Shortbread is one of those cookies that are just magical. The richness of the butter and the quintessential melt in your mouth feel is pure heaven in a bite. These cookies are rich, tender and have a typical straw color with a Scottish origin. Typically served during the holiday timeframe between Christmas and New Year’s Eve and enjoyed around the world. The basic shortbread is comprised of four ingredients: butter, sugar, vanilla and flour. With that foundation, the possibilities of flavor profiles are endless – let your imagination run wild.
I have found that adding cornstarch gives the cookies a silken and soft texture. The bite is electric yet simple, straightforward and satisfying. This is my basic shortbread recipe which I enhance with other flavors. Among one of my favorites is to add lavender to the dough. It is absolutely wonderful with a cup of tea on a Sunday morning while reading the paper outside. Another one of my beloved cookies is the pecan sandie, which essentially is a pecan shortbread cookie. We actually enjoyed these last weekend with the Hershey’s Milk Chocolate Ice Cream.
Pecan Shortbread Cookies
1 C. butter, cold and cut into small cubes
½ C. Confectioners’ sugar
1 t. Vanilla
¼ t. Salt
½ C. Pecans, chopped and dry roasted
1 ½ C. Flour
1/3 C. Cornstarch
Using a free stand mixer, add the butter and cream on medium. Then add the confectioners’ sugar, salt and vanilla and combine well. Next add the cornstarch and mix into the butter. Last add the flour until combined. Sprinkle the pecans over the mixture and mix until incorporated.
Let the dough chill for about 30 minutes. Roll the dough into a ¼ inch sheet and cut with your favorite circle cutter. I use one with a flute design. Repeat process until all dough is utilized. Be sure to flour your board to prevent sticking.
Place one inch apart on ungreased cookie sheet and bake for about 9 to 10 minutes at 350 degrees. Transfer to a wire rack to cool.