Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Pecan Shortbread

I make shortbread every single year without fail, no matter what else I do or don't make around Christmas. This year, I broke from tradition and tried "Nut Shortbread." Oh. my. goodness. Yum. yum. yum. This recipe is for a shortbread mold or cookie pan; if you don't have one, I bet a pie plate would work since they're about the same shape. I don't know if the shortbread would pop out at the end as easily or not, but it's worth trying. Or, just pat the shortbread into a flat square/circle about the diameter of a pie plate on a cookie sheet and score it lightly with a knife before baking. This recipe is similar to Pecan Cookies, but I like the texture better--these are more like Pecan Sandies.

~from recipe included with shortbread mold

  • 1/2 c. butter (1 stick)
  • 1/2 c. powdered sugar, unsifted
  • 1/2 t. vanilla
  • 1/4 c. ground nuts (I used pecans and just whirled them in a food processor until crumbly)
  • 1 c. flour, unsifted, minus 2 T. flour
  • 1 T. cornstarch
  1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees.
  2. Cream butter until light and fluffy.
  3. Cream powdered sugar with butter until light and fluffy. Mix in vanilla.
  4. Stir in nuts.
  5. Stir in flour--when you can stir no more, dump the whole mess (it will be VERY crumbly) onto an unfloured rolling surface (counter, board, etc.), and knead by hand until soft and pliable.
  6. Press firmly into shortbread pan. Prick top with a fork in a few places.
  7. Bake until light brown at edges, 30-35 minutes.
  8. Let cool in pan 10 minutes.
  9. Flip over onto a cooling rack; tap until shortbread comes out (I have a cooling rack that is about the same width as my pan. I put it on top, flip the two over together, and tap the whole contraption on the counter a few times. Believe it or not, the shortbread will pop out in one piece!)
  10. Cut with sharp knife while still hot. Let cool before eating (yeah, right). 
Note: shortbread is best stored in a tin lined with wax paper. It should keep nicely for a few days this way, so you can make it before you need/want to give it away.

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