For the Love of Pecans

I absolutely LOVE pecans…I guess I’m just a Southern girl at heart. These pecan shortbread cookies are so heavenly… light, crisp and buttery and perfect with a cup of coffee (my other love). They are quite simple to make and you can even make the dough a couple of days in advance or freeze it for up to a month. They are the perfect cookie to have on-hand for last minute guests. The secret to these tasty cookies is toasting the pecans before adding them to the dough. It really enhances the flavor of the cookie. Brushing the dough with egg yolk and rolling it in turbinado sugar gives the cookie an extra little crunch that is quite irresistible. I really hope that you enjoy these cookies as much as I do!

Pecan Shortbread Cookies
Yields: 2 ½ dozen cookies

1 ½ cups pecans, toasted & coarsely chopped
3 sticks unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 cup confectioner’s sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 tsp almond extract
½ tsp kosher salt
3 cups all-purpose flour
3 Tbsp demerara or turbinado sugar
1 large egg yolk, lightly beaten

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Spread the pecans on a rimmed baking sheet and toast for about 6 minutes, until lightly browned and fragrant. Let cool and coarsely chop.

In the bowl of a standing mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the butter with the confectioner’s sugar, vanilla and almond extracts and salt at medium speed until fluffy, about 3 minutes. Add the flour in 3 batches, beating at low speed until just incorporated. Stir in the pecans by hand until evenly distributed.

Transfer the dough to a work surface and roll into a 1 ½ inch thick log. Wrap the log in plastic wrap and refrigerate for about an hour, until chilled.

Line 2 large rimmed baking sheets with parchment paper. Spread the demerara sugar on a platter. Brush the log with the egg yolk and roll in the sugar. Slice the log into 1 2/ inch thick rounds. Transfer the rounds to the prepared baking sheets, spacing them a couple of inches apart.

Bake the shortbread cookies for about 20 minutes, until the edges are golden. Rotate the baking sheets halfway through baking. Transfer the cookies to a wire rack and let stand until cooled completely, about 30 minutes.

As mentioned before, the cookie dough can be made a couple days in advance or frozen for up to 1 month.

Recipe adapted from Food and Wine, by Karen Demasco

Oh I’m sorry, did you want some?

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2 thoughts on “For the Love of Pecans

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