Thursday, May 7, 2015

Pecan Shortbread Cookies

If you don't want to sacrifice a precious vanilla bean, which is added for its essential oils and then removed from the dough, add another half teaspoon or so of vanilla extract to the recipe.

Pecan  Shortbread  Cookies

1 ½ cups pecans, coarsely chopped
1 ¼ cups unsalted butter at room temperature
1 cup confectioners’ sugar, sifted
1 vanilla bean, split lengthwise, seeds scraped
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon kosher salt
3 cups all-purpose flour
6 tablespoons turbinado or demerara sugar
2 egg yolks, lightly beaten

1. Spread chopped pecans on rimmed baking sheet and toast for about 6 minutes or until lightly browned and fragrant. Let cool.

2. In bowl of standing mixer fitted with paddle, beat butter with confectioners’ sugar on medium speed until fluffy, about 2 minutes.

3. Add scraped vanilla bean and its seeds, vanilla extract, and salt to bowl. Beat at medium speed about 1 minute.

4. Add flour, 1 cup at a time, beating at low speed just until incorporated.

5. Discard vanilla bean. Stir in toasted pecans.

6. Divide dough into two equal parts. Transfer half the dough at a time to work surface and roll into 1 ½-inch-diameter log. Wrap logs in plastic wrap or parchment paper and refrigerate for about 1 hour.

7. Spread the turbinado sugar on a platter. Brush the logs with beaten egg yolk and roll in turbinado sugar.

8. Slice logs into 3/8-inch thick rounds. Transfer rounds to ungreased baking sheets, spacing about 1 inch apart.

9. Bake in 350°F. oven until cookies’ edges are light brown, about 15 to 18 minutes, rotating baking sheets midway through cooking time.

 10. Transfer cookies to wire rack and let stand until cooled completely, about 30 minutes, before serving.

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