Friday, January 11, 2013

Pecan Shortbread

Recently received 20 pounds of unshelled pecans. This was my first use of them after shelling enough only for this recipe. Delicious and easy—if you don't count the effort to shell the pecans!

Makes 6 dozen

1 pound unsalted butter at room temperature

1 1/3 granulated sugar

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract

1/ 2 teaspoon almond extract, optional

4 cups all-purpose flour

2 cups finely chopped pecans

1. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, cream butter.

2. Slowly add sugar while mixing at low speed just until combined.

3. Add the salt, vanilla extract, and, if desired, almond extract.

4. Slowly add flour while mixing at low speed.

5. Add pecans and mix until the dough comes together.

6. Shape dough into three logs and wrap in plastic wrap. Or, shape into two flat disks and wrap in plastic. Chill for at least 30 minutes.

7. If using rolls of dough, unwrap and make ½-inch slices. If using disks, unwrap and roll ½-inch thick. Cut into 2 ½-inch squares using a plain or fluted cutter or cut into any shape you like. Place cookies on ungreased baking sheet.

8. Bake in 350°F oven for about 20 minutes or until the edges begin to brown.

9. Cool to room temperature before serving. Store airtight.

NOTE: Can try 1/3 brown sugar and 1 cup granulated sugar instead of all granulated sugar. Modification of a Barefoot Contessa recipe.

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