True confession: I'm a thrift store junkie- one thrift store in particular actually. Our community has a wonderful opportunity shop that is sponsored by a local church. All of the merchandise is donated and all of the workers are volunteers. Everything is very reasonably priced, and all of the profits go to charities. It's a winning situation for everyone! I volunteer twice a week to sort and shelve book donations. It feeds my passion for helping to making sure that everyone who needs a book is able to have one (or a dozen.) It does my heart good to see a child poring over a book while his or her parents shop.
As I was dropping an old copy of Everyday Food into the "free magazine" box on Saturday, I saw these cookies on the cover. That magazine came home with me and I had those cookies in the oven within the hour! Verdict? They were delightful! These buttery shortbread cookies would be perfect for the little sweet that you need with your tea or coffee, crunchy with pecans and melt-in-your-mouth tender. They'd also be the perfect choice to make for drop in guests, as the recipe is quick, easy, and only makes a dozen nice sized cookies. (Not so many hanging around for late night kitchen raids.) Me? I had one with a nice cup of Earl Gray tea while I curled up with a good book and watched what was hopefully the last snowfall of the season!
Butter Pecan Shortbread Cookies
From Martha Stewart's Everyday Food, May 2004
1 cup all purpose flour
1/3 cup sugar plus more for coating
1/2 cup (1 stick) butter at room temperature
3/4 cup pecan halves
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/8 teaspoon salt
- Preheat oven to 350°F.
- Spread pecans out onto a cookie sheet. Toast until fragrant, about 6 minutes. Cool, then finely chop. (When I make this again I'll chop mine a little finer- the size of the pecans made them hard to mold into shape.)
- Cream butter and 1/3 cup sugar until light with electric mixer. (about 1 minute)
- Beat in vanilla, salt and flour just until dough comes together.
- Gently fold in pecans.
- Separate dough into 12 pieces and shape into balls. Roll in granulated sugar.
- Place sugar coated balls of dough 3 inches apart on a parchment covered baking sheet.
- Gently flatten with the bottom of a glass. Reshape sides if necessary. Sprinkle with sugar.
- Bake for about 15 minutes or just until cookies start to slightly brown. (Don't over-bake!) Rotate cookie sheet halfway through baking time for even baking.
- After cookies come out of the oven sprinkle with more granulated sugar and cool on wire rack.