Friday, January 1, 2010

Pecan Shortbread Cookies

Happy New Year ! I love making shortbread cookies almost as much as I love eating them! There are times when you just want plain shortbread. And there are times when the addition of wonderful things like nuts, citrus, dried fruits or even lavender make them better. This Pecan Shortbread Cookie recipe is one of those times when, if you love the flavor of toasted pecans, you'll love this cookie!
The recipe is from Gourmet magazine's January 2008 issue. A new site , Gourmet Unbound, allows bloggers ( or even if you don't have a blog) to cook or bake a recipe we've chosen from that month's issue of any year of Gourmet Magazine's publication. I made a few changes to the procedure but the recipe remained as originally published. It sounds like it's going to be alot of fun so here's my first contribution.

Begin by toasting your pecan halves in a 350 oven. Then let them cool and set aside 36 of the prettiest ones for decorating the top of each cookie.
Chop the rest very finely. You could put them into the food processor to speed things up, if you're in a hurry! Just be careful not to pulse them too long or they'll become too fine.
Place butter, sugars, vanilla and salt in your mixer bowl and blend til combined well.

Add the flour and chopped pecans on low speed and blend just til they're incorporated.
Then wrap the dough in plastic wrap and chill for at least one hour.
Scoop teaspoonfuls to make 1" balls of dough and place 2" apart on an ungreased cookie sheet. I always sprinkle a little sugar on the sheet before placing the dough onto the sheet. This helps keep the cookies from sticking.
Flatten each one with the bottom of a glass. You'll need to either flour or sugar the bottom of the glass with each press or you'll be having a major sticking issue!
Flatten them to a 1/3" thickness and press each one with a pecan half.
Bake for between 15 and 20 minutes.
Pecan Shortbread Cookies ( adapted from Gourmet Magazine's January 2008 issue)
1 2/3 cups pecan halves ( 6 oz.), toasted
2 sticks unsalted butter, softened
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1/4 cup packed light brown sugar
1 tsp. vanilla
1 tsp. salt ( I actually cut this amount down to 1/4 tsp.)
1 3/4 cups AP flour
1. Preheat oven to 350 and place pecan halves on baking sheet in the middle rack for about 8 minutes to toast. Set aside to cool.
2. Set aside 36 of the prettiest pecan halves to decorate the top of each cookie.
3. Finely chop the remainder ( or place in a food processor and pulse til finely chopped)
4. Place butter, sugars, vanilla and salt into a standing mixer bowl and beat on medium speed til combined well.
5. Add the flour and chopped pecans and blend on low speed til just combined.
6.Wrap the dough in plastic wrap and chill in the fridge for at least one hour.
7. Form the dough into 1" balls and place onto an ungreased baking sheet sprinkled with a little granulated sugar to prevent sticking. Space 2" apart.
8. Press each cookie with the bottom of a glass to 1/3" thickness. Flour or sugar your glass bottom each time you press or the cookie will stick to the glass!
9. Press a pecan half into each cookie top.
10. Bake for 15 to 20 minutes or til the edges are golden.
11. Cool on the sheet 5 minutes. Transfer to wire.

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