Butter Pecans

Eric’s great-grandmother was Swedish.  Grandma Prudie cooked a lot of traditional recipes from her native country that have been passed down.  Eric’s family still uses many of the recipes, especially around Christmas.  They have a special dinner on Christmas Eve with traditional Swedish meatballs, boiled potatoes, rye bread, and of course tomato aspic.

I am all about tradition, don’t get me wrong.  Traditions are about family togetherness and I love them.  I especially love them when they are delicious.  Unfortunately tomato aspic does not fall under this category.  How can you love what is essentially a tomato jello, even if it is dressed up in a bundt mold?  I am not alone; even Eric admits that tomato aspic is revolting.  In fact, I’m pretty sure that Bumpa (Eric’s grandpa, Prudie’s son) is the only one who eats the stuff every Christmas.  This is the same man who also eats pickled herring on a regular basis.  Just sayin’.

The first year we were married Eric and I went to my parent’s house for the holidays.  We have our Christmas traditions too, and those traditions usually include lots of mashed potatoes and tri-tip.  But to make Eric feel more at home, I decided to try to recreate his family’s Christmas Eve dinner, even down to the tomato aspic.

The meatballs turned out awesome.  I even won the meatball contest. (My brother-in-law, whose family is hardcore Italian, insisted on having a meatball contest to prove “once again” that northern Europeans (and their meatballs) are inferior to their southern neighbors.  Boo-ya.)

Meatballs, check.  The potatoes were good.  The rye bread was good.  The tomato aspic?  Didn’t set up.  So when we flipped that bundt mold over, instead of revealing our magnificently shaped (if nothing else) tomato jello, out came tomato soup with chunks of gelatin floating in it.  Yum.

Even if the tomato aspic tradition is doomed to die on this generations watch, Grandma Prudie’s Swedish cookie tradition is one that is bound to stick around.  These Butter Pecans have 6 ingredients and are incredible.  I’m usually not one for pecans (or any nuts, for that matter), but these cookies are addictive.  Especially since they are tiny; it’s easy to throw down 8 or 9 before you’ve even realized what’s going on.  Long live Butter Pecans.  Tomato aspic, rest in peace.

Butter Pecans

Source: Grandma Prudie

1 cup butter
2/3 cup brown sugar
1 egg yolk
2 cups flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
pecan halves

Cream butter and brown sugar.  Add the egg yolk and beat. Add the flour & salt. Mix until it forms a ball.  Chill the dough for about an hour.

Form the dough into 1 inch balls and flatten once with a fork.  Press a pecan on top perpendicular to the fork marks.

Bake at 350 for 6-8 minutes or until very light brown.


13 thoughts on “Butter Pecans

  1. Ok, well you knew I WOULD have to leave a comment with all those jabs and negative words about one of my families’ traditional Christmas Eve delicacies! First of all, Tomato Aspic is a SALAD, Karen! A delicious, savory crunchy vegetable – filled salad! It tastes great with Swedish Meatballs. Also, I might add, that my dad is NOT the only one that eats it. (A lot of us also eat pickled herring, too – yum, yum) I throw down the glove! Someone in the next generation MUST carry on the the Tomato Aspic tradition!!! It CANNOT die an ignominious death with my children.

    • Heehee. Maybe you can spoon-feed it to Charlotte this year and get her hooked. You will have to work on the grandchildren, because I’m pretty sure your own offspring have deserted camp-tomato-jello.

  2. my grandma used to put disgusting things in gelatin, too, like walnuts and celery. what were they thinking? perhaps it would just be better if we put it all INSIDE the meatball, that could be tasty!

  3. Pingback: Spritz « The Food Charlatan

  4. My grandma made my dad eat tomatoe aspic growing up so he tried unsuccessfully to make us all try it… tomatoe jello is disgusting!!!!

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