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Maple-Pecan Shortbread

If you'd like, decorate these cookies by placing a pecan half in the center instead of the chopped nuts.

  • Yield: Makes about 2 dozen
Maple-Pecan Shortbread

Source: Martha Stewart Living

Ingredients

  • 2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for work surface
  • 1/2 cup cake flour, (not self-rising)
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 cup pecan halves (about 2 1/4 ounces), finely chopped
  • 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/4 cup pure maple syrup
  • 1 large egg yolk
  • 1/4 teaspoon pure maple extract
  • 1 large egg, lightly beaten
  • Turbinado sugar, for sprinkling

Directions

  1. Into a medium bowl, sift flours and salt. Whisk in 1/2 cup chopped pecans, set aside.

  2. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream butter and granulated sugar on medium-high speed until smooth and light, about one minute. Add the maple syrup, egg yolk, and extract; beat on medium speed until well combined. On low speed, gradually add flour mixture, beating until just combined. Dough should be smooth and pliable. Flatten into a disk. Wrap in plastic; chill until firm, 1 1/2 hours or overnight.

  3. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line baking sheet with parchment paper.

  4. On a lightly floured work surface, roll out dough to 1/4 inch thick. Cut out rounds using a two-inch cookie cutter; place one inch apart on prepared baking sheet. Brush tops with beaten egg; sprinkle centers with remaining 1/4 cup pecans. Sprinkle the entire surface with turbinado sugar.

  5. Bake cookies, rotating baking sheet halfway through, until golden around the edges, 10 to 12 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack to cool.

Cook's Note

Shortbread can be stored in airtight containers at room temperature up to four days.

Reviews (18)

  • Laonie 16 Dec, 2013

    AUS & NZ cooks. ‘All purpose’ = plain flour. Stick of butter = 125g & 1 cup = 250g (slightly less but near enough) If you use 250g of butter you might find the dough is a little too soft (I think US cups are slightly larger than ours) so just add another 1/4 cup of plain flour. I substituted cornflour for cake flour to give my biscuits (I can’t bring myself to use the word ‘cookie’) a traditional texture. You can buy Maple Extract at www.premiumgourmetfood.com.au. Worth the hassle!

  • LeeBeeN 14 Oct, 2012

    Super easy and very good. I did not have maple extract on hand, so I substituted vanilla extract. There is still a subtle maple flavor, but will definitely get the maple extract for the next batch. I used a 2-1/4 inch round cutter and one batch made 3 dozen cookies. I'm going to find a maple leaf cutter and make these for Thanksgiving.

  • sltx 19 Mar, 2010

    You guys have some dumbass comments about reading instructions - and stop trying to be snide. These cookies are really great! They are definitely on my Christmas baking list now, nice hint of maple, and I toasted the pecans before mixing them in (not the ones on top). Also good with chocolate drizzled over - going to try making these like turtles next time! FanTASTic smell, too!

  • sltx 19 Mar, 2010

    You guys have some dumbass comments about reading instructions - and stop trying to be snide. These cookies are really great! They are definitely on my Christmas baking list now, nice hint of maple, and I toasted the pecans before mixing them in (not the ones on top). Also good with chocolate drizzled over - going to try making these like turtles next time! FanTASTic smell, too!

  • vietnamvetwife 23 Feb, 2010

    Maple extract is unavailable in most supermarkets here in Australia (I haven't tried www.usafoods.com.au yet to see if they stock it). Any ideas of what to substitute for the maple extract? I do agree that there is a huge difference between pure maple syrup and maple-flavoured syrup. With the pure syrup one gets the "real" taste of maple, whereas the imitation syrups just taste like sugar to me. With thanks for your help and your comments.

  • Niconomicon 23 Feb, 2010

    You should always read a recipe before using it. It is important that you know if you have all the supplies and utensils and if you understand all the processes and procedures. Making a recipe with not having read the directions first can have bad consequences.

  • mykele 23 Feb, 2010

    I am just chiming in to say thank you to all who have made comments on
    this cookie.....you have made my day with the humor that some of the
    comments gave me...................common sense does help, ladies.
    In the meantime I have had my chuckles for rhe day as usual.

  • WonderWomyn 23 Feb, 2010

    try substituting some whole wheat flour for the refined one and sprinkle some wheat germ with the nuts to make these (or any other cookie) worth serving to growing children

  • mansfieldpark 23 Feb, 2010

    If you turned the oven on before you realized the dough needed to chill, I would suggest TURNING IT OFF. Geez.

  • pattibar 23 Feb, 2010

    There is a difference when using PURE maple syrup. It's more expensive but worth the difference.

  • Anarie 22 Mar, 2009

    I think if you don't like maple, your best bet is to look for a different recipe. Substituting would affect the texture as well as the flavor and possibly require a lot of adjustment. It would be different if the cookie base were something really unique and unusual, but since there are TONS of other shortbread recipes on this site, I don't see the point in trying to make this particular one without one of its primary ingredients. Just find a plain pecan shortbread recipe.

  • RosalieCeurvels 21 Mar, 2009

    TreeOwl - perhaps you could use molasses or Karo syrup instead of the maple syrup . Add vanilla extract instead of maple extract. or any extract you think you might like . Adventure and be creative.

  • TreeOwl 21 Mar, 2009

    Has anyone ever tried making these without the maple? I don't really like maple in my baked goods (I know, I know). What would I substitute?

  • jmacc 21 Mar, 2009

    These cookies are a family favourite. Sometimes I substitute ground walnuts if I don't have any pecans. Excellent with maple sugar flakes on top instead of the turbinaro sugar, gives it an extra maple kick. You can also make them like ice box cookies, shape into rolls, refrigerate and then slice to bake.

  • karik 21 Mar, 2009

    When I use a recipe, I read the whole recipe before I start. Then if something is out of order I know before starting. This usually makes sense and it doesn't waste time and money.

  • purselady1 21 Mar, 2009

    These cookies look great. I have a cookie cutter in the shap of a flower I'm going to use to make them extra special for spring. :)

  • otters4 21 Mar, 2009

    You have misread the directions. The preheat instructions are given only AFTER the chilling has been done and the dough is taken out of the refrigerator.

  • Traddy 6 Feb, 2009

    All of these recipes have been outstanding although some more labor intensive than others.

    It is unfortunate that the editors can't catch the fact that telling us to pre-heat the oven at the beginning of the process is irresponsible and costly when later in the recipe we learn the dough has to chill or rest for an hour and a half. Waste of energy we as a nation cannot afford to continue.

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