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Pecan Shortbread Cookies

These cookies were always the first thing to sell out at the Barefoot Contessa, Ina Garten's gourmet store in East Hampton, New York.

  • Yield: Makes about 1 1/2 dozen
Pecan Shortbread Cookies

Source: Martha Stewart Living, July/August 1992

Ingredients

  • 1 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • Pinch of salt
  • 2 1/4 ounces pecan halves, toasted
  • 1/2 teaspoon pure almond extract

Directions

  1. Cream together butter, 1/2 cup sugar, and vanilla in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, until mixture is light in color, 3 to 4 minutes.

  2. Add flour, salt, pecans, and almond extract, and mix until combined and the pecans start to break up.

  3. Wrap dough in plastic wrap, and place in the refrigerator at least 1 hour or overnight. On a lightly floured surface, roll out the dough to a 1/4-inch thickness. Using 2 1/2-inch diameter fluted cookie cutters, cut cookies, and place on parchment-lined baking sheet. Return to refrigerator 1 hour more.

  4. Heat oven to 325 degrees. Sprinkle cookies with remaining 2 tablespoons sugar, and bake until lightly browned, 15 to 20 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack, and let cool.

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