Readers showed they know how to think out of the shell when responding to the recent request for pecan cobbler.

To recap, Arline Ahrens of North Charleston asked for the recipe following a visit to the Dollywood attraction, where she was wowed by a taste of the cobbler. She didn’t want this one to get away.

So Arline did some research and discovered that the cobbler was a product of Good Old Days Foods in Little Rock, Ark.

But it is made for food-service establishments five pounds at a time in foil pans.

Experience tells me there is no sense chasing that recipe, but I thought at least a few of you folks might enjoy some sleuthing and have something to share.

Alysia Lucas of Goose Creek and Sharon Cook of Charleston apparently came across the same recipe online, dubbed the “War Eagle Bean Palace Pecan Cobbler.”

At another site, NewsOk.com, which is powered by The Oklahoman newspaper, I found additional enlightenment.

Supposedly, pecan cobbler was one of the signature desserts served at the Bean Palace Restaurant in the War Eagle Mill in Rogers, Ark. The water-powered gristmill dates to 1830 and is still operating.

Sharon herself took on the challenge of trying out the recipe. Here’s what she reports.

“This dessert is almost identical to pecan pie except that the crust is placed in the middle of the filling instead of on the bottom. I looked at the Good Old Food Days website and found a picture of the food service version and, sure enough, you can plainly see pastry crust peaking out of the corners of the pan surrounded on the top and bottom by filling.

“The oat flour called for in the recipe is easy to make — you simply place oatmeal into a food processor and grind until it resembles a fine powder or flour.

“Since I had the necessary ingredients, I went ahead and made the recipe that follows and, when it was done, I cut it into 16 pieces and placed four pieces each in quart-sized freezer storage bags for easy use. As Christmas gets closer, I will be serving some whole pieces and cutting some in half to place on a dessert buffet.

“I decided to go for broke and experiment with making a second batch that was designed to be bite-sized. I used mini-muffin tins and a 1-inch round cutter. I made them by filling mini-muffin liner cups 1/3 with filling, placing a small dough cut-out on top of that and then topping off with more filling and they came out great; I will be using them for gifts. These make a great little departure from the usual mini pecan pies (tea time tassies, I think they are also called) and are much less labor intensive.

“For the bite-sized version, I used premade pastry crusts from the dairy case, and I think that is what I will use in the 9x13-inch size next time as well, although the pastry in the recipe is somewhat lighter in texture and taste.”

Bravo, Sharon!

Pecan Cobbler

Serves 16

For filling:

21/2 cups light corn syrup

21/2 cups granulated sugar

1/3 cup butter, melted

1 tablespoon vanilla extract

5 eggs, slightly beaten

3 cups pecans, coarsely chopped

For cobbler crust:

1 cup oat flour (1 cup regular oatmeal processed to a fine flour)

1 cup unbleached flour (all-purpose flour will work)

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/2 cup butter

1/4 to 1/2 cup cold water

Directions

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Spray a glass 9x13-inch baking pan with cooking spray. In a large bowl, mix together the corn syrup, sugar, melted butter, vanilla, and eggs until thoroughly blended. Pour 1/3 of this filling mixture into the bottom of the prepared pan. Add pecans to remaining filling mixture and set aside while preparing crust.

In a medium bowl, combine the two flours and salt. Cut cold butter into small pieces and add to flour mixture. Incorporate butter into the flour mixture using a pastry cutter to two forks. Add cold water, a little at a time (may not need the whole amount), stirring until the dough forms a ball that sticks together. Place dough on lightly floured surface and knead gently about 4-5 times or until it is no longer sticky.

Roll dough into a 9x13-inch rectangle. Carefully pick up the rolled dough and place in the baking pan on top of the filling mixture. Pour the remaining filling mixture with the pecans on top of the dough. Bake at 350 degrees for approximately 50 minutes or until the center begins to set. Remove from the oven and let cool for about 20 minutes. Serve warm or at room temperature.

Jennie O’Bryan emailed with two recipes, which she likened to “pecan cobbler” but are better known as the local favorite Huguenot Torte. This is a well-traveled recipe but it’s so good that it bears repeating from time to time. And especially for the newcomers in our midst who haven’t yet experienced it.

Huguenot Torte

This delicious dessert has been on the St. Philip’s Church Tea Room menu since the Tea Room’s beginnings in 1952.

Ingredients

4 eggs

3 cups sugar

8 tablespoons flour

5 teaspoons baking powder

½ teaspoon salt

2 cups chopped tart cooking apples

2 cups chopped pecans or walnuts

2 teaspoons vanilla

Whipped cream and chopped nuts for garnish

Directions

Beat eggs in electric mixer or with a rotary beater until very frothy and lemon-colored. Add other ingredients in above order. Pour into two well-buttered baking pans, each about about 8x12 inches. Bake in 325-degree oven about 45 minutes or until crusty and brown. To serve, scoop up with a spatula or pancake turner (keeping crusty part on top), pile on large plate and cover with whipped cream and a sprinkling of the chopped nuts, or make 16 individual servings.

Recipe attributed to Mrs. Cornelius (Evelyn )Huguenin

Having a ball

’Tis the season for giving, and Pattie O’Brien (for no particular request) passed along an envelope of old holiday recipes that she’s had for many years. While all sounded good, this one appealed to me because 1)no cooking necessary and 2)coffee-flavored liqueur simply rocks.

Kahlua Cocoa Balls

Makes 4 dozen

Ingredients

1/2 cup Kahlua

1/4 cup light corn syrup

1/3 cup chopped candied red cherries

1/3 cup chopped golden raisins

1 cup powdered sugar, sifted

1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder

21/2 cups fine vanilla wafer crumbs (roughly 1 box)

1 cup finely chopped walnuts or 1 cup pecans

For the outer coating:

1/4 to 1/2 cup coating of choice: powdered sugar, cocoa powder, coconut or finely chopped nuts

Directions:

In one bowl, combine Kahlua with syrup and chopped fruits. In another bowl, blend sugar, cocoa, crumbs and nuts. Combine the mixtures well. Roll into small balls. Roll the balls in desired coating (sugar, cocoa, coconut, nuts).

Freeze or store in airtight container.

Who’s got the recipe?

Lark Smith, who travels to Charleston about 10 days a month, has enjoyed the roasted tomato bisque served at Sermet’s on King for years and wanted to see if we could entice them to give it up.

Shirley Turner is looking for a recipe for monkey bread, but not the classic sweet one with caramel and cinnamon. Instead, she recalls a yeast dough in roll-like dumplings that were dipped in butter and layered in a tube pan. They were good served with chili, she says.

Claudia Jenkins remembers a cake she once had in Rock Hill and never got the recipe for. The cake included jellied orange candy slices.

Email food@postandcourier or call Features and Food Editor Teresa Taylor at 937-4886.