Monday, February 5, 2018

Pecan Shortbread for Your Sweetheart or for YOU ♥


Yes, a simple cookie can be romantic! Nothing fancy, but so delightful. Yes, I do dream about flaky, tender, melt-in-your-mouth shortbread.  I lover you, shortbread! You make me smile.


To pay homage to my delicious shortbread,  I used the most romantic, Valentine-hued piece of art in our home as a backdrop.  I think I see a woman with red hair walking out of a bakery carrying an armful of shortbread...am I right?

The piece was painted by Wisconsin Artist, the late Lester O. Schwartz, of Green Lake, Wisconsin. Purchased in the 1990's when he was still alive. I love you, Lester Schwartz! You make me smile.


If you love shortbread as much as I do, and you want to do something nice for your sweetheart, your family, or yourself, you will love this recipe.

Whatever makes you smile, whether it's a simple cookie,  make it for Valentine's Day!

Pecan Shortbread Cookies

Printable Recipe

Note:  Buy the best butter you can afford.  Organic Valley, Cabot or Vermont Creamery are good choices.

2 sticks (8 ounces) unsalted butter at room temperature (or use salted butter and add less salt below)
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/4 cup confectioners' sugar, sifted before measuring
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 large egg yolks, at room temperature
1-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup toasted pecans, finely chopped

Sanding sugar, or ground pecans, if desired for decoration.

Preheat oven to 350F. Place whole pecans on a small baking pan and toast in the oven for approximately 6-7 minutes. Remove and set aside to cool for 30 minutes. Place pecans in a food process along with 1 tablespoon flour and pulse until finely ground.

In a stand mixer with the paddle attachment, mix the butter on medium speed until it is smooth and creamy. Add both sugars and salt and continue to mix until smooth but not fluffy, about 1 minute. Add the pecans and mix together briefly. Reduce mixer speed to low and beat in 2 egg yolks, one at a time, mixing until well blended.

Turn off the mixer and add the flour. Cover the mixer with a towel and pulse slowly about 5 times so that the flour doesn't fly out. Remove the towel and mix for about 30 seconds more, or until the flour is just blended in and the dough looks uniformly moist. Use a spatula to work in any flour remaining on the bottom of the bowl. Work the dough as little as possible. You want a soft, moist, clumpy dough.

Scrape the dough onto a lightly floured work surface. Gather it into a ball and cut it in half.  Roll each piece into a smooth log about 9 inches long, adding just enough flour to keep it from sticking to the work surface.  Wrap the logs well with plastic wrap and chill for at least 2 hours.  Overnight will yield the best results.

When ready to bake, position a rack in the center of the oven and preheat 350F degrees. Line two baking sheets with a silicone mat or parchment paper.

Place one log of chilled dough on a work surface or piece of waxed paper and sprinkle the roll in sanding sugar (or ground pecans), pressing in all around. Trim the ends of the roll if they are uneven and slice the log into 1/3-inch-thick cookies.

Place the cookies on a baking sheet at least an inch apart and bake for about 15 to 20 minutes (depending on your oven), rotating the baking sheet halfway through. The cookies should be light brown on the bottom, lightly golden around the edges and pale on top. Let the cookies rest about five minutes before removing from the baking sheet.

Repeat with the remaining log of dough on the second baking sheet, or, if using the same baking sheet allow it to cool completely.

The dough may be kept in the refrigerator for up to 3 days or frozen for up to 2 months.

Adapted from Dorie Greenspan's Baking, from My Home to Yours.

30 comments:

  1. What lovely recipe Susan. I love shortbread!! Look wonderful! xoxox

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    1. They are delicious and addictive, Gloria! Thank you ♥

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  2. Oh I do love shortbread cookies. Snow day coming Wednesday... 🙂

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  3. Pecan Sandies were always a favorite when I was a kid, bet this homemade version is amazing:@)

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    1. That's what I love them too :) These are even better 😉

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  4. Happy Valentine's to you:)♥
    Love this .artsy delish post..you know I will make them..Pinned already!
    I spy♥

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    1. I know 😍 I selfishly made them for me but my J has been loving them too! Great recipe I know you will love. I hoped you would spy 😎❤️

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  5. Oh Susan, these would be a favorite here! Happy Valentine’s Day to you and your sweetheart. 💕

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    1. He-he ❤️ Debbie, they are so good! Happy Valentine's Day to you and your Sweetie J too 😍

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  6. Shortbread cookies are great and yours look very delicious, Susan! I haven't made any in ages and want to try your recipe. Thanks and have a wonderful week!

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    1. Pam, I hope you try them. Most possibly the best I've made. 👍

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  7. Oh my goodness, but they look like perfect shortbread cookies. And pecan shortbread is even better. I'm pinning this to make in the next month.

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    1. I thought they were just perfect, Linda! I hope you ♥ them as much as we do :)

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  8. I love that art backdrop and those shortbread cookies even more!

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    1. Thank you, Angie! One of my favorites along with the shortbread :)

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  9. They look very good Susan and a cookie I know I would enjoy - especially dunked in milk.

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    1. They are so flaky and tender they don't even need dunking :) Thank you, Larry!

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  10. Shortbread cookies are one of my favorites. I can eat a dozen of them, and with a good hot cup of coffee, it is the best.
    Happy Valentines day to you!

    Velva

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    1. Our favorite too :) They do disappear quickly! Thank you, Velva!

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  11. these looks lovely have a great valentines

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  12. These are so pretty, and this post is beautiful. Too bad I don’t bake cookies...

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    1. Thank you, Mimi! I need to have cookies here with 3 grandsons :)

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  13. One of my all time favorite cookies! These sound great and the texture looks amazing. Thanks for sharing Susan - shortbread cookies rule!

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    1. The texture is wonderful! They are probably my very favorite. Thanks so much, Tricia!

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  14. My youngest son always loved Pecan Sandies, Susan. I'll have to make him some of these pecan shortbread ones of yours. Thank you for sharing! Happy Valentine's Day!

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    1. My daughters loved them too and so did I :) These are even better! Happy Valentine's Day, Kitty!

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  15. Who doesn't love a shortbread cookie? We I can't wait to make these Susan and hope you had a great Valentine's holiday!

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  16. These shortbread cookies sound amazing, Susan! I will definitely be trying some and I can't wait :)

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