Cook’s Notes: Quite easy and excellent. Yield: About 35 cookies
1 cup unsalted butter (2 sticks), at room temperature
1/4 cup white sugar
1/4 cup brown sugar
1/4 tsp kosher salt
1 T vanilla extract
2 cups all-purpose flour
1-1/4 cups chopped, toasted pecans
Additional 1/8 cup white sugar for shaping
Heat oven to 350°F. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper.
With an electric mixer, cream the butter, sugars, and salt together until light and fluffy, about a minute. Beat in vanilla. Beat in flour 1 cup at a time just until the dough comes together. Gently stir in the pecans.
Drop dough with a 1 T scoop onto prepared sheets. Pour the 1/8 cup white sugar on a saucer. Dip a drinking glass in the sugar and gently flatten each cookie into a 1/4-inch thick round. Reshape sides as needed.
Bake cookies for 8 to 10 minutes until edges are lightly browned. (Be sure to rotate sheet about halfway through.) Cool cookies on a wire rack.
- Lemon shortbread: Omit pecans. Use 2 tsp lemon extract and 1 tsp vanilla instead of 1 T vanilla.
- Pinenut shortbread: Omit vanilla and pecans. Use 1 cup toasted pinenuts and 1 T plus 1 tsp fresh rosemary leaves, diced.
Source: Adapted from about five to six sources, including Martha Stewart’s Everyday Food magazine, Mark Bittman, and Lemon Sugar Cookies from Reminisce, May/June 2001