Maw Maw’s Cocoon Cookies

14 09 2013

Sugar was rationed during World War II. Cookies would have been a rare and special treat. My Grandfather worked for Dr. Pepper and sugar wasn’t rationed to the bottling company. My Paw Paw would bring the large empty sugar sacks home. It was my Mom and her brother’s job to shake and shake those sacks to get the stubborn grains of sugar still clinging to the rough cloth out of the sack. With luck they’d shake out around a cup of sugar. 

My grandmother (in white) was a telephone operator before she got married. Circa 1920; East Texas

My grandmother (in white) was a telephone operator before she got married. Circa 1920; East Texas

This is the only cookie recipe I have from my Grandmother’s hand-written collection. It’s not in her handwriting and it’s titled Susan’s Pecan Fingers. I grew up making these with my mother who knew the recipe by heart from her mom. The slip of paper that the recipe is written on has C. Lehew, my Maw Maw’s name, written on the back. I like to imagine these wartime mom’s Corrine and Susan, sharing recipes and sugar. What a real treat this old fashion cookie would have been back then. It still is a treat today.

I've always called these cookies "Cocoons"

I’ve always called these cookies “Cocoons”

I’ve posted about Maw Maw’s recipes before. This cookie goes by different names, some call them wedding cookies, ladyfingers or sand tarts. My grandmother’s friend Susan called them pecan fingers. Here’s the recipe for what I’ve always called Maw Maw’s cocoons.

 Cocoons

I cup softened butter
4 tablespoon powdered sugar
2 ½ cups sifted flour
2 teaspoons vanilla
2 cups finely chopped pecans
extra powdered sugar to roll cookies in

Cream butter and sugar together. Add vanilla. Mix in sifted flour. Add pecans.

Dough will be stiff. Form dough like small cocoon (or fingers). Place on ungreased cookie sheet.

Bake at 275° until slightly brown (about 45 minutes).

Roll in powdered sugar while still warm. (They are a bit fragile when hot, if they break, then eat immediately). After they completely cool, roll in powdered sugar again.

Enjoy.

I honor my maternal lineage: I am Connie Lee, daughter of Jimmie Dee, daughter of Jimmie Corrine, daughter of Minnie Mae; mother of Jade Lee-Mei.

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32 responses

14 09 2013
Cathy

Reading this recipe on Yom Kippur! Hahaha.

What a wonderful legacy, and the photo you have is amazing! I love this post, and anything vintage passed down through the generations is WHO WE ARE TODAY!

14 09 2013
conniemcleod

Cathy, I hope you have a family-filled Yom Kippur, full of ancient family traditions! I love that connection to each of our histories.

14 09 2013
Ann Storey

You brought back a wonderful memory for me. My Gran would make cocoons all the time when I was growing up. She always took a batch to her garden club and would come home with an assortment of pick up desserts that were left over. I always went for the cocoons first!! We were so lucky to have known our grandmothers. So many children today don’t have that opportunity. Thanks for sharing. Ann

14 09 2013
conniemcleod

Ann, thanks for your sweet memory. We were indeed lucky to know our grandmothers. I treasure her memory.

14 09 2013
apleasanthouse

I just love this Connie. Bring us more. Now I’m off to the kitchen to bake up a batch! Thanks for sharing!!!!

14 09 2013
conniemcleod

Cheryl, I’m ready to come back to your pleasant house! If you make the cocoons, send me a picture!

14 09 2013
Jane Collins

This post really brings back memories. My Gramma and my mom made the exact same cookie every Christmas. Only they called it a “Sandie” for some strange reason. And always rolled them into a finger shape. They melt in your mouth!

14 09 2013
conniemcleod

Jane, I know this cookie shows up a lot at Christmas (though it is good anytime). I so glad it brought up a warm memory of your Gramma and your Mom!

14 09 2013
Lisa Garon Froman

Like I said, I don’t even bake and I love these recipes. So beautiful. And what a great way to honor your legacy. By the way, that closer line of yours gets to me every time.

14 09 2013
conniemcleod

Thanks Lisa! It’s the perfect way to end and honor the recipe!

14 09 2013
Ellen Dolgen

This is so sweet, indeed!

14 09 2013
conniemcleod

Thanks Ellen!

15 09 2013
Pat

Oh Connie, I just loved the vintage photo and the sweet story that goes with it.

15 09 2013
conniemcleod

Thanks Pat!

17 09 2013
Lois Alter Mark

I would have liked to have met your grandma. I LOVE that photo of her.

17 09 2013
conniemcleod

Thanks Lois, I was 12 when she passed away. My memories of her are of a quiet woman filled with love for me.

21 09 2013
Sherry Wilkes

Connie, Sweet article, in more ways than one! I saved the recipe and tempted to mess up my kitchen right now and bake those cocoons. And I’m so tempted to start calling you “Connie Lee!” Enjoyed this nostalgia so much. Sherry

21 09 2013
conniemcleod

Sherry, if you bake them, send me a picture!! You can call me Connie Lee any time, it just needs to be said in an extra thick southern drawl.

20 12 2014
Paula

I was blessed to know my great grandmother Nettie Williamson Martin and grew up spending a lot of time with my grandmother Pauline Martin Forbes Fortenberry. Everything she cooked was wonderful, she would start baking weeks before Christmas!

20 12 2014
conniemcleod

Paula, that’s a real blessing.

21 12 2014
Rena McDaniel-Alzheimers Caregiver

I love that picture! The one of the cookies looks really good too! i will definitely be giving these a try.

21 12 2014
conniemcleod

They are delicious! Thanks for commenting.

22 12 2014
ilirianwanderer

I wanna try this one out.. It feels magical! 🙂

25 12 2014
Vicki Turner Brain

My mother’s Christmas cookie – I will always remember her when I make these.

29 07 2015
CrazySouthernGymnast

Great recipe ma’am! I just whipped myself up a batch and they are scrumptious. Thank you!
Crazy Southern Gymnast

29 07 2015
conniemcleod

I’m so glad! Now I’m craving them and need to make a batch too!

29 07 2015
CrazySouthernGymnast

May I re-blog this recipe?

5 08 2015
conniemcleod

Yes you may, thanks for asking

29 07 2015
conniemcleod

You are welcome to reblog this recipe. I’d just like credit and a link back to my blog. Thanks for asking.

3 09 2015
CrazySouthernGymnast

Reblogged this on Crazy Southern Gymnast and commented:
Howdy folls! I ran across this recipe online and just had to share it. I LOVE LOVE LOVE this recipe for cocoons. It’s easy, simple and oh so delicious!
Enjoy!
Courtesy of Connie McLeod.

3 11 2015
CrazySouthernGymnast

Just wanted to thank you again for this wonderful recipe. I’ve made it for friends and family and it’s always a big hit, and I always tell them about you, and the story behind them, which makes them even more special.

4 11 2015
conniemcleod

Awwww. This made my day. I’ll be making them soon for holiday gifts.

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