Pecan Dreams were my mom’s holiday cookie. My jobs were to grind the nuts and be at the ready to roll the cookies in powdered sugar while hot.
I’ve tested these with Butter Flavored Crisco to make them dairy free for Jonathan, but meh, the flavor isn’t worth the calories. With so few ingredients in these cookies, the butter matters.
A #50 scoop works well to dip these. Make a ball and then roll it into a log. Using the cookie scoop helps make all the cookies the same size. Did you know that the scoop number tells you how many you will get out of a quart volume? So the larger the scoop number, the smaller the scoop.
The consistency of Pecan Dreams is a little crumbly, so don’t worry if they seem fragile. You did it right. They hold well, but don’t plan on it because they won’t be around that long. Put wax or parchment paper between the layers if you store them – it will keep the powdered sugar coating intact.
I have never made less than 6 cups of this for a party even at my house, because it always gets eaten. For a longer party, I would put it into smaller casseroles and batch cook it, so everyone gets some hot and fresh. Plus, it’s prettiest before everyone digs in. Hot dips are a little challenging to handle on a buffet table, but worth the trouble. Slicing ingredients thin is the key to making them work well as a spread—there is something satisfying about hand cutting some food with a sharp French knife. It allows you to control size, more than your food processor will. If the mushrooms and tomatoes are large, you should cut them smaller before you slice. Remember, it has to go on a cracker.
Any part of the green onion will do, so don’t buy new ones if you have some in stock. However, if you have a choice, making about half of it the green part of the onion will give your dip a pretty color.
While you could substitute other mushrooms, do use fresh. Canned mushrooms will have a rubbery texture and might make the dip watery. You could use the dried grated parmesan cheese that comes in a big plastic container-it will work in a pinch. But, it’s much much better if you buy the real shreds from the cheese section of the store. You don’t have to shred your own.
Buy sun dried tomatoes and cut them (sharp knife needed for this too). You can buy tomato sprinkles all ready to go if you prefer-that works too. I dehydrate my own tomatoes each year and use them in place of sun-dried tomatoes, but they are more like the sprinkles as I don’t put them in oil. I don’t recommend substituting fresh tomatoes-it will make your dip watery and ugly.
Little crostini are good with this. You can buy or make them. Toast some breads with a little olive oil until they are crispy. Do that the same day of the party, rather than ahead. Might as well have them taste fresh.
You can make this dairy free by buying the appropriate substitute sour cream and parmesan-like cheese. When I do that, I use slightly more Mayonnaise and other ingredients to off set the texture. It’s not the same as the original recipe, but it’s still good.