforting, buttery cookies that complement Irish coffees sipped after dinner will continue to be in need. Which brings me to today’s recipe. It’s a simple vanilla cookie brushed with a chocolate ganache and sprinkled with chopped pecans that are soaked in a rum/sugar/butter/cinnamon/cardamom mix. The cookies are delicate, buttery and crunchy and provide the perfect canvas for the cinnamon and citrusy cardamom as well as the (subtle) rum flavor in the pecans. Happy snowy and cozy winter evenings!

Rum Spiced Pecan Butter and Chocolate Cookies
Recipe type: Dessert
Serves: 40
For the spiced pecans:
  • 1 tablespoon granulated sugar
  • ¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • ¼ teaspoon ground cardamom
  • 2 tablespoons rum
  • 1 tablespoon brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
  • 1 cup pecans, finely chopped
For the cookies:
  • 12 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
  • ½ cup granulated sugar
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1½ cups + 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • pinch of salt
For the chocolate dip:
  • 4 tablespoons heavy cream
  • 4 ounces semisweet chocolate, finely chopped*
For the spiced pecans:
  1. Mix granulated sugar, cinnamon and cardamom together in a bowl. Set aside.
  2. Cover a baking sheet with parchment or wax paper. Set aside.
  3. Add rum, brown sugar and butter to a saucepan and bring to a boil.
  4. Add the pecans, then turn the heat off.
  5. Stir the pecans with a rubber spatula until they are evenly coated and all the liquid has been soaked up by the nuts.
  6. Sprinkle the spice mix over the nuts and stir them around.
  7. Distribute the nuts onto the parchment or wax paper and separate them using a fork.
  8. Let the nuts sit to dry for 3 hours.
For the cookies:
  1. Beat butter and granulated sugar until well combined and creamy.
  2. Beat in the vanilla extract.
  3. Add the flour and the salt and beat until the dough starts to form clumps.
  4. Gather the dough into a ball with your hands, then flatten into a disc, cut into two pieces, wrap each piece in plastic wrap and put in the fridge for 30 minutes.
  5. Heat the oven to 350 degrees F.
  6. Roll out one of the two disc halves between two sheets of plastic wrap.
  7. Cut out the cookies and bake on a parchment-lined baking sheet until they start to brown (12 to 15 minutes).
  8. While the first batch bakes, roll out the second disc, then bake.
  9. Let the cookies cool completely.
For the chocolate dip:
  1. Add cream and chocolate to a bowl and warm over a pot of simmering water.
  2. Stir until everything is well combined and no chocolate clumps remain.
  3. Brush the chocolate onto the cookies, then sprinkle with the nut mix.
*Don't use chocolate morsels; morsels have stabilizers in them that actually prevent them from melting.

Food Photography and Styling: These winter cookies are meant for after dinner when it’s dark outside so I tried to mimic dinner table light and a general dinner table atmosphere in this photo. I kept everything extremely simple because with any more propping going on in the frame and a less closeup composition the individual components in these cookies were difficult to fully see, they all started to blend together into a mush. As I’m sure you guessed, I used my strobe to light the set.

Nikon D600, 105mm, f/8, 1/125 sec., ISO 100. One Hensel Integra Pro Plus 500 Monolight, 35″ x 58″ Softbox.


    • Nicole B. says:

      Thank you so much, Kevin! Actually, since I could barely taste the rum I made a batch without it and the lack of alcohol did make a surprisingly big difference in taste. But having said that the cookies still tasted quite good, just different. :)

  1. Gena says:

    These are delightful, Nicole. So perfectly warming for winter.

    I also so appreciate that you include photography information for your posts — so helpful for those of us who have a lot to learn!

  2. Wendi Spraker says:

    When will I learn to NOT look at your site when I am trying to be “good” with what I eat? Now I am wanting some delicate little cookies and Oh HOLY COW a chocolatey donut!! lol. Actually, I was just trying to find something interesting that I could carry to my bookclub tomorrow – and I think these tasty looking and cute little cookies might be just the thing!! Like everyone else here in the comment section – I really appreciate the photography info too! Thank you!

    • Nicole B. says:

      Hahaha, ah, nothing is really bad as long as it’s consumed in moderation. Or something like that. :) So glad you like my photography and styling chatter!

    • Nicole B. says:

      Well, that’s a good point. I suppose if you make a double batch, then there should be some left for after dinner. :)

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