Christmas Cookies: Crispy Pecan Balls

It wasn’t until a couple of years ago that I started liking pecan balls.  I was never a real fan of pecans – but these were nice bite size little treats.  This year I changed the recipe up a little – I decided to make crispy pecans and add those to the recipe.

I have posted about crispy nuts before, but in case you missed those postings here is why I soak my nuts first.  Nuts can be hard on our digestive system.  I have mentioned this before, but one of my favorite cookbooks in Nourishing Traditions by Sally Fallon.  This cookbook highlights traditional preparation of our foods.  If one looks at or back to traditional peoples, they knew how to prepare foods for the most nourishment.  Nuts are best eaten after they have been soaked.  The soaking process makes nuts easier to digest and their nutrients more readily able to be absorb.  Soaking them in salt water (brine) activates enzymes that neutralize the enzyme inhibitors.

Crispy Pecan Balls

Pecan served


1 cup Crispy Pecans, crushed or chopped
1 cup butter, room temperature
2 cups powdered sugar
2 tsp vanilla
2 cups flour
1/4 tsp baking powder

1. The day before (in the morning) soak your pecans.  I did about 2 cups of pecans, 1 Tbl sea salt and enough filtered water to cover.  Let soak for 7 hours.

Pecan soaking

2. Drain the nuts and place in a dehydrator.  Dehydrate for about 12 hours at 150 degrees.

Pecan drying

3. When your nuts are completely dry – store in an airtight container.

Pecans dried

4.  In a large bowl, beat the butter, 1/2 cup powdered sugar and vanilla until smooth and creamy looking.

Pecan butter sugarPecan creamed

5. Add the flour and baking powder to the butter mixture.  Beat until well blended.

Pecan dry

6. Place your pecans in a plastic zip lock bag and with a rolling pin – crush your pecans.

Pecan crushingPecan crushed

7. Add the pecans to the the butter/flour mixture and stir with a wooden spoon until well blended.

Pecan addedPecan dough

8. Preheat the oven to 300 degrees.

9. Shape the dough into 1 inch balls and place on a buttered baking sheet about 1 inch apart.

Pecan ready for oven

10. Bake for about 25 minutes or until they are a pale brown.

11. Let cookies stand on cookie sheet until they are cool enough to handle.

12. Place the remaining 1 1/2 cup powdered sugar in a shallow bowl and roll the warm cookies in the powdered sugar.  Set the rolled cookies on a rack and allow to cool completely.

Pecan rollingPecan powdered

These are crunchy and creamy all at once.  The crispy pecans really add to the flavor.  I find that crispy nuts are more flavorful and the nuts have almost a buttery taste to them.  Enjoy!

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5 Responses to Christmas Cookies: Crispy Pecan Balls

  1. Candace says:

    These look easy and so delicious. I wonder if you could use crushed almonds or peanuts. Just a thought. Also, I LOVE that you explain about the importance of soaking nuts. Great job!!

  2. These look delicious. I also did not know about soaking the nuts. Do you think the nuts we buy in packages in the baking departments have been soaked? I’ve been eating some pecans lately for their protein value and find they generally upset my stomach. Too bad I get rid of the dehydrator in the move.

    • simply0637 says:

      Most nuts are treating with radiation and formaldehyde. Your best bet is to buy raw organic and soak them – if you don’t have your dehydrator anymore you can do in the oven. Nuts are really hard to digest, but I find when they are soak and crisped they are easier to digest – also find this with seeds, oats and flours. Highly recommend getting the book Nourishing Traditions – very educational and great recipes. There is a link in the post. I have a farmer that I buy some products from and they sell crispy nuts. If you don’t want to get the book – then I suggest going to and become a member – when you become a member they send you a shopping guide and I am sure that they have many places you can get the nuts from – you also will get their quarterly publications which have a great resource section as to where to buy products that support the Nourishing Traditions diet.

  3. Jenny Finn says:

    I was just about to make these, with walnuts! I will use your recipe now. I make these almost every year, I remember my Mom and Granny making them too. Thanks for the article Pamela!

  4. Jo says:

    I call these mexican wedding cookies and I make them with pecans because I’m not a walnut person! They look delicious! xox

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