August 13, 2008

Brown Sugar Pecan Shortbread Cookies (TWD Bonus!)

It's been too long since I baked a cookie so I thought I would head into the rewind list for TWD and see if I could find one. I joined back in March, so I only missed a few, and I'd like to catch up. This recipe was quick and simple to throw together- and the recipe that started it all. (And Laurie... it's a brilliant idea... thanks for letting us join in!)

I've only got a few left to do... (so to my family and friends... next time you'd like me to bring something to our get together, look over this list!)
January 1, 2008 - Brown Sugar-Pecan Shortbread, page 127
January 8, 2008 - Quintuple Chocolate Brownies, pages 99-100
January 15, 2008 - Hidden Berry Cream Cheese Torte, pages 240-242
January 22, 2008 - Perfection Pound Cake, pages 222 and 223
January 29, 2008 - Orange Berry Muffins, page 3
February 5, 2008 - Black and White Chocolate Cake, pages 258-260
February 12, 2008 - Brown Sugar-Apple Cheesecake, pages 238-239
February 19, 2008 - Almost-Fudge Gateau, pages 218-219
February 26, 2008 - Pecan Sour Cream Biscuits, page 25
March 4, 2008 - Snickery Squares, pages 120-122
March 11, 2008 - Russian Grandmothers’ Apple Pie-Cake, pages 310-311

These shortbread cookies are buttery, rich, and flavorful with the pecans and cloves. I loved them! Next time, I'll be sure I don't over bake them (emergency diaper change, as noted below) and try to make half a batch... since I really don't need these around the house. And they won't be languishing on the counter for long!

Brown Sugar-Pecan Shortbread Cookies
from Baking: From My Home to Yours by Dorie Greenspan

1-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 cup cornstarch
1/4 teaspoon salt
Pinch of ground cloves
2 sticks (8 ounces) unsalted butter, at room temperature
3/4 cup (packed) light brown sugar
1/2 cup finely ground pecans (about 2/3 Cup pecan pieces, pulsed in the food processor with 1 tsp of cornstarch)
Confectioners’ sugar, for dusting (optional)

1. Sift together the flour, cornstarch, salt and cloves.

2. Working with a stand mixer, preferably fitted with a paddle attachment, or with a hand mixer in a large bowl, beat the butter and brown sugar together on medium speed for about 3 minutes, until the mixture is very smooth. Reduce the mixer speed to low and add the dry ingredients, mixing only until they disappear into the dough. Don’t work the dough much once the flour is incorporated. Add the pecans and give the mixer a couple of turns, just to get the nuts into the dough.

3. Using a rubber spatula, transfer the soft, sticky dough to a gallon-size zipper-lock plastic bag. Put the bag on a flat surface, leaving the top open, and roll the dough into a 9×10-1/2-inch rectangle that’s 1/4-inch thick. As you roll, turn the bag occasionally and lift the plastic from the dough so it doesn’t cause creases. When you get the right size and thickness, seal the bag, pressing out as much air as possible, and refrigerate dough for at least 2 hours, or for up to 2 days.

4. Position the racks to divide the oven into thirds and preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Line two baking sheets with parchment or silicone mats.

5. Put the plastic bag on a cutting board and slit it open. Turn the firm dough out onto the board (discard the bag) and, using a ruler as a guide and a sharp knife, cut the dough into 1-1/2 inch squares. Transfer the squares to the baking sheets and carefully prick each one twice with a fork, gently pushing the tines through the cookies until they hit the sheet. (If the dough is getting soft, refridgerate cut cookies for a few minutes to prevent too much spreading)

6. Bake for 18 to 20 minutes, rotating the sheets from top to bottom and front to back at the midway point. The shortbreads will be very pale - they shouldn’t take on much color. Transfer the cookies to a rack. (I baked mine for about 19 minutes, and three minutes or so longer than I should have, due to an emergency diaper change... watch them carefully so they don't get too crisp!)

7. If you’d like, dust the cookies with confectioners’ sugar while they are still hot. Cool the cookies to room temperature before serving. (I skipped this... these are plenty rich and cute too!)


  1. These cookies look beautiful! I went back and made them too and thought they were delicious!

  2. Yours came out looking much, much better than mine did.

    I love some of the recipes we did way back then. (seems like years ago now. haha)

    MY favs from the list you posted are, the biscuits, which are heavenly. I have made them several times now. The pie-cake and the hidden berry torte.

    Cant wait to see how they turn out for you!

  3. Those look terrific Anne! I love anything shortbread!!

  4. Those turned out perfectly! They look great. I have been wanting to do all the rewinds too,and have to agree the pecan biscuits are wonderful!

  5. I'm adding these to my Christmas cookie list! Yours turned out great!
    Shari@Whisk: a food blog

  6. They look so good! I've been dying to make these as well. I'm going to have to soon I think :)

  7. Great job on the cookies! They're still on my to-do list of missed recipes. One of these days...

  8. I made these last week, but left out the nuts - and they are perfect!! The kids ate all of them, so I just made another batch yesterday - and stuck them in the freezer so maybe David and I will get some!!

  9. Thanks for printing the list of things they've already done in TWD. I've been wondering. All you goodies look so yummy.