Father Bart’s Buttery Pecan Cookie

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Reader Ilse S. used to make the desserts for a local restaurant. One of her favorites was this buttery pecan cookie, which she lost long ago. Featured in the Chicago Tribune 23 years ago in a story about clergy that cooked, the cookie originated with Father Bart Winters, formerly of St. Nicholas Catholic Church in Evanston. Were not sure if Father Bart’s still baking—he’s no longer at St. Nick’s and the Archidocese of Chicago couldn’t locate him. But we’re happy to carry on his tradition with these cookies.

Makes 3 dozen cookies

Cookie Ingredients

  • 2 cups sifted flour
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1 cup (2 sticks) butter, softened
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 egg yolks
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 2 egg whites, slightly beaten
  • 1 1/2 cups finely-chopped pecans

Frosting Ingredients

  • 2 cups confectioners sugar
  • 2 Tbsp softened butter
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 2 to 3 Tbsp hot water
  • Green food coloring (optional)


  1. Sift flour and then measure. Add salt and sift again. Set aside.
  2. Cream butter and flour in mixer bowl of stand mixer until light and fluffy. Add vanilla and eggs and beat thoroughly. Gradually mix in flour, stirring until blended. Chill dough.
  3. Heat oven to 350. Roll dough into 1-inch balls and slighly flatten. Drop into egg white; then into pecans. Place on cookie sheet and create an impression in the center of each ball. Bake 12 to 15 minutes until lightly browned on edges. Remove from cookie sheet and cool on baking rack.
  4. To make frosting, combine powdered sugar, butter and vanilla, adding enough hot water to make a frosting consistency. Tint with a few drops of green food coloring if you like. Using a pastry bag with a star tip, fill the centers of the cooled cookies with frosting.

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