Our beloved long time sitter, Lee Anne, brought a batch of these memorable cookies to us years ago. They are completely gluten free and made with 5 simple ingredients: chopped pecans, bold orange flavor coming from zest and orange extract, very little sugar and one egg white to bind the batter together. It is a healthy cookie that satisfies a sweet tooth without guilt.
Even though our children are long past the years of needing a sitter, Lee Anne has been on my mind as she has become a mother herself this year. On her first Mother’s Day, she paid me the biggest compliment: that she had learned so much about raising children from my lessons and my kids. She even made one of my cakes to celebrate with her mom. Just in 6th grade when she came into our family, Lee Anne handled 3 rambunctious boys close in age like a pro with patience and love, for 10 years. She was my salvation from insanity more than once! The very embodiment of “It takes a village”. My children’s second mother. It has been so wonderful to see her become an accomplished professional woman and blossom as a mother herself. Which brings me back to these cookies. I paired them with a bright citrus salad of sliced oranges with a dusting of mint sugar straight from the garden. Such a fresh and easy dessert everyone loved. This post is for you, Lee Anne, with much gratitude and love. I can’t imagine motherhood will throw you any curveballs you can’t handle!
Adapted from Canyon Ranch Spa, Tuscon, Arizona
- 1 c chopped pecans
- 1/3 c sugar
- 1 t orange zest
- 1 t orange extract
- 1 large egg white, lightly beaten
- Pulse pecans and sugar together in a food processor into a sand-like texture. Transfer to a small bowl and add orange zest and extract. Gently fold in the egg white.
- Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper. Drop 16 heaping teaspoons of dough onto the sheet 2 inches apart and shape into balls.
- Bake 8-10 minutes until edges are turning golden brown. Cool completely on sheet before handling.
- Dust with powdered sugar if desired.The cookies freeze well for up to 3 months.
Per 2 cookies: 9g carbs, 8g fat, 1 g protein, 1 g fiber, 110 calories
Citrus Salad with Mint Sugar
Adapted from Bon Appetit
- 1/2 c fresh mint leaves
- 1/4 c sugar
- variety of oranges, peeled, pith removed, and sliced
- In a mini food processor, pulse the mint and sugar together until it the texture is sand-like.
- On a platter, arrange overlapping slices of oranges. Sprinkle with the mint sugar and serve. I sprinkled the mint sugar about an hour before serving the salad at room temperature. I used 5 medium tangelos and 6 small blood oranges for the salad photographed and served the salad with orange-pecan cookies.
“Children are the anchors that hold a mother to life.” Sophocles