Brown Sugar Pecan Shortbread

Brown Sugar Pecan Shortbread

These are a crisp, buttery, nutty cookie to add to your repertoire! I think of them as very adult--these are not the kind of cookie which most small children will clamor for and you know what that means?  More for us!! Finally!!

I don't know about you, but pecans are one of my favorite nuts. I love pecan pie, pecan sandies, blueberry pecan muffins, butter pecan ice cream, pecans in my salad--I could just go on and on, but I think you get the picture by now. For this recipe they're toasted and it really brings out their flavor!

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These are another easy-to-make cookie. One added benefit is their make-ahead-ability. You mix up the batter and then refrigerate the dough for at least an hour or even overnight, like I did. In fact, you can even freeze this dough for a month! This is great, especially when you're pressed for time. I love cookies that you mix one day and bake when you're ready. It simplifies and makes the whole process more manageable somehow and it's nice to know that you can bake up a batch of fresh cookies in just a few minutes.  You don't even have to bake all of them at once, so you can enjoy fresh cookies whenever you like!

All you do once you've mixed up all the ingredients (and there aren't many) is to form the dough into a rectangle on a piece of plastic wrap and then wrap and chill it.

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Then, when you're ready to bake you just slice up the block, place them on parchment lined cookie sheets and throw them in the oven.

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And a mere 15 minutes later, you are the bearer of these delicious, delectable and stackable little logs!

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Brown Sugar Pecan Shortbread

Makes about 4 dozen
Prep Time:  20 minutes, plus at least 1 hour of chilling time; Bake Time:  15 minutes:

Ingredients

  • 2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 sticks unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 2/3 cup light brown sugar, packed
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 cup pecans, toasted and coarsely chopped

The Recipe

1.  In a small bowl, whisk together the flour and salt.

2.  Using electric mixer, beat the butter and brown sugar together on medium speed until smooth and no streaks of butter remain.  Mix in the vanilla. Add in the flour mixture and beat until completely incorporated. Remove from the mixer and stir in the pecans by hand.

3.  Turn the dough out onto a piece of plastic wrap and form it into a 4 1/2 x 6 inch rectangle, about 1 inch high. Wrap the dough well and chill it for at least an hour until it's firm. (At this point, you could also freeze the dough for up to a month).

4. When ready to bake, preheat oven to 350ºF and line cookie sheets with parchment paper.

5.  Cut the rectangle lengthwise into two equal pieces and cut each half crosswise into rectangles 1/4 inch wide. Place the cookies about 1 inch apart on the cookie sheets.

6.  Bake for about 15 minutes, rotating the sheets from front to back and top to bottom, midway through the process to ensure even baking. Cookies will be a deep golden brown when finished.

7.  Cool the cookies on the sheets on racks for a few minutes until firm enough to handle, and then transfer to the rack to cool completely.

8.  Cookies keep stored in an airtight container for 3-4 days.

Enjoy!

Note:  This recipe was barely adapted from Ready for Dessert by David Lebovitz.

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