Day 6 of #holidaycookies! Another one bite wonder, this time brought to you by the delightful blog Smitten Kitchen. I have to admit, I love SK but she is making me feel like a slacker. As I struggle to get my 12 days of holiday cookies completed, multiple posts pop up daily from SK. She must have a band of elves that help her every night or perhaps she spent summer trying winter holiday recipes that she is now posting. I have this vision of her baking gingerbread in July in her apartment in one hundred degrees and the AC is broken. I think the Holiday Cookie Countdown is turning me into Grinch.
The recipe is from The Last Course by Claudia Fleming which unfortunately is not in print anymore. If you ever see a copy grab it, the Caramel Chocolate Tarts are worth the purchase alone. Smitten Kitchen + Claudia Fleming + Pecans = Appointment baking.
The key to these cookies is toasting the pecans. It’s a good cookie not great. Like many shortbread cookies they may benefit from sitting a day for the flavor to develop. I sprinkled some sanding sugar on them but I think I may make a blend of Fleur de Sel and sugar to sprinkle on my next batch (my sweet salty fixation) or maybe dip them in chocolate. The cookies are cut into 1 inch squares and 3/16 of an inch thickness. I would prefer the cookie a little larger, say 1.25 inches square and 1/4 inch thick just to give the cookie a little more substance. My little cheats call for using a ziplock bag to roll the dough in for straight edges and a pizza cutter to cut the squares, nifty huh. Still a lovely cookie to present on a platter with other nibbles.
Smitten Kitchen in July + Sand-ies which makes me think of beaches = a tropical holiday song! Mele Kalikimaka by the Brothers Cazimero. Enjoy!
- 1 cup (about 110 grams) pecans
- 2 cups (250 grams) all-purpose flour
- 1 cup (225 grams or 2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
- 2/3 cup (80 grams) confectioners’ sugar
- 2 teaspoons (10 ml) vanilla extract
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
- 2 tablespoons (25 grams) turbinado (raw) sugar (I used white sanding sugar)
- 1teaspoons of Fleur de Sel
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Spread the nuts out in one layer on a baking sheet and bake them, stirring occasionally, until they are well browned, 10 to 13 minutes (they will smell toasted and nutty). Transfer the pan to a wire rack to cool.
- In a food processor, grind the nuts with 1/4 cup of the flour. Set aside.
- Using an electric mixer, beat the butter and sugar until creamy and smooth, about 2 minutes. Add the vanilla and beat well. Sift together the remaining 1 3/4 cups of flour, the salt, and the baking powder, and add it to the dough, mixing until just combined. Stir in the nut mixture. Form the dough into a disk, wrap in plastic wrap, and chill for at least 3 hours.
- Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F. Roll the dough between two sheets of wax paper to 3/16 inch thick (a rectangle approximately 10 x 14 inches). Using a sharp knife, cut the dough into 1-inch squares, then cut the squares on a diagonal into triangles (I skipped the last cut into triangles). Sprinkle the cookies with the turbinado sugar. Place them 1 inch apart on ungreased cookie sheets (do not reroll the scraps). Prick the cookies with a fork and bake until pale golden all over, about 10 to 12 minutes. Cool on a wire rack.