Brown Sugar-pecan Shortbread
• 1 cup pecans, toasted
• ½ lb (2 sticks OR 8 oz) butter, room temperature
• ⅔ cup (4.75 oz) light brown sugar, packed
• ½ tsp vanilla extract
• 2 cups (10 oz) all-purpose flour
• ¼ tsp salt
• Optional: 4 oz bittersweet chocolate, melted
Chop the nuts coarsely.
Beat together the butter and sugar with a mixer; make sure to scrape down the bowl a couple of times to fully incorporate all the butter - no streaks!
Mix in the vanilla.
Mix together the flour and salt in a separate bowl.
Add to the butter mixture slowly, stirring until completely blended.
Stir in the nuts.
Turn the dough out onto a sheet of plastic wrap. Form it into a rectangle, roughly 4"x6"x1".
Wrap tightly and refrigerate until completely chilled, about an hour.
Position the oven rack in the upper part of the oven and preheat to 350.
Line two baking sheets with parchment.
Cut the chilled rectangle of dough lengthwise into two equal pieces, then cut each piece crosswise into 1/4" slices (you'll have 40-50 little rectangles).
Place the unbaked cookies on the baking sheets 1" apart.
Bake for 15 minutes until deep golden brown.
For even baking, rotate the trays halfway through.
Once they come out of the oven, let them firm up for a moment, then move to cooling racks.
At this point you can store them in airtight containers.
Dipping them in melted bittersweet chocolate is technically optional, but really, you know you want to.
A good way to do it is to lay them out on parchment, put some melted chocolate into a squirt bottle, and then just squirt it on.
Pairs Well With
It's not traditional shortbread, but I've never heard any complaints. I stumbled across this recipe several years back, and it's quickly become one of my go-to cookies at the holidays. It's easy to make, fairly bulletproof, and like I said... no complaints.