As I’ve said before, my dad is a big pecan fan. I first made Butter Pecan Cookies from the May 2004 issue of Everyday Food for him a couple of years ago, and they were so – so! – good. I’ve been thinking about making them again since Father’s Day, and I finally got around to it this morning.
To start, I toasted 3/4 cup of pecans on a baking sheet in a 350F oven for 5 minutes. When the pecans were completely cooled, I finely chopped them using the “chop” function of my Cuisinart Mini-Prep food processor. (You could use a food chopper, a blender, or even just a chef’s knife, too.)
To make the dough, I beat 1 stick of room temperature unsalted butter with 1/3 cup of sugar using an electric mixer for 1 minute. I beat in 1 teaspoon of vanilla, 1/8 teaspoon of salt, and 1 cup of flour just until the dough came together. (Scrape the sides of the bowl as necessary.) I folded in the chopped pecans.
To form the cookies, I separated the dough into 12 pieces. (I took all the dough, divided it in half, divided the halves in half, and then divided each piece into 3 pieces.) I formed each piece into a ball, rolled it in sugar, and placed it on a parchment-lined baking sheet. (Space the cookies about 3 inches apart.) I gently flattened each ball with the bottom of a glass and gave it a sprinkle of sugar.
I baked the cookies for 14 minutes in a 350F oven, rotating the baking sheet front to back at the 7-minute mark. I cooled the cookies on the baking sheet for about 3 minutes, gave them another sprinkle of sugar, and transferred them to a wire rack to finish cooling.
Hooooo-ly smokes. These are just as amazing as I remember them. Light as air and full of buttery pecan goodness, they just about melt in your mouth. It’s probably a good thing this recipe only makes a dozen cookies. 🙂
TIPS: There are several keys to success with this recipe. First, make sure you chop the pecans *finely*. This doesn’t mean to grind them into dust, but if they’re coarsely chopped, your cookies will look lumpy. Second, use room temperature butter. (If I don’t want to wait 45 – 60 minutes for my butter to warm, I just put it in the microwave on the *lowest* power setting. I microwave it for 10 seconds, turn the butter once clockwise, microwave it for 10 seconds, turn it again clockwise, etc. I do this until I’ve microwaved the butter a total of 40 seconds.) Third, only flatten the cookies slightly before baking them. If you press too hard with the glass and flatten them too much, they’ll spread excessively during baking and have a chewy texture.
Recipe link: Butter Pecan Cookies