Pecan Shortbread Cookies

I kind of feel bad to end the holidays…but, I am also plenty tired of hosting parties, the cooking, the baking and also being a guest at other parties. I just want a week of doing nothing, ordering pizza and chilling out. I need a break. I plan on doing that next weekend. But, for now, as a close out to the holidays, my last and final Christmas cookie recipe.

This was a recipe I tried for the first time, last spring when my friend Krithi of Krithi’s Kitchen visited me. Krithi and I are best friends from college, and have known each other for about 11 years now. If you have not visited her blog, please do. We really loved these cookies last time.

For christmas this year, I made these cookies for my friends who are vegetarians, but don’t eat eggs. These are shortbread type cookies, which only contain butter, sugar and a fair amount of pecans. If you like ‘Pecan Sandies’ sold at the store, you would definitely love these cookies.

Ingredients:
3/4 pound unsalted butter(3 sticks)
1 cup sugar
1 1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract
1 tsp almond extract
3 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1/4 tsp salt
1 cup to 1 1/2 cups small diced pecans

Method:
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

In the bowl , mix together the butter and sugar until they are just combined. Add the vanilla and almond extracts. In a medium bowl, sift together the flour and salt, then add them to the butter sugar mixture. Add the pecans and mix on low speed until the dough starts to come together. Divide the dough into thirds. Scoop out each third of the dough on to a sheet of plastic wrap. Form into a log, twist both ends of the plastic wrap to seal the dough tight. Repeat for the remaining dough. You should end up with 3 logs. Wrap in plastic and chill for 30 minutes. Alternately you can freeze the logs for about a month and thaw before proceeding.

Slice the logs into 1/4 inch thick disks. Place the cookies on a baking sheet lined with parchment.

Bake for 15 to 20 minutes, until the edges begin to turn slightly golden brown. Allow to cool to room temperature and serve.

Verdict: These are buttery, melt in your mouth cookies, that you can keep on eating. They are crisp on the outside and a delight to eat. The original recipe is from Ina Garten, the FoodNetwork Chef and she calls for rolling out the dough and cutting out into circles, but i prefer the slice and bake method. It’s comparatively easier and there is no compromise on taste.

Sending these to Champa’s Weekly ‘Bake Off’ Event.

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