Tuesdays with Dorie: Ms. Corbitt’s Pecan Cake Fingers from Dorie’s Cookies

Pecan Cake Fingers with vanilla frosting on a cutting board.

This week’s Tuesdays with Dorie recipe from Dorie’s Cookies is an interesting one but not a repeat for our household…  The recipe comes from “Helen Corbitt, a woman who was born in New York but made her name as a chef, cookbook author, teacher and tastemaker in Texas, first at hotels (including the gorgeous Driskill Hotel in Austin), and then as food director for the Neiman Marcus department stores.”

Dorie says they are:

… elegant brown-sugar-and-chopped-pecan cookies, […] with an unusual and wonderful construction. From the directions to whip the egg whites until they’re marshmallowy, you might think you’ll end up with a crispy meringue cookie, but you won’t. When Ms. Corbitt put the word “cake” in the name, she knew what she was doing: Baked, cut into fingers and finished with the irresistibly good brown-butter icing, the meringue becomes chewy and cakey. Over time — and these are good keepers — the texture becomes cookie-like. At any stage, it’s a gem.

Ok, for starters, I knew I would minify this recipe – Neil doesn’t like pecans and I was ending a weekend of heavy recipe testing and we had WAY too many treats and we’d already shared so many with neighbours! I made 1/3 of the recipe and it made 2 x 6-inch loaves (for approx 12 bars).

The “cake” part comes together pretty easily – but it feels a bit like making nougat – the mixture was very sticky and stiff pushing it into the loaf pans and I don’t think I did a good job of flattening it because mine puffed up with air bubbles (making it hard to ice). In hindsight, I should have pressed these down when they came out of the oven to flatten them a bit more.

The icing is a strange one too – icing sugar and browned butter with vanilla that turns into a stiff, fondant-like icing. Dorie cuts the bars PRE-icing and ices them individually … seriously? I can’t think of anything more time consuming (especially with the full recipe that makes 36 bars!). I pressed the icing on top of the cake bars and thought I had done a good job of it but you can see in the slice above that I hadn’t. My iced bars (sat at room temperature for the icing to set) crumbled as soon as I sliced them. I got three intact ones and only 1 with icing that didn’t crack.

Ok so we know that looks aren’t everything – how did they taste? These were WAY too sweet (even for me!). I liked the concept of them but it was a lot of fuss for too much sweetness. Can’t win them all, right? (My neighbours, who I gave them to, absolutely loved them!).

Get the recipe for Dorie Greenspan’s Ms. Corbitt’s Pecan Cake Fingers on p 80 of Dorie’s Cookies!

Dorie's Cookies on eatlivetravelwrite.com


Want more cookie recipes? Buy Dorie’s Cookies on Amazon (this link should bring you to the Amazon store geographically closest to you) or for free worldwide shipping, buy from The Book Depository. Then join us over on Tuesdays with Dorie and bake your way through the book!



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Disclosure: I was provided with a copy of “Dorie’s Cookies” for review purposes. I was not asked to write about the book, nor am I being compensated for doing so. All opinions 100% my own.


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4 thoughts on “Tuesdays with Dorie: Ms. Corbitt’s Pecan Cake Fingers from Dorie’s Cookies”

  1. Interesting to try for sure haha. That icing was so fussy and the recipe seemed to scream “vintage”. Always fun to try even if not a favorite.

  2. I glad your neighbours loved them – they were so sweet my teeth hurt. There was no way I was icing these individually either – where the icing cracked I just moulded it back together. I also had funny air bubbles – the tops of some of my bars almost lifted off.

  3. Too sweet seems to be the theme of this week. We really enjoyed these. I think the shape of the pan has something to do with how it cooks. Those that minified seemed to have issues with the loaf pan.

  4. i really did like them with my coffee, but they were super sweet. i shared them with the guys at the gym, who totally gave me side-eye when they saw how small i cut them…but i was like, “trust me.”


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