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.


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.


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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