June 05, 2009

Pecan Shortbread

I work night shifts at the hospital, and sometimes Labor & Delivery can get pretty busy - especially in the summer. So one day this week we decided to do a potluck dinner. This way if it is really busy and we don't have time to go down to the cafe to get something, it is there for us. This week, it was on the perfect day.
I was in charge of dessert and my mom and I have been talking about these cookies for a while.

Pecan Shortbread
adapted from The Barefoot Contessa Cookbook

3/4 pound unsalted butter, room temperature
1 cup sugar
2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
3 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 cups small diced pecans

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, mix together the butter and sugar until they are just combined. Add the vanilla. In a medium bowl, sift together the flour and salt, then add them to the butter/sugar mixture. Add the pecans and mix on low speed until the dough starts to come together. Dump onto a surface dusted with flour and shape into a flat disk. Wrap in plastic and chill for 30 minutes.

Roll the dough 1/2-inch thick

Cut into 2 1/2-inch squares with a plain or fluted cutter (or cut into any shape you like). I didn't have a cookie cutter other than a heart so I decided to use my handy pizza cutter. Place the cookies on an ungreased baking sheet. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes, until the edges begin to brown.
Let cool completely before eating. I know, this is hard - but trust me, they are one of the few cookies that are better room temperature.

I decided to double the recipe - some for work, some for my mom. So with the second batch I decided to roll it into a log and chill that way. Once it was chilled I cut it into 1/2 inch slices and baked as above.
Either way works, the dough needs to be well combined for the log - or else it will crumble as you cut it.
Delicious! Once cooled, eat before someone else does!


Amy said...

Oh YUM, I have got to try this. Love your blog!

marta said...

mmmm. these look delicious. am happy to find you from hannah. love new-to-me recipes.