It's no surprise that Em loves cookies. What is surprising is that I have been buying her packaged garbage cookies. She loves animal cookies and vanilla creme cookies. So, I thought a good homemade cookie to make for her would be a simple shortbread, and decided to go with the Pecan Shortbread Cookie.
These are so easy to make and well worth the effort, the flavor is fantastic and they keep forever in the freezer. Come to think of it, these are my mom's favorite cookies too.
Well, they were a hit. I made them into different shapes. At 18 months old I am trying to introduce Em to colors, shapes, letters, sounds, tastes and as much as I possibly can. I cut these cookies in circles, squares, triangles, and hearts. Each time she gets a cookie I review the shapes with her. It is a lot of fun too!
Hope you enjoy these, they are a commonly requested cookie and sooo delicious!
Recipe by Ina Garten
Pecan Shortbread Cookies
3/4 pound unsalted butter, room temperature
1 cup sugar
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 teaspoon pure almond extract
3 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 cups pecans
In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, mix together the butter and sugar until they are just combined. Add the vanilla and almond extracts.
In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour and salt, then add them to the butter/sugar mixture.
Small dice pecans.
Add the pecans and mix on low speed until the dough starts to come together. If it is too crumbly a tablespoon of water at a time until it comes together. If it is too sticky, add a tablespoon of flour at a time until it is the perfect consistency. Dump onto a surface dusted with flour and shape into a flat disk. Wrap in plastic and chill for 30 minutes.
Roll the dough ¼ - ½-inch thick and cut into 2 1/2-inch squares with a plain or fluted cutter (or cut into any shape you like). Place the cookies on an ungreased baking sheet. If you are new at rolling out dough get some training wheels (as I like to call them). I went to the craft store and bought dowel rods in 1/8", 1/4" and 1/2" size. Cut them in half and you have a perfect frame. I learned to judge the perfect thickness by setting them on both sides of my dough rolling pin width apart and rolling my cookies out.
Bake for 20 to 25 minutes, until the edges begin to brown. Allow to cool to room temperature and serve.
Click here for a printable version of this recipe - The Slow Roasted Italian.com