August 19, 2010
This is the second recipe I made from the brown butter obsession I had yesterday. I happened to pass a miniature bag of Walkers shortbread cookies in a checkout aisle the other day, and was cajoled into buying them by my son. Don't you love the strategic placing of kid sized treats in checkout aisles? I sometimes think this is a conspiracy plot against all mothers. After sampling a couple, I remembered how much I love shortbread, and was inspired to make some of our own at home. The addition of brown butter and pecans make these little cookies very addicting.
Browned Butter Pecan Shortbread
1 1/2 cups butter, cut into pieces
3/4 cup brown sugar, firmly packed
3/4 cup powdered sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
3 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 cups finely chopped pecans, toasted
In a large skillet, cook the butter over medium heat, stirring constantly. After about 6 to 8 minutes, the butter will turn golden brown, and form tiny brown specks at the bottom of the pan. Promptly remove pan from heat, and pour butter into a shallow dish. Do not cover. Chill for 1 hour in the refrigerator, until the butter is cool and begins to solidify.
In an electric mixer, beat the butter at medium speed until creamy. Gradually add the sugars, mixing until smooth. Add the vanilla extract. Gradually incorporate the flour, beating at a low speed just until blended. Stir in the pecans. Shape the dough into 4 (8 inch) logs, or divide dough into 4 sections and press out flat to a 1/4 inch thick disc. Wrap tightly with plastic wrap and chill 2-4 hours or until firm Wrap tightly with plastic wrap and chill 4 hours or until firm.
Preheat your oven to 350F. Cut the logs into 1/4 inch thick slices, or if you did the disc just use a small round cookie cutter to cut out your cookies and place on a greased cookie sheet. Bake for 8 to 10 minutes, or until lightly browned. Remove from oven and allow the cookies to cool on a wire rack. Enjoy!
Recipe note: Your dough will be fairly dry and a bit crumbly, just continue to work with it, pressing it together and the cookies will turn out fine. I prefer to use the flat disc method, then I can cut out my cookies with a cutter, and re-roll the scraps to cut out more cookies.
Source: from Classic Southern Desserts by Southern Living