25 Days of Cookies: Pecan Shortbread Cookies


I’ve done this previously on another blog and thought I’d do it on my own this year. 25 Days of Cookies — different recipes for cookies over the next 25 days for a fun countdown! And what’s better than cookies this time of year?

Today’s is really easy — pecan shortbread cookies. I first made these last November over the Thanksgiving break, and they’re perfect for curling up with a cup of coffee or hot chocolate to watch TV or read.

Pecan Shortbread Cookies

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

To Toast Pecans: Preheat oven to 350 degrees and place rack in center of oven. Bake the nuts 8-10 minutes or until browned and fragrant. Cool on wire rack and then coarsely chop the nuts. Set aside.

In a medium sized bowl place the flour and salt and whisk to combine. Set aside.

In the bowl of your electric mixer (or with a hand mixer), cream the butter and sugar until light and fluffy (2-3 minutes). Beat in the vanilla extract. Scrape down the sides of the bowl and then add the flour mixture, mixing only until incorporated. Stir in the chopped pecans.

Divide the dough in half and wrap each half in plastic wrap and refrigerate until firm (at least one hour).

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (177 degrees C) and place rack in center of oven. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper and set aside.

Remove one half of the dough from the refrigerator and, on a lightly floured surface, roll into a 1/4 inch (.5 cm) thick circle. Then, with a lightly floured cookie cutter, cut out rounds or stars. Place the cookies on the prepared baking sheets and refrigerate for 10 minutes to firm up the cookie dough. Roll and cut out the remaining cookies.

Bake for approximately 13-15 minutes or until the shortbreads are a deep brown color. This ensures a crunchy and crumbly cookie. If you only bake the shortbread until they are light brown the shortbread will be softer in texture. Remove cookies from oven and cool on a wire rack. The shortbreads can be stored at room temperature for about one week or else frozen.

Makes about 36 shortbread cookies (depending on the size).

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