When my girls were growing up our first house had a fantastic grove of pecan trees all over our yard. We were the only young couple in a neighborhood of retired couples and they always said our girls brought it back to life. For years when the leaves fell off our pecan trees it took an army to rake them up. Every other year we had a huge crop of pecans to shell and share with our families and friends. The one thing I always enjoyed was watching our older neighbors walk the street and pick the pecans that fell there. An industrious few would hike a leg on the side of our yard and pick those pecans that fell close to the road! I'd always just laugh and be proud they could still do it. The neighbors sure walked a lot more during pecan season!
My middle daughter loved our pecans most of all and we constantly had to crack and shell them for her as she would beg for them saying, "Cons momma and daddy, more cons!" I can still hear her saying that now.
That first house was truly a blessing for our young family and we remodeled it all with our own hands and always enjoyed living there. Each time I eat a pecan or make something with them, I'm reminded of those times and the first years of our marriage and our two oldest girls. It doesn't seem that long ago now, but it's been over 16 years since we lived in that little gray house in Mitchell Addition.
I love, love making this easy dessert at the holidays! It's honestly one of my families favorites that's they pick up as they walk by as we snack all day long! I really hope you'll try it.
Pecan Pie Bites
2 cups pecan, minced fine in a food processor
1 cup sugar
1 1/2 sticks butter or margarine (I actually used a light version margarine with a butter flavor and it turned out great with fewer calories)
1 tsp. vanilla
1/8 teaspoon salt
2 sleeves of graham crackers broken in to fourths and placed on a wax paper lined cookie sheet
Melt butter or margarine in a Teflon sauce pan. Hint: you'll want to use a Teflon pan to prevent a sugar pan mess...trust me...been there..done that...and if you don't have wax paper then use nonstick foil or foil sprayed lightly with oil. :o)
Add to pecan mixture on the stove the sugar, vanilla and salt. Bring to a low rolling boil (this is where your sugar, pecan mixture boils and gently pops in the middle of the pan as it cooks). Cook on this low boil for eight minutes until mixture reaches candy stage and coats a spoon without dripping off quickly. Stir this on and off as it cooks, scraping sides of the pan. If you fire is too high you can easily burn this mixture. So adjust it and watch your mixture closely.
While pecan mixture is boiling, break graham crackers in fourths and place on a wax lined cookie sheet.
Once candied pecans are done, spoon immediately over the graham crackers trying to cover as much as possible.
Cook in the oven on 375 for 30 minutes and allow to cool before serving. I like to place these in air proof cookie tins. Layer each row between wax paper and these will keep for up to one week nicely. Pecan Pie Biters are great as gifts for coworker and teachers, or just to take as a dessert that no one ever turns down!
Alise @ The Ranch Kitchen