This pecan shortbread recipe is one of the best cookie recipes I have ever tasted. This recipe is a must for your next cookie exchange recipe or Christmas cookie! This recipe is the perfect make-ahead cookie because they require a long chilling time. The dough is very easy to make!
The best way to measure flour is by weight. However the next best is measured by the spoon and sweep method. Also called the spoon and level method. Just spoon the flour into the measuring cup and level off with the back of a knife. Look at my post on measuring flour for more. Scooping flour out can lead to having up to 50% more flour than you need.
The cinnamon in the pecan shortbread recipe
Isn’t cinnamon just cinnamon? No. If you have not baked with Vietnamese cinnamon, also called Saigon cinnamon, you are missing out! Vietnamese cinnamon is the strongest, richest, and sweetest cinnamon around. I always make sure I have some on hand, especially for the pecan shortbread recipe! I get my Vietnamese cinnamon (and all my herbs and spices) at Urban Herbs at the West Side Market here in Cleveland.
Chilling and cutting the shortbread
Rolling the dough after it comes together is not difficult. This recipe makes two rolls. Just divide the dough in two and place each half of the dough on its own piece of parchment. I usually use a ruler to keep the log of dough tight and round. I usually keep the log around two inches wide. The logs need to chill in the fridge for two hours at the very least. The dough should chill for at least five hours. The dough can even go overnight which makes it a great make-ahead dough.
After the dough is chilled I usually slice around 1/2 inch. The mixture for the edge is easier to get rolled on after slicing the dough. The dough is usually still firm enough to stay round after you roll it in the mixture. After rolling the sliced dough in the mixture just bake and enjoy!
Pecan Shortbread Recipe
- 2 sticks of room temperature unsalted butter
- ½ cup of packed brown sugar. I used light brown sugar.
- ¼ cup of granulated sugar
- 2 teaspoons of vanilla extract
- 2 ¼ cups of spooned and leveled all purpose flour
- ½ teaspoon of ground cinnamon. I used Vietnamese cinnamon. I love it.
- ¼ teaspoon of sea salt
- ¾ cup of finely chopped pecans I used a very sharp knife and cutting board. A food processor would work also.
Mixture for edges
- 1/4 cup sugar
- 1/4 cup finely chopped pecans
- In a stand mixer bowl with paddle attachment or large bowl with hand mixer, cream butter, brown sugar, and granulated sugar. Then beat in vanilla. Be sure to scrape down the sides of the bowl.
- Next add flour, cinnamon, and sea salt. Then add chopped pecans and beat until combined and thick.
- Roll the dough into two equal logs around two inches or so and then wrap in plastic. I refrigerated mine overnight and they came out great! The second log I baked after two days in the fridge and they were just as good. The minimum chilling the dough needs is at least 5 hours.
- After refrigerated, cut dough around ⅜ to ½ inch thick. Mix sugar and chopped pecans. Roll edge in sugar and place two inches apart on a lined baking sheet. I rolled the edges after cutting because I thought I could control it more. I tried to roll the log and it didn’t work for me.
- Bake at 350 for 12-14 minutes or until light brown around the edges. After baking allow cookies to cool for a few minutes before transferring to a wire rack.