This is a delicious recipe – not too sweet, delicately butter-tender and crunchy at the same time. The brown sugar and pecans impart a sweet, caramel flavor to the cookie. I thought of drizzling caramel and chocolate over the tops, but decided against it, as I may use these as a base for a cheesecake crust.
If you make these, be sure to space them at least 1” apart, preferably 2”, because they do spread a little. Joy of Baking says this recipe yields about 36 cookies, but I got 33, using 2-1/2” cutters. The finished cookie measured 2-3/4”, and I baked them about 17 minutes. Next time, though, I’ll only bake them 15 minutes.
Joy of Baking’s Pecan Shortbreads
Source: Joy of Baking
Rating: 9 out of 10 PRINTABLE RECIPE
1 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
2/3 cup light brown sugar
1 tsp. pure vanilla extract
2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
1/4 tsp. fine sea salt
1 cup pecans, toasted and coarsely chopped
In bowl of stand mixer, cream butter and sugar till light and fluffy (2-3 minutes), or beat with a hand mixer. Beat in vanilla; scrape sides of bowl; add flour and salt, and stir till barely incorporated, then stir in nuts.
Divide dough in half; wrap each half in plastic wrap; refrigerate until firm (at least 1 hour).
Heat oven to 350F (325F for dark or coated pans). Place rack in center of oven. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper; set aside.
Remove 1/2 of dough from fridge and roll into 1/4” thick circle on lightly floured board. Cut out desired shapes with lightly floured cookie cutters. Place cookies on prepared baking sheets; refrigerate 10 minutes to firm up dough. Roll and cut out remaining cookies.
Bake 13-15 minutes, or till shortbreads are golden brown. Transfer cookies to wire rack to cool. Store at room temperature for about 1 week, or freeze. Yield: 33-36 cookies, depending on size.