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Whole Wheat Brown Sugar Pecan Cookies – Baking with Smart Balance

Know someone who loves praline, but don’t want to go to the trouble of getting out your candy thermometer?  Well, I’ve got a great recipe for Brown Sugar Pecan cookies with a big hint of praline taste, but with the ease of making chocolate chip cookies.

(Pralines: a commonly, pronounced pray-lenes & praw-lenes, depending on where you come from!)

When approached by Smart Balance to do some holiday baking with their Smart Balance margarine, I was totally game because I have been baking with the dairy-free Smart Balance with Flax for well over a year. It’s the butter substitute of choice that we’ve made, considering the dairy intolerances and allergies in our house. With using Smart Balance for most of the baking I do, I’ve found it to be a very natural butter substitute.

I’ve also used it a number of times since discovering the “let the dough sit in the refrigerator” trick…and just as with butter, cookies made with Smart Balance also bake more evenly and perfectly. (I know this is hard. A true exercise in self-discipline. Make me the bad guy…tell them “Erin said I HAVE TO let the dough sit”… Do whatever it takes to hide it from everyone…you’ll be glad you did!)

The Smart Balance product I used in this recipe has 60% less saturated fat than butter, 0 mg cholesterol and 0 g trans fat.

Smart Balance Holiday Cookie Spectacular

This holiday season, Smart Balance has put together an assortment of classic holiday cookie recipes with a heart-healthier twist. Explore our cookie recipes, find inspiration and learn substitution tips to make your favorite recipes heart-healthier too!

It’s easy – lighten up your favorite holiday recipes with Smart Balance products, and you could win free Smart Balance products for an entire year! Simply substitute Smart Balance products into your favorite cookie recipe (check out our substitution guidelines), then submit the recipe and a corresponding photo to be entered in a random drawing for a chance to win.

And now for the pray-lene/praw-lene like recipe – Whole Wheat Brown Sugar Pecan Cookies…

Whole Wheat Brown Sugar Pecan Cookies

Adapted from the recipe on the back of chocolate chip bags

Yield – 3-4 dozen cookies

Preparation Time – 10 minutes

Cooking Time – 9-11 minutes each batch


  • 1 cup Smart Balance margarine
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup white sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract (or use homemade vanilla extract!)
  • 2 1/2 whole wheat pastry flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 2 cups finely chopped pecans


  • In a stand mixer or in a mixing bowl with hand mixer, cream the Smart Balance margarine with the brown and white sugar. Then mix in the eggs and vanilla until well blended.
  • Add the flour, baking soda, salt ad cinnamon and mix into dough. Fold in the chopped pecans.
  • Let the dough sit for at least 24 hours.
  • Preheat oven to 350. Spoon the dough onto a ungreased cookie sheet or silpat mat or parchment paper and bake in the preheated oven for 9 to 11 minutes, or until perfectly crispy on the edge and gooey in the middle.
  • Let cool on cooling rack for a few minutes before enjoying!