May 27, 2012

Butter Pecan Cookies

Butter pecan ice cream is an iconic summer treat, but it is sticky and messy when it melts. I decided to make a cookie with all of the flavor but none of the mess. The cookies are nutty and buttery, and they satisfy both soft cookie lovers and crunchy cookie lovers. They can be a bit tricky to bake because they are best when they are crispy but still tender, but the result is definitely worth it! One technique I use is rolling the dough into a slab and cutting it into rounds instead of scooping the dough into balls. This ensures identical size and thickness.

Each bite is full of pecans because they are ground into the sugar, infused in the butter, mixed into the dough, and placed on top of the cookies. The pecan sugar is similar to almond flour in that it is very fine, almost dusty, but tastes just like pecans/almonds.

The pecan butter is the best way to make sure the pecan flavor permeates the entire cookie without using more nut pieces. Of course, you do want some chunks of pecans, so I like to stir some in. I also top the cookies with a pecan half because it adds a lot of crunch and just looks pretty.

This is an ideal recipe for summer, especially Memorial Day weekend, because it tastes like the butter pecan ice cream we all know and love, but you don't have to worry about melting ice cream. These buttery, nutty cookies are simply delicious!

1 1/2 Cups Chopped Pecans
35 Pecan Halves
1 3/4 Sticks Butter
1/2 Cup Oil
3 Cups Flour
1 Cup Powdered Sugar
3/4 Cup Light Brown Sugar
1 Egg
1 Egg Yolk
1 1/2 tsp Vanilla
1/8 tsp Salt

Combine the chopped pecans and butter in a medium saucepan. Bring to a simmer over medium-high heat. Cook, stirring frequently, for 4-5 minutes or until browned. Pour into a sieve over a bowl. Set the pecans aside. Freeze the butter, stirring occasionally, until firm but not hard.

Pulse the chilled butter, oil, 2 1/2 cups flour, powdered sugar, and ¾ cup pecans in a food processor until fine; set aside.

Pulse the remaining pecans and the brown sugar until ground. Add the egg, egg yolk, vanilla, and salt. Stir into the flour mixture; knead until smooth. Add the remaining flour and chill until firm, about an hour.

Heat oven to 350°F. Line cookie trays with parchment.

Roll the dough out to about ¼" thick. Cut into 2" rounds. Transfer to the baking sheets and top each with a pecan half. Chill until cold, about 10 minutes. Bake for 8-10 minutes or until just golden.

Makes 35
Recipe Adapted from Nancy Baggett

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