Prep 40 mins
Cook 20 mins
This recipe is among those that reach a new level when made with sea salt and high-quality, European-style butter (like Plugra). From Gourmet, November 2002.
- 3⁄4 cup pecans, toasted and cooled,plus about (3oz)
- 32 pecan halves (3 oz)
- 2⁄3 cup confectioners' sugar, plus
- 2 tablespoons confectioners' sugar
- 1 1⁄4 cups all-purpose flour
- 1⁄2 teaspoon sea salt
- 1⁄4 teaspoon baking powder
- 1⁄2 cup unsalted butter, softened (Plugra, or European butter should be used)
- 1⁄2 teaspoon vanilla
- 1 large egg, separated
- Preheat oven to 325°F.
- Pulse toasted pecans with 2 tablespoons confectioners sugar in a food processor until finely ground.
- Whisk together flour, salt, and baking powder in a bowl.
- Beat together butter, remaining 2/3 cup confectioners sugar, and vanilla in a bowl with an electric mixer at high speed until pale and fluffy, about 3 minutes.
- Add egg yolk and beat well.
- Add flour and ground-pecan mixture and mix at low speed until just combined, 30 seconds to 1 minute.
- (Dough will be crumbly but will hold together when squeezed.) Halve dough and roll out 1 half between 2 sheets of wax paper until 1/4 inch thick (about a 9-inch round).
- Cut out as many rounds as possible with cookie cutter and arrange about 2 inches apart on buttered large baking sheets, reserving scraps.
- Roll out and cut remaining dough in same manner.
- Gather scraps, then reroll and cut in same manner.
- Beat egg white until frothy, then brush tops of rounds lightly with egg white.
- Put a pecan half on top of each round, then brush pecan lightly with egg white.
- Bake cookies in middle of oven until tops are pale golden, 15 to 20 minutes.
- Cool cookies on sheets on racks 2 minutes, then transfer to racks to cool completely.
Best pecan cookies ever!