Pecan Shortbread Cutout Cookies

IMG_0608Pecan Shortbread Cutout Cookies

Shortbread cookies are a favorite holiday tradition.  This twist on the classic holiday recipe adds pecans. Ground pecans add richness and enhance the butter and vanilla flavor.  Egg yolk helps to bind the cookie dough together, resulting in a crispy but still tender cookie that keeps its shape after baking. To make these cookies, I finely ground the chopped pecans in a food processor being careful not to end up with nut butter. To make extra fine granulated sugar place regular granulated sugar in the bowl of a food processor and blend for one minute. Rolling out your cookie dough is easy between sheets of parchment paper by helping to prevent the dough from sticking without adding flour.

Ingredients

3/4 cup unsalted butter at room temperature (1 1/2 sticks) cut into 1/2 teaspoons

3/4 cup extra fine granulated sugar

1 large egg yolk

2 teaspoons vanilla extract

3/4 cup finely ground pecans

2 1/4 cups sifted flour

white sanding sugar

dark chocolate

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Directions

Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit

Line a large cookie sheet with parchment paper

  1. In a medium bowl whisk together sifted flour and finely ground pecans.
  2. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat unsalted butter and sugar at medium speed until light and creamy, 3-4 minutes stopping to scrape down sides of bowl. Beat in egg yolk and vanilla.
  3. With mixer on low speed gradually add flour and pecan mixture in 3 additions. Mix until dough comes together, it will still be crumbly.
  4. Divide dough and form into 2 disks, wrap each in parchment paper and refrigerate for one hour. Soften dough at room temperature for a few minutes before rolling out.
  5. With a rolling pin roll out dough on parchment paper to 1/4-inch thickness. Use small cookie cutters to cut dough and place onto prepared cookie sheets. Sprinkle with white sanding sugar.
  6. Bake 8-10minutes or until edges begin to brown. Cool in pan for one minute and transfer cookies to a cooling rack. Allow cookies to completely cool before decorating.
  7. Drizzle with melted chocolate and finely chopped pecans.

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