If you are a butter pecan ice cream fan, you’ve come to the right cookie. While the star of this cookie is definitely the pecans (make sure they are fresh and don’t skip the all-important toasting), a touch of brown sugar adds a delicious hint of toffee flavoring that makes each bite of this buttery, slice-and-bake cookie extra special.

For a shortbread-like texture, I slice this cookie on the thick side (1/4-inch), but if you’d like a thinner, crisper cookie, you can cut the log into 3/8-inch slices and bake them for less time. As an added bonus, these thinner cookies make for a larger yield.

A few make-ahead notes for all you overachievers:

• The cookie dough can be prepared, shaped, and refrigerated for two days or wrapped in plastic and frozen for up to three months. If frozen, thaw in the refrigerator for 30 minutes before proceeding. 

• The baked and cooled cookies can be stowed between sheets of parchment or waxed paper in an airtight container for up to 4 days at room temperature or for up to 6 weeks in the freezer. If frozen, thaw at room temperature.

This recipe is the third in our new series on Cook the Vineyard called Baking Together. (Our first recipe was One Bowl Vanilla Cupcakes with an easy Milk Chocolate Frosting. Our second was this Pumpkin Cream Cheese Tart with Crushed Pretzel Crust.) We look forward to hearing from you about your experiences with this and every recipe. What did you, your family and friends think of the recipe? Tell us if you did anything differently. Did you change up the nuts or add lemon or orange zest? Instead of the nuts, maybe you used chopped chocolate and sprinkled with sea salt or perhaps you added ground cinnamon? Crystalized ginger also sounds like a spicy alternative to the nuts. Give us the scoop in the comments section below and we will all learn from each other here on Cook the Vineyard.

Makes 32, 2 1/4-inch cookies

 

  • 16 tablespoons (8 ounces) unsalted butter, softened
  • 1/4 cup (1 3/4 ounces) firmly packed light brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup (3 1/2 ounces) granulated sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon table salt
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 2 1/4 cups (10 1/8 ounces) unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 cups (3 ounces) chopped pecans, toasted

 

Make the dough

1. Put the butter in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment (or in a large bowl using an electric handheld mixer fitted with wire beaters). Beat on medium speed until creamy and smooth, about one minute. Add the granulated and brown sugar and beat until fluffy and lighter in color, two minutes. Add the vanilla and the salt and beat on medium until blended, about one minute. Add the flour and pecans and mix on low speed until the mixture is just blended.

2. Scrape the dough onto the work surface and divide into two equal piles (13 1/4 ounces  each). Using a large piece of plastic wrap as an aid, shape the dough into 8-inch-long, 1 1/2-inch wide logs and wrap in plastic. To help the logs keep their round shape, set them in empty cardboard paper towel tubes that have been cut lengthwise. Refrigerate until very firm, at least four hours or up to two days.

Abigail Johnson Dodge

Bake the cookies

1. Position a rack in the center of the oven and heat the oven to 350°F. Line cookie sheets with parchment or nonstick liners.

2. Unwrap the log and set it on a cutting board. Using a thin, sharp knife, cut into 1⁄4-inch slices and arrange about 1 1/2 inches apart on the prepared sheets. Bake, one sheet at a time, until golden brown around the edges, 14 to 16 minutes. Move the sheet to a rack and let cool for five minutes. Using a spatula, move the cookies from the sheet and set on a rack until cooled completely. Repeat with the remaining dough, using cooled cookie sheets and liners.

Abigail Johnson Dodge

 

Abigail Johnson Dodge