It wasn't often we had "store bought" cookies, but one of the ones that both my parents loved was Keebler's Pecan Sandies. I have to admit this simple shortbread cookie with such a wonderful taste had me too. I guess I could say, " I saw it coming," since my mother's favorite ice cream was butter pecan--the rich vanilla with those buttery pecans mixed through.
When I was playing around with ingredients, I remembered those Saturday's when my Dad came in from the commissary and we opened up the Keebler package to fill the cookie jar, to come up with a homemade version. To enhance the buttery flavor, I browned the butter, but then put it in the refrigerator for an hour to return it to a soft solid stage. The next important step was to toast the pecans--toasting brings out the natural oils and the flavor of the pecan is taken up a notch. Finally, the ingredients are similar to my shortbread recipe, but I substituted brown sugar for some of the confectioners' sugar measurement to give it a caramel color and flavor.
The great thing about this recipe is that I formed the dough into "logs" that are chilled 3-4 hours. Slice the cookies you want to bake, but if you only want to make up some of the cookies, freeze the rolls for another time. The melt-in-your-mouth cookies are perfect with a cup of tea or coffee for an afternoon treat...which I had while I sewed June's Give-Away!
|Roses are June's birth flower|
White Roses - Purity, Innocence, Silence, Secrecy, Reverence, Humility & Youthfulness
Yellow Roses - Joy, Gladness, Friendship, & Delight
Pink Roses - Appreciation, Grace, Perfect Happiness, & Admiration
Orange Roses - Enthusiasm, Desire, Fascination
Lavender Roses - Love at First Sight, Enchantment
Butter Pecan Sandies...homemade!
1 3/4 cups (3 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, browned
1 cup light brown sugar, packed firmly
1 cup confectioners' sugar
1/2 tsp. Vanilla~Butternut Flavoring (can substitute Vanilla extract, but this really accentuates the flavor of the cookie)
3 cup King Arthur all-purpose flour
1 1/2 cups finely chopped Pecans, toasted
Preheat oven to 350F-degrees.
Start off by cutting the butter into chunks and melting in a 3 quart sauce pan. Turn the heat to med/low and continue to cook about 8 minutes or until the butter has foamed, then, turned golden. Remove from the heat and pour into a glass 8-inch baking dish. Place in the refrigerator for at least 1 hour to "set" the butter to a soft/solid stage.
Next, place pecan halves on a baking sheet and toast in the preheated oven 7-8 minutes--you should smell the aroma of the nuts as they release their oils. Remove from the oven and let cool. Use a nut grinder and chop finely so slicing the cookies will be easier. Turn off oven while you're waiting for the butter to cool.
In a stand mixer, place the butter and sugars and use the paddle attachment to blend well. Add the flavoring and mix once again. Add the flour and nuts and beat just until the dough comes together and all ingredients are combined. Divide dough into three logs--2 x 12-inches and wrap in plastic wrap. Refrigerate 3 to 4 hours or until firm. If you're freezing any of the logs, place the wrapped logs into a freezer bag and seal.
Preheat oven, once more, to 350F-degrees and line baking sheets with parchment. Slice the log on a cutting board, using a serrated knife, 1/4-inch thick.
Place on prepared baking sheet. Bake 8-9 minutes or until golden brown.
Let cool about 5 minutes on the baking sheet before removing them to a rack. This recipe makes over 5 dozen cookies.
By the time I finished the apron, the sun had come out and we're promised a weekend of dry weather...which here in the Pacific Northwest, we don't take for granted. Enjoy!