Prep 25 mins
Cook 9 mins
The secret to these cookies is browning the pecans in butter, which simulataneously brings out their flavor and infuses the butter with pecan flavor. These cookies are noteworthy for their texture, being-incongrous as it sounds, both sandy-crisp and meltingly smooth.
- 1 1⁄2 cups chopped pecans
- 3⁄4 cup unsalted butter, plus
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into chunks
- 1⁄3 cup corn oil or 1⁄3 cup other flavorless vegetable oil
- 2 2⁄3 cups all-purpose white flour
- 1 cup powdered sugar
- 3⁄4 cup packed light brown sugar
- 1 large egg, plus
- 1 egg yolk
- 1 1⁄2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 1⁄8 teaspoon salt
- In a medium saucepan, combine the chopped pecans and butter.
- Bring to a simmer over medium-high heat. Cook, stirring frequently for 4-5 minutes or until the pecans are nicely browned; be very careful not to burn.
- Turn out the mixture into a sieve set over a medium metal bowl.
- Let stand until the butter drains into the bowl.
- Freeze the butter mixture, stirring once or twice, until firmed up but not hard, about 10 minutes.
- Set the pecans aside.
- In a food processor, combine the chilled browned butter, oil, flour and powdered sugar. Process in off/on pulses until well blended, stopping and stirring to redistribute the bowl contents several times.
- Turn out the butter flour mixture into a large bowl.
- Stir 3/4 cup of pecans into the flour mixture.
- In the food processor, combine the remaining 3/4 cup pecans and brown sugar. Process until the pecand are finely ground and the mixture is crumbly, stopping and scraping down the bowl sides once or twice.
- Add the egg and the egg yolk, 1 1/2 tablespoons water,the vanilla and the salt and process until very well blended, about 1 minute.
- Stir the egg mixture into the flour mixture until just blended. Knead with your hands until well blended and smooth.(if necessary, add a few drops of water to moisten). Divide the dough in half.
- Place each portion between large sheets of wax paper.
- Roll out each portion a generous 3/4" thick; check under the underside of the dough for any wrinkles and smooth out any that form.
- Stack the rolled portions (paper still attached) on a baking sheet. Freeze for 15 minutes or until chilled and slightly firmed up but not hard.
- Preheat oven to 350*.grease several baking sheets or use nonstick spray.
- Working with one portion at a time, gently peel away, then pat one sheet of wax paper back into place.
- Flip the dough over, then peel off and discard the second sheet. Using a fluted or round 2 1/4" cutter, cut out the cookies.(if at any point the dough softens too much to handle easily, transfer the paper and cookies to a baking sheet and refrigerate or freeze until firm again.)
- Using a spatula, carefully transfer the cookies to the baking sheet, spacing about 1" apart. Let the cookies stand for a few minutes to soften slightly.
- Firmly press a pecan half into the center of each cookie. Reroll any dough scraps. Continue cutting out the cookies until all the dough is used.
- Bake the cookies, one sheet at a time, in the upper third of the oven for 10-14 minutes, or until barely colored on top and just slightly darker at the edges. Reverse sheets halfway through baking
- from front to back to ensure even browning. Transfer the sheet to a wire rack and let stand until the cookies set up slightly, 1-2 minutes.
- Using a spatula, transfer the cookies to wire racks.
- Let stand until completely cooled.
- Store in an airtight container for up to 2 weeks, (if they last that long) or freeze for up to 1 month.
Wow, so many steps. I tried them anyway and found them to be too heavy with a floury taste, but we ate them all so not that bad.