Butter Pecan Cookies

My very first memory of butter pecan anything was when I was very young and my parents first discovered Old Philadelphia Brand ice cream at the local neighborhood grocer in my old hometown. Buying what was on sale at the time, this weird sounding ice cream called “Butter Pecan” we all tried it hesitantly and were instantly, irrevocably enamored. Buttery, sweet, with the pleasant and not overwhelming nuttiness that is pecans, it was divine and began what has become a lifelong appreciation of that magical combination of butters and pecans.

Martha being my gal of the current week, I perused her top 25 “Easy Bake” cookies and found this recipe for butter pecan cookies. A simple recipe calling for nothing more than butter, pecans, sugar, vanilla, salt and flour, this promised a delicate, melt in your mouth butter cookie with not much else to detract away from the core magic here…buttery pecans. It sounded so simple and easy and promised such a wonderful bounty, I had to make it asap…and by ASAP, I mean I was so excited to try it, I found myself cranking on my oven at 10:30pm on a Monday night.

I prefer to toast my pecans on top of the stove, but it’s a matter of personal preference. The main thing to remember is to take them off of the heat about a minute or so after it becomes fragrant. You don’t want to over toast them as they easily go from being decidedly wondrous to horribly bitter and makes you lament your irrational electric stove that likes to burn too hot whenever the whim strikes it (Not that this has ever ever happened to ME…or something…). Once you’ve toasted your pecans, cooled them, and chopped them fine, the rest of the recipe goes super fast. Don’t be shy on the sugar here…it lends just that little extra sweetness that makes these cookies just that more special!

Butter Pecan Cookies
Adapted from Martha Stewart

Yields 12

Ingredients

3/4 cup pecans
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature
1/3 cup sugar, plus more for coating
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/8 teaspoon salt
1 cup all-purpose flour

Preparation

You can either toast your pecans in the oven or on the stovetop. For the oven method, preheat your oven to 350 degrees. On a baking sheet, spread out pecans in a single layer and toast pecans until fragrant, about 6 minutes. If doing on the stovetop, over medium high heat, toast pecans in a dry skillet till they’re fragrant, about 3-5 minutes. Let cool completely before finely chopping.

With an electric mixer, cream butter and 1/3 cup of sugar until light and fluffy, about 1 minute. Beat in vanilla, salt, and flour, scraping down the sides of the bowl, just until dough comes together. Fold in pecans.

Separate dough into 12 pieces. Dough will be crumbly, just squeeze it together and shape into balls. Roll in sugar. Place about 3 inches apart on a nonstick baking sheet. Gently flatten with the bottom of a glass and reshape if necessary. Sprinkle with additional sugar.

Bake until golden brown, about 15 minutes, rotating sheet halfway through. Sprinkle with more sugar. Cool cookies on a wire rack. Store cookies in an airtight container.

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~ by tastydesu on May 17, 2010.

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