Pecan Shortbread Cookies are a classic holiday recipe, steeped in family tradition.
I have been baking Christmas cookies my whole life. Before I was even tall enough to reach the counter, my mother lovingly tied an apron around my waist and propped me and my best friend up on sturdy chairs so that we could share in the family tradition of making holiday cut outs. We looked forward to this each year.
As an adult, I find that I don’t enjoy the tradition all that much without my mom around. As I find myself becoming frustrated with the one cookie I try to make each year, I picture my mom, six hundred miles away, patiently crafting batch after batch of beautiful holiday confections, each one more beautiful than the next. Each year at Superman Cooks, we like to highlight one of my mother’s traditional cookie recipes. This year, we have chosen her famous pecan shortbread. While most of her cookie recipes are age-old family heirlooms, I was surprised to find that this one comes from our beloved baking guru, Ina Garten, who, in her infinite wisdom, borrowed it from Eli Zabar, a New York icon. Never one to mess with a classic, I decided to try this recipe for myself. So you could say that this cookie has come full circle: starting in New York, then making its way to Ohio, and now coming back to it’s home in our little Manhattan kitchen. Keith and I, being in the festive spirit, decided to cut our shortbread into snowflake shapes. We carefully crafted each one, and then dipped them in dark chocolate for a special touch. We were very pleased with the results. But as we collapsed, completely exhausted and overwhelmed by our messy kitchen, I was again reminded that I will never be the baker that my mom is.
- ¾ pound unsalted butter (at room temperature)
- 1 cup sugar
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 1 teaspoon almond extract
- 3½ c AP flour
- ¾ teaspoon salt
- 1¼ c pecan, diced into small pieces
- 2- 4 oz. bars of dark chocolate
- Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees.
- Using a hand mixer or electric mixer, mix together butter and sugar until smooth.
- Add vanilla extract and almond extract. Mix until combined.
- In a medium bowl, mix together flour and salt.
- Add dry mixture to wet mixture and combine.
- Add pecans and mix at low speed until dough forms.
- Place dough onto floured surface, forming into a ball.
- Wrap in plastic wrap and chill for at least 30 minutes (or overnight).
- Roll dough into ½" thick round and use cutters of your choosing to cut into shapes.
- Place cookies on ungreased baking sheet.
- Bake for 20 to 25 minutes, until edges begin to brown.
- Allow to cool at room temperature.
- For the chocolate:
- Melt chocolate bars in double boiler until liquified.
- Once the cookies have cooled, dip them into liquid chocolate, covering less than half of each cookie.
- Allow to cool at room temperature so that chocolate hardens.